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Everton now not far from the European spots

On Saturday afternoon, Everton recorded a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace at Goodison Park. In truth, it was not always pretty and the Blues made the visitors look like the Brazil team from the 1970’s World Cup for 15 minutes.

However, in the end, the Toffees recorded a comfortable win that moved them to seventh place in the Premier League table. The fact that Carlo Ancelotti’s team are now just five points off the Champions League spots is just crazy.

Moyes should have got the job over Ancelotti

There were a number of pundits, mainly Sky Sports employees who stated that they did not believe that Carlo Ancelotti was a good fit for Everton. To name one, former Arsenal forward Charlie Nicholas believed that David Moyes was a better choice for the Blues.

Just let that sink in! I am not old enough to remember Nicolas as a player, but I am told he was quite good in his hay day at Arsenal. I have to question his punditry skills though. Then again, he seems to have a strange disliking to Everton. Maybe we decided not to sign him as a player and he has since had an axe to grind.

Anyway, Charlie. I think most sane people would say that Everton made the right decision in choosing Ancelotti over Moyes.

Ancelotti knows what he is doing

The strange thing is, Carlo Ancelotti is actually very good at his job. Now that sounds like a no-brainer considering the Italian has won the Champions League three times as a boss. However, just because he chose to move to Everton, he was suddenly past it or on his way down.

His games in charge of a mediocre Everton team and squad have proven he still has plenty of managerial acumen. Maybe he chose to move to Everton because he wanted a challenge. He certainly had that on his hands on his arrival.

Duncan Ferguson’s short stint as caretaker boss certainly helped improve morale at the club and moved the Toffees away from the relegation zone. However, the fact they are now in the fight for a Europa League place this season is incredible.

He is getting results out of a team that under Marco Silva would wilt under any sort of pressure. Ancelotti has taken 17 points from a possible 24 and only Liverpool have taken more Premier League points since the Italian’s arrival.

A tough run of fixtures

Everton may only be a few points shy of the European spots in the Premier League, but they have some tough fixtures coming up. In fact, the Toffees face home games with Manchester United and Liverpool and trips to Arsenal and Chelsea in their next four games.

The fact that the Toffees head into that tough run of games in good spirits is vital. However, that fixture list seems to make Everton’s odds of a top-six finish of 5/1 relatively generous.

Even as an Evertonian it is hard to be optimistic with that sort of run, mainly down to previous experience of the team struggling in big games away from home. The run will certainly be a test of Ancelotti and his player’s mettle.

Realistically even if the Blues pick up a few points from those testing games, we know as a fan base that the team is moving forward. Ancelotti has come into a squad of players who were simply not good enough and give them the belief that they can finish at the right end of the table. If he can do it with the current group, imagine what he can do with his own players come next season.

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