Carlo Ancelotti’s rapid exit from Everton to take over at Real Madrid was a shock for Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The Italian left Goodison Park this week after 18 months at the helm to return to the Spanish capital for a second stint with Los Blancos.
Ancelotti’s return to the Santiago Bernabeu caught everyone on the hop – even the Everton dressing room.
England star Calvert-Lewin said: “It’s come as a shock. I don’t think anybody expected it.
“But it’s how football works and you have to move forward.
“I haven’t spoken to anybody at the club, apart from the Everton lads who are with England but we all felt the same.
“It’s a big, big surprise, but you just have to roll with these things in football.
“When Carlo came in, I was just hitting some good form under Big Dunc.
“But for a manager of his stature to come in and put his belief in me like he did was all that I needed at that time.
“Carlo’s temperament and the way he manages players was a great fit for me. He managed to get some great form out of me.
“He didn’t really give me too many instructions other than just to be more focused in the box, those were his words.
“He made quite a big thing of me scoring off one touch which has worked well this season.
“He stressed my job is to score goals so if I get players in to create chances my job’s to put them in the back of the net and I think particularly in the first part of the season, that’s how it went.”
But the Toffees No.9 doesn’t feel abandoned – because he’s still got mentor Duncan Ferguson.
“Big Dunc is pretty cool, calm and collected in a similar way to Carlo, He always oozes calmness.
“Whether at half time when he’s saying to do this and that – it’s always in a calm manner although he can lose his head when telling us something we need to be told!”
Will Everton improve next season without Carlo Ancelotti? Comment below
Calvert-Lewin is now looking ahead to the Euros, having been booked for catching Austrian defender Aleksander Dragovic’s head executing a monster leap which Cristiano Ronaldo would have been proud to own in the 1-0 win.
Belgian referee Lawrence Visser wasn’t so impressed – and yellow carded the England star who admits he’ll have to watch his step in the tournament.
“I was a bit bemused. The ref blew the whistle and started running over to me and I was thinking ‘what have I done other than contest for the header?’
“Usually the defender jumps with me – so I’m less likely to land on his head! This time, he didn’t and the ref deemed it a yellow for dangerous play.
“Maybe I’ll have to be a bit cuter if that’s going to be how they are going to referee games because I’ve never been booked for that before.
“It used to be that you were told to jump into your man during my non-league days.
“The game has changed a bit – and I’m sure it will be different to what I am used to in the Premier League when I play in the Euros.
“It’s about learning – and learning fast about what you can and can’t do” says Calvert-Lewin who was a jumping star at school.
“It’s just something I’ve always been able to do – no one could ever beat me at the long jump at school as a kid.
“I was a natural and remember in my first three years of secondary school, when we used to do sports day, I was always number one.”