Sean Dyche has revealed the reassuring advice former Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti delivered to him prior to a Premier League fixture against Burnley.
Dyche, who today was confirmed as the new Everton manager, was the Clarets' boss for a decade and enjoyed a wealth of success during that time as he secured promotion to the Premier League on two separate occasions before helping the club stay in the top flight for a prolonged period of time prior until their relegation in May 2022.
But Dyche, who also guide the Clarets into Europe after a seventh-placed finish , was often perceived as a limited manager, who could only govern his players in a 4-4-2, 'long-ball' style. But speaking prior to Everton's clash against their Premier League counterparts in March 2021, Ancelotti was having none of that.
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"I can say that I like a lot their style of play. Why? Because they play clear 4-4-2. I was born 4-4-2 with Arrigo Sacchi as player and assistant," said the then Blues manager when quizzed for his thoughts on Burnley's style of play.
"Burnley explain really well how you have to play 4-4-2. What can I say? He (Dyche) is a good guy. We have spent some time before games but nothing more but I respect the style of play of Burnley and I like it a lot.
"They are not inventing a new football but they are playing a really good 4-4-2. Because football is already invented, a long time ago and I think that managers that think they invent football, they are wrong."
Speaking on the High Performance podcast this week, just days before being appointed as Everton's new manager, Dyche recalled the exchange and revealed his admiration for the legendary Italian.
"I saw Carlo Ancelotti. We played them and he came out and said, 'I keep reading all this stuff about Sean Dyche, long-ball, 4-4-2. Has anyone ever thought that I played 4-4-2 for two-thirds of my career? They do brilliant, how they work'," said Dyche.
"[He was] very complimentary. So I saw him before the game and I said, 'Carlo, thanks for your words because they do help. Somebody as legendary as you and what you've done'.
"He did make me laugh. He said: 'Sean, they tell me I should do this, they tell me I should do that. They tell me I should choose him, they tell me I should choose him. So I'll get my 35 years of experience and put it in the toilet!' I just burst out laughing and he just looked at me like [gestures with shoulders]."
Dyche added: "It's true though it's the modern game; everyone's got an opinion and everyone tells you something. Sometimes you just have to rationalise it and think really is it really going to affect what I do if somebody says you're long ball or short ball?
"Not really because I know what I'm doing inside, I know the way we're working with the players. I know what we want from the players, I know the development of my players; you've seen all the stats we buy players for £2m and sell them for £20m. It's a simple development tool - it's not rocket science."
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