Carlo Ancelotti kept his word on Bernard this season. More than that, the Brazilian prove the Everton boss completely right.
Bernard could well have left Everton ahead of the season. AS Roma reportedly wanted him, per the Liverpool Echo, but the Toffees said no.
Or more specifically, Carlo Ancelotti said no and gave Bernard his word that he’d use him.
“I have confidence in him [Bernard] and in the future, he is going to play,” Ancelotti said, again per the Echo.
That’s actually quite a brave stance. Bernard only started 15 games last season and hadn’t played in the Premier League by the time Ancelotti said that. On top of it all, is that the Brazilian is reportedly the highest-paid player at Everton on £120k-a-week, per Sportrac.
Moving the player on will have tempted nearly everyone at Everton, then. They could have got money for a player they barely use and get his substantial wages off the books.
Instead, Ancelotti wanted to keep him with a personal guarantee that he’ll get games. The first opportunity to prove himself came last month.
Richarlison received a red card against Liverpool, ruling him out of three games. Bernard was an obvious replacement as a left-sided forward player who plays a similar style of cutting inside.
And it’s safe to say that Ancelotti was true to his word. He called on Bernard at half-time against Southampton and then gave him half an hour against Newcastle United.
That earned him his first start of the Premier League campaign at home to Manchester United. And Bernard repaid Ancelotti’s faith.
He scored Everton’s only goal and created two chances in the game. Only Marcus Rashford (four) managed more than that out of the two teams.
So you have to say that’s fantastic management from Ancelotti. He took a risk, gave a player his word, and then followed it through. More than that, he got a good performance out of a squad player in a difficult game.
No, the United game didn’t go Everton’s way. But Bernard’s performance, on the back of Ancelotti’s management, is a genuine positive.
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