It’s a familiar sight, a suave Italian walking on the Crosby beach, completely content in his new surroundings.
For those who believed that Carlo Ancelotti’s surprise appointment as Everton manager was a fleeting flight of fantasy by a Goodison Park boardroom punching above their weight are starting to think again.
There will be many more strolls by the sea close to his Merseyside home as he goes about causing waves of excitement with the Toffees in the Premier League.
“The project is very ambitious. We are building the new stadium and improving the quality of the squad,” he said. “There are all the ingredients to come back to the top – to fight, to be competitive in England and Europe.”
He signed a contract until June 2024 but added: “I want to stay (past 2024) but it doesn’t mean we can’t be competitive before the end of this contract. We can win trophies before then. We have to continue to improve.”
Under Ancelotti Everton have already enjoyed the best start to a season in 126 years when they opened the campaign with seven straight wins.
Ancelotti compares his current task as similar to the one which met him when he took over at AC Milan, a club he had graced as a player. He said: “When I went to Milan in the first period they wanted to restore the club’s history, like Everton now.
“This club wants to be competitive with the top teams in the Premier League.
“I don’t know if it will be this year but for sure in the future we will be there.”
Ancelotti has a reputation for going about his business with a quiet, often charming manner but don’t ever misjudge that as softness. He added: “I had teachers in my life, my father and teachers at school who were quiet. I grew up like this. But sometimes I shout. When I am angry and upset I speak Italian.”
When Ancelotti took over 12 months ago Everton were languishing in 15th place but he knew with support from owner Farhad Moshiri and chairman Bill Kenwright he could have the old stadium rocking again.
“We had a squad with young players, a lot of talented players,” he said. “I thought we could improve the squad by having some more experienced players.”
In came James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure to provide that but Ancelotti was quick to add: “But we signed Ben Godfrey, a really young talent, Niels Nkounkou and Robin Olsen too.
“The transfer window was good for us. The average age of the squad is 25, 26. It is a good age to try to do something special.
“The major improvement in the past year is the stability. We are not up and down like we were last season.”
The 61-year-old Italian admits that watching ‘Howard’s Way’ a film which captures Howard Kendall’s team which reigned supreme in the 1980s has helped drive him towards attempting to emulate that golden era.
He said: “It is a really emotional movie, a nice movie. We want to give supporters the same feelings as the period when Everton won the League (twice) and FA Cup with Howard Kendall the legend.
“To win the League today? In England this is difficult. There is no country where the competitiveness matches the Premier League.
“I don’t feel pressure. I love what I’m doing. I feel really good coming here every day.”