Former Everton striker Louis Saha says Carlo Ancelotti has made his old club “better in so many ways” this season – but thinks a Champions League finish is still out of their reach.
Everton top the Premier League table after four wins and a draw from their first five matches of the campaign, having salvaged a 2-2 draw against Merseyside rivals Liverpool last weekend.
Only Tottenham have managed more goals than the Toffees’ haul of 14 so far this term, but Saha – who turned out at Goodison Park for three-and-a-half seasons from 2008-12 – isn’t quite convinced they can sustain such excellence over a 38-game season.
“I think they’ve improved through being more consistent, and I hope they can carry on keeping this consistency going through the season, keep it up,” he told FourFourTwo, speaking on behalf of BT Sport.
“I think it is probably still too early for them to challenge the top four – if they get one or two injuries, then it might affect them a little bit. The top four still have bigger and better squads.
“The manager has been very important. He has improved their confidence and their mentality. But very importantly, he’s also got a real plan for them. It has made them better in so many ways and it’s really visible. The previous teams over the last couple of years were pretty good, but perhaps the overall gameplan wasn’t so clear.
“Now there is a gameplan, like when they use the diamond formation that the manager likes, and it is working well for them. The way they defend and attack just makes sense now, and I think the boys like that clean plan, that visibility – everybody knowing their job.
“I think they’ll finish just outside the top four.”
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