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How Everton goalkeepers have been taught Ancelotti philosophy

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Everton coach Alan Kelly has lauded Maarten Stekelenburg's influence on his teammates, and explained how Carlo Ancelotti's style has been implemented on the club's goalkeepers.

The Blues' options in goal are set to look a little different next term with the departure of former Dutch international Stekelenburg being confirmed earlier this month.

The 37-year-old has signed an extension to keep him at Goodison Park for the remainder of the campaign, but will then leave the club to rejoin Ajax next season.

And goalkeeper coach Kelly explains how he has used the veteran shot-stopper as an example for younger players in the Everton squad to look up to during his time at the club.

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He told evertonfc.com: “I say to our young keepers, look at this man. Look at the career that he’s had, the way he handles himself and learn from him.

"He’s played in the World Cup final and he’s someone’s whose work ethic is still fantastic.

“He’s always first on the training pitch and last out. If someone wants to go out and practise a few extra shots he’ll always put his hand up to do that.

“To have the chance to watch someone of that quality for those young goalkeepers provides a fantastic learning experience.”

Everton have returned to Premier League action with four points in their last two matches, thanks a a goalless draw in the Merseyside derby and a 1-0 win over Norwich City.

That has continued an improved level of form and performances since Ancelotti took over at Goodison, which still sees the Blues in the hunt for potential Europa League qualification.

The entire squad have worked hard to pick up the new manager's techniques, and that has been no different for the goalkeepers.

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“During the lockdown we had video calls and went over the manager’s playing philosophy and how it impacts the goalkeeper in game situations," Kelly added.

“From my own stats, a goalkeeper could have up to 50 distribution actions within the game, through goal kicks, back passes and restarts.

“That adds up to a lot of possession for the goalkeeper. As a keeper, it’s about using the ball within the manager’s philosophy and the tactics on the day against that particular team.

“During the calls, we went over clips and I asked for their opinions, too. As a coach, you’ve got to listen as well and I found that fantastic as an exercise.

“I got their in-depth opinions on certain situations, in terms of receiving a back pass or taking a goal kick – what was the thought process when they had the ball at their feet?

“It was a real two-way process and I think everyone now fully understands what it required of them and when.”

Jordan Pickford has been Everton's starting goalkeeper since he joined the club from Sunderland in the summer of 2017.

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The 26-year-old has made himself England's No. 1 in that time and his coach at the Blues puts that down to his desire on the training pitch every day.

“He shows a real burning desire to improve on a daily basis,” Kelly remarked.

“Every week, during lockdown, he embraced the sessions we set up for him. Not only that, but he was recording sessions and sending those back to us for review.

“You don’t do that if you’re not invested in yourself and not wanting to use that time to improve.

“His work ethic is fantastic. Any sessions you put on or require of him, he gets on with it with full gusto.

“As a coach it’s a pleasure to be able to work with someone who has that desire to work hard, improve and do what he can to help the team. That’s all you can ask for.”




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