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Cascarino urges Ancelotti to alter tactics after third straight league loss

Sam Preston November 9, 2020
Photo by PAUL ELLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Everton slipped to a third straight Premier League loss on Saturday, going down 3-1 to Manchester United.

Bernard put the Toffees in front during the first half, but he was one of three players picked out by Tony Cascarino in the Times in the wake of that result.

Cascarino says that the Brazilian, along with Gylfi Sigurdsson and summer signing James Rodriguez, don’t work hard enough on the ball.

The former Chelsea hitman feels Carlo Ancelotti needs to make a change – although he acknowledged that the return of Richarlison from suspension after the international break should help.


Emma Simpson/Everton FC via Getty Images

“Everton have lost three on the spin and, for all their impressive performances at the start of the campaign, Carlo Ancelotti may need a rethink.

“They had Bernard, Gylfi Sigurdsson and James Rodríguez playing behind Dominic Calvert-Lewin and I don’t think you can afford to have three players who don’t work hard defensively and won’t pinch the ball back.

“Richarlison is more effective at pressing so he’s obviously a big miss but Ancelotti should consider adding another central midfielder to help them control the game a bit more.”

Everton started the season with a very effective 4-3-3 system, but once injuries and suspension have forced Ancelotti into Plans B and C, results have started to waver.

Robin Jones/Getty Images

Perhaps Cascarino is being a touch harsh about the work-rates of the midfield trio he picks out.

But a related point is a lack of legs, speed and energy in this Everton side when Richarlison is out.

The team Ancelotti put out at Newcastle last week was crammed with central midfielders, and lacking the speed to stretch the game or get in behind.

It was similar on Saturday, with the whole match played in front of United, allowing the likes of Harry Maguire to repeatedly head away crosses.

The international break has come at a good time for Ancelotti to get back to the drawing board and return to something close to his best eleven.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.