Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has revealed he sent a personal congratulation to Jurgen Klopp after Liverpool’s Premier League title victory.
Ancelotti said it was a sign of ‘respect’ to put aside local rivalries and contact the Anfield manager after Everton’s Merseyside rivals ended their 30 year wait. The Everton boss made the comments after being informed his midfielder, Fabian Delph, has been criticised by some fans on social media for sending a well done message to Liverpool physio Lee Nobes. Delph and Nobes were colleagues at their former club Manchester City, and Delph ‘liked’ an Instagram post of Nobes wearing a shirt with the words champions. Delph added the post ‘Love it’.
Ancelotti defended his player.
“I think this is a personal behaviour. If you want to send a message to some team-mates to congratulate them, it’s absolutely normal,” said Ancelotti.
“I sent a message to Jurgen to congratulate him for his success. I think it’s important to respect, nothing more. I sent a (text) message to congratulate him by phone.”
As traditional rivals, Everton did not congratulate Liverpool for their title on social media having been among the first to do so when Manchester City pipped Klopp to the Premier League a year ago, but Ancelotti and Klopp’s friendship pre-dates their arrival on Merseyside. The rivalry between the clubs will not compromise it.
Back on the field, the Italian hopes to join Liverpool in European competition next season. Everton have made a promising start since lockdown – taking four points from their two games – and if they can maintain momentum could secure one of the remaining Europa League places, especially with all those above them still in the FA Cup, potentially freeing another qualifying spot via the Premier League.
“It would be a big achievement for all of us at the club if all the supporters could see European [football], but it is a long way to go,” he said ahead of Wednesday’s Goodison Park meeting with Leicester City.
“It will be difficult but it is a possibility and we have to fight for the possibility. The next two games we play strong teams, Leicester and Tottenham, and then we also have to play Sheffield United. There are a lot of teams involved, so it will be exciting.
“We are focused on that one hundred percent.
“It could be a great achievement to reach the Europa League for the next year. It will be a big fight until the end of the season but we want to stay there until the last minute to fight for it.”