Mikel Arteta vs Carlo Ancelotti: Can the managerial Newbie get one over the seasoned Veteran?

Adam Scotson by Adam Scotson / 21 February 2020, 13:48

When Arsenal faced Everton before Christmas both sides were led by caretaker managers - Freddie Ljungberg and Duncan Ferguson - and each club was in a fairly uninspiring run of form which in turn led to a rather drab 0-0 draw. 

Since then, Mikel Arteta has taken charge of Arsenal whereas Carlo Ancelotti is now at the helm of Everton. They’ve lost only one Premier League match apiece, which has raised their respective hopes of making a push for European qualification. 

Below, we look at how each manager is getting on in their new surroundings, and what we could expect from Sunday’s tasty clash at the Emirates...

Everton’s change of style under Carlo Ancelotti

When Marco Silva was at the helm, Everton regularly set up in the 4-2-3-1 formation with a distinct lack of service to the lone striker. 

Ancelotti’s regime at Goodison has, thus far, proven a welcoming change for the Everton squad, with the adoption of a 4-4-2 formation having a huge impact on the club’s results on the pitch. The Toffees have subsequently won five and lost just one of their eight Premier League games under the Italian, while they are currently enjoying a five game unbeaten run.

Having said this, as a manager Ancelotti failed to win either of his last two games against Arsenal in which he employed a 4-4-2 formation - when he was in charge of Napoli - failing to score in each clash. Although prior to this, at Bayern Munich he hammered the Gunners 5-1 twice when using a 4-2-3-1 formation.

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Mikel Arteta played for Everton between 2005 and 2011

Is Mikel Arteta still finding his feet at Arsenal?

Since Arteta’s first win in charge of Arsenal - a convincing 2-0 triumph at home to Man Utd - which came in his third match, his troops have gone unbeaten in a further eight matches in all competitions. 

However, prior to thrashing Newcastle last time out, Arsenal had frustratingly drawn four straight league games, meaning he has a rather unspectacular current tally of 11 points from eight matches.

Since his appointment the former Everton midfielder has stuck with a single striker formation with reasonably limited success; having only scored more than once in three of his 11 matches. 

With potential for implementing two strikers, plus the pace of Nicolas Pepe on one flank, Arteta could take a risk and play both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette together up front.

Head-To-Head

Unsurprisingly this will be Arteta’s first game against Everton as a manager, but as Pep Guardiola’s assistant Man City won nine of the 10 clashes - take from that what you will.

Ancelotti has faced Arsenal a total of 10 times, five of which he’s won, while he’s been victorious in two of the five fixtures at the Emirates.

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