Everton legend Neville Southall has backed Carlo Ancelotti to restore his beloved Blues into a major force as he warns that they have to get their act together on the pitch by the time they move into their new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock. Southall spoke on the occasion of his own book Mind Games’ launch,
Neville Southall said “We’ve had so many managers and – let’s be honest – poor signings in recent years that we’ve been told ‘we can only do this’ but now with Carlo Ancelotti coming in, people are looking at him and saying ‘actually this is a new era.’ There’s a focus on bringing good people in but having Ancelotti means that the recruitment is 10 times better than it was. I think everything is geared to success at Everton at the moment whereas in the past it’s been geared to treading water, surviving and making the best of what we did, mainly because there wasn’t any real cash in the club. We had to make do and mend and that’s not the Everton way. Now we’ve got someone who has come in with great qualifications at what he’s done, can attract great people and should be really successful with us. People are prepared to give him the three or four years it might take to produce a team that everyone wants to see. There’ll be some bumps in the road but things will get better. Let’s be honest, when he came in, they weren’t Brazil and they’re not Brazil now but slowly but surely Carlo has come in, been a nice fella, but taken his time to look at every player. I think from now on you will see a difference in the attitude of the team, the style of their play and because of that they will need to move people on. There’s a lot more hope and optimism around but I thought it was always coming with the new ground on the way. If you’ve got a new ground that’s going to hold over 50,000 people, you can’t have a rubbish team playing in it. Commercially you have to fill it because you also need to get all the hospitality too. Things have been looking up ever since the announcement of the new ground but if I’m honest, I was always against it. I still don’t like the idea but I think it’s going to be the biggest driving factor to put Everton back where they belong that we’ve had since Howard (Kendall) left. There’s no way that an owner is going to come in and accept anything other than the best to be on that pitch.”
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