Carlo Ancelotti expects every outfield member of his Everton squad to be able to occupy a variety of positions in the team – as he says the modern game has done away with players only having one role. Ancelotti has also opened up on what he asks of James Rodriguez everytime he plays for the Blues, plus why keeping those players not in the starting line-up motivated, is the hardest part of his job at Goodison. The Blues boss has also discussed the difficulty of substitutions and why he has limited time on the training ground with his squad at Finch Farm.
Carlo Ancelotti said “I think you have to be focused on the recovery of the player. When I was a player, we were only focused to train. And so, a lot of times after training, you had pain, and the manager came to you and said – How are you?I have lot of pain in my legs”, you’d reply. Oh, you did a fantastic job! Good job, well done! they would say! And it was not the truth. And now you to be focused on recovery, because now, players are going to play, in the season, 50 games. In my time, we would play 30-35 games, so in the modern football there is no time to train. They have to play and recover. James Rodriguez and I have a mutual trust. I know what he can do. I know what he needs. And I think also that James knows what I have and what I need. I simply ask him to show his quality. To put the quality he has on the pitch. I think that modern football needs players that are able to play in different positions. 20 years ago, a goalkeeper needed to be good with his hands. Now, it’s not enough. So a centre back sometimes has to be able to play right back. A midfielder can play on the right, can play on the left, can play holding, can play number 10. I think that the player who I changed position, to whom it had the biggest impact was Pirlo. He was number 10, and I’ve put him as a holding midfielder, and someone said to me that I was crazy, but the player believed that it was good for him to play there. So, he started to play there, and he was the best holding midfielder I have ever seen. I think it’s an important aspect. The motivation that the player has for the game, if it’s low, you have to push. If it’s too high, you have to try to keep the player quiet and calm. You have a squad of 25 players, and only 11 are going to play, and you have to keep motivated the others that are not going to play, and this is the most difficult part. When I make a substitution I want to go on the pitch. Because I have a clear idea why I’m making the substitution, but I don’t have the strength or the power to do this, and so for this reason I try explain to the players that come in, the best that I can, the position and the play.”
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