The new Everton manager, Carlo Ancelotti, has targeted Champions League football with a club he has described as “one of the greatest in England”.
Ancelotti was confirmed as the Premier League side’s permanent new manager on Saturday, replacing Marco Silva. The 60-year-old has signed a four-and-a-half-year contract, and will take charge for the first time on Boxing Day, at home to Burnley.
“I’m excited to be here at one of the greatest clubs in England,” the Italian told the club’s official channel. “The goal is there to reach the Champions League or Europa League. Winning honours has to be the dream for this club and for the supporters. I am here to try to do this.”
“Our goal is to be competitive in the Premier League, to be towards the top of the table, to be competitive in Europe,” Ancelotti added. “It’s not going to happen straight away, but we have to work for this.”
“To Evertonians I would like to say, stay with the team as you always do because it’s really important for the players to have your support … my dream is to bring success to this club.”
Ancelotti won the Premier League and FA Cup double at Chelsea in 2010, during his previous stint in England. He is one of only three managers to win Europe’s elite competition on three occasions – with Milan in 2003 and 2007, and in 2014 with Real Madrid.
Ancelotti, who left Napoli earlier this month after a poor start to the season, is already “loving” being at Everton, according to the club’s chairman, Bill Kenwright.
Kenwright sat next to Ancelotti in the directors’ box at Goodison Park for Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Arsenal, and has praised majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri for recruiting the Italian.
Kenwright told evertontv: “I have to take my hat off to Farhad. We interviewed a lot of people and Farhad was pushing for a world-class manager.”
“[Farhad] wants this team to be where he’s wanted it to be for three -and-a-half years. He wants this club to be winning trophies. That is what he is here for. We want a world-class manager to help us do that and to get us to this magnificent new stadium.
“Carlo’s had a little bit of an Everton experience today,” Kenwright added. “He’s already loving the club. You can’t not feel the embrace of this club, can you?”
Kenwright also praised the impact of Duncan Ferguson, who stepped in as caretaker manager following Silva’s departure. The Scot’s only defeat in his four-game spell came in the Carabao Cup, on penalties to Leicester.
“It’d be hard for me to put into words the Duncan Ferguson era,” Kenwright said. “He gave the club and fans a reminder of what a privilege it is to be an Evertonian. I don’t know anyone else who could have done it … It’s not just a game to him, it’s Everton.”
Ferguson will stay on at the club as part of Ancelotti’s backroom staff. After the home game with Burnley, Everton visit Newcastle on Saturday and Manchester City on New Year’s Day, before an FA Cup third-round derby at Anfield.