Carlo Ancelotti is proving he doesn't need stars to win

They said Carlo Ancelotti could only work with superstars but he’s certainly proving them wrong at 61 following Everton’s perfect start to the season

  • Everton have extended their perfect start to the season after thrashing Brighton
  • Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored his sixth league goal of the season for the hosts 
  • James Rodriguez’s fine form continued with two superb second half goals 

Carlo Ancelotti has already passed the manager’s equivalent of ‘Can he do it on a wet Tuesday night in Stoke?’

Sceptics felt the Italian might struggle at Goodison Park having been spoiled working alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Andrea Pirlo and other world-class stars at the biggest clubs in the world.

Yet, here we are. Everton have maximum points from their opening four league games for the first time since 1969. Seven wins out of seven in all competitions have yielded 24 goals.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton have maximum points from their opening four league games

Yes, the intricate skills of James Rodriguez, who scored twice on Saturday, have played a big part following his move from Real Madrid. But just as impressive, and important, is how Ancelotti has improved the Everton players he inherited.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has progressed into the England squad under the 61-year-old’s tutelage and set the ball rolling against Brighton with his ninth goal in six games.

Local lad Tom Davies, written off by many Evertonians, came in for the injured £30million Brazilian Allan and helped Everton dominate midfield with his passing, harrying and tackling.

The 22-year-old Davies had feared his prospects had gone at Goodison but found Ancelotti’s man-management skills worked just as well with him as they once did with Paolo Maldini, Frank Lampard and Arjen Robben.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin continued his incredible form after scoring the opener vs Brighton

James Rodriguez scored his second and third Everton goals as the hosts downed Brighton 4-2

‘I spoke to him and he said he didn’t want me to go on loan — he saw me as an important part of the squad,’ revealed Davies.

‘To hear that from him, it put my mind at ease. I’m grateful for the opportunity and have to keep working hard to keep myself in the manager’s thoughts.’

Nobody has benefited more than Calvert-Lewin, who has started the season with a bang and rose like his mentor Duncan Ferguson to head the opening goal after 16 minutes.

From being considered a raw talent before Ancelotti arrived, he is now earning comparisons with Harry Kane and could make his England debut against Wales this week.

‘The gaffer has worked with the best players and teams around. He knows what’s good for his players and it’s been proved with what he’s done here,’ added Davies.

‘It’s no surprise Dom is scoring. The quality he has, it was only a matter of time with the knowledge the manager has brought. I’m good mates with Dom and it is well deserved.’

The only cloud is the form of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford whose blunder gifted Neal Maupay a 41st-minute equaliser before Everton took control again with a Rodriguez brace and a Yerry Mina header, with Brighton scoring a late consolation from Yves Bissouma.

Brighton have endured a difficult fixture list, losing to Chelsea, Manchester United and now Everton. It was a surprise to see Adam Lallana only come on as a late substitute.

‘Adam is adapting to playing a lot more football,’ said manager Graham Potter about his summer signing from Liverpool. ‘Sometimes we can use him at the start, sometimes at the end. We are pleased with what he is doing.’

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