View: Ancelotti must stop Everton goalkeeper rotation
Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday (via evertonfc.com), Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that Jordan Pickford would play for Everton v Manchester City on Wednesday if he was passed fit to play.
The England international goalkeeper has been absent from Everton’s last four games in all competitions, with Robin Olsen serving in his stead while he recovered from a rib injury.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin out of Man City game but could be back for Liverpool, says Ancelotti. Jordan Pickford returned to training yesterday. "If he's available he's going to play (v City)"
— Andy Hunter (@AHunterGuardian) February 16, 2021
However prior to Pickford’s injury Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti had been prone to rotating his two senior goalkeepers, with Pickford having played 19 times in all competitions, while Olsen has managed nine appearances for the Blues.
Though Pickford does still appear to be Everton’s first choice between the posts, the club’s congested fixture schedule has seen Ancelotti attempt to keep both shot-stoppers fresh by swapping them semi-regularly.
Going forward, we think that has to stop.
Among the many things that went wrong when Everton played Fulham on Sunday, losing 2-0 to the Cottagers who currently occupy a spot in the relegation zone, the Italian continued to rotate players by swapping his centre-backs.
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Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate lined up in the centre of defence, while regular defensive pairing Michael Keane and Yerry Mina both sat on the subs’ bench, the former of whom was brought on in the second half.
Everton looked dangerously vulnerable at the back during the first half at Goodison Park, and Ancelotti didn’t look to make changes until Fulham had snatched a deserved opener early into the second half.
Ancelotti could now face a similar problem with Pickford back fit, with both Olsen and the former Sunderland ‘keeper vying for a regular starting berth.
While both Pickford and Olsen are deserving of regular first-team football, the Italian coach’s proclivity to rotate them doesn’t help the Blues settle at the back, and they absolutely need to in the end of season run-in.
The Toffees have a real chance to qualify for European football this season if they can avoid more needless slip-ups, and line-up consistency may help them achieve those goals.
For the time being, Ancelotti would be better off choosing a preferred starting goalkeeper and allowing him to built momentum than constantly stunting that momentum by swapping back and forth.
In other Everton news, the Toffees are said to be courting Roma centre-back Gianluca Mancini ahead of the summer transfer window.