Former Everton left-back Michael Ball has urged Rafa Benitez to learn a lesson from Carlo Ancelotti ahead of the Toffees’ clash with West Ham after the international break.
Sunday sees former Blues boss David Moyes welcomed at Goodison Park in an evocative clash of similar systems made all the more poignant by Moyes’ Everton past.
As Ball himself noted, ‘it shows you how mad football is, it’s a strange business’.
However, Ball turned his attention to communication and backroom staff – urging Everton to learn lessons from the equivalent fixture last season where Ball noted the energy and efficiency of communication between West Ham players and the bench.
Writing in a column in the Liverpool Echo, Ball urged his former side to operate more on the front foot and incorporate lessons learned from previous clashes between the two sides:
“I remember the game because I was there and it was one of those nights when only 2,000 fans were allowed in.
It was freezing but I was really excited for the game because it was an opportunity to listen to the coaching staff on the respective benches and the kind of information that you don’t normally get to hear because there’s 40,000 people there.
Sadly, the Everton bench was very quiet but for West Ham there was Stuart Pearce and Alan Irvine – the whole bench were shouting and throwing out information to the players who were reacting to it.”
“Hopefully we can learn from that and for us to be the dominant team. That’s what Rafa wants from Goodison with it being a massive atmosphere. To do that you’ve got to set the team up in a certain way.”
Read Everton Verdict
The weekend clash could be an effective litmus test of progress under Benitez.
Both teams are similar in style and ambitions for the season and will be vying for similar outcomes at the denouement of the season.
In that view, three points could be monumental in pushing on up the table as Rafa Benitez continues to defy his doubters.