For all the emotion and passion that Duncan Ferguson has instilled in Everton during the last two games, tonight’s EFL Cup quarter-final with Leicester looks set to be his last in charge.
Ferguson has worn his heart on his sleeve as interim boss and a win against Chelsea and draw away to Manchester United certainly staked his claim for the position on a full-time basis.
But there is only so long that a team’s work ethic can go into overdrive and with that in mind, the Everton hierarchy are reportedly set to hand Carlo Ancelotti the top job.
The Italian is familiar with both the Premier League and winning, and will bring with him an abundance of experience.
And it’s not just there where Ancelotti and Ferguson land at opposite ends of the spectrum.
The Scot has galvanised his side to perform through use of emotion, barking out orders and jumping around frantically on the touchline.
Ancelotti, on the other hand, has seen and done it all before, and brings with him a calmness and pragmatism that has repeatedly allowed him to get the best out of players and deal with big egos.
At Everton those egos may be few and far between compared to his time at Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or even Chelsea, but the players will have plenty of respect for him.
He is the only manager to navigate past Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool this season – beating them 2-0 with Napoli before drawing at Anfield – which should automatically endear him to the Goodison Park faithful.
If reports are to be believed, Farhad Moshiri has desired an elite manager since becoming the owner of Everton, and in Ancelotti he certainly has that, albeit with a hefty price tag.
There will be questions of the 60-year-old’s pedigree when it comes to leading what must be called a mid-table side, having previously taken charge of the aforementioned clubs as well as Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain.
However, his time at AC Milan, where he won the Champions League twice and Serie A once, began with the Italians languishing in sixth place the season before. There is a precedent for turning things around.
A different approach
The pair also differ when it comes to preferred formation. A return to a 4-4-2 under Ferguson appears to have got the best out of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but it is a system that Ancelotti is very unlikely to use himself.
At Napoli and regularly throughout his career, the Italian has used variations on a 4-3-3 with very much a laissez faire approach; he may need more of a hands-on approach with this Everton side, however.
The news will also be a huge relief for Moise Kean, whose substitution snatched the headlines away from Everton’s credible draw at Old Trafford last weekend.
The young Italian was brought on after 70 minutes and taken back off 19 minutes later after leaving Ferguson infuriated by his performance.
Whether the 47-year-old let emotion get the better of him, was simply desperate not to lose or perhaps indeed, Kean had not understood what exactly was being asked of him due to a language barrier, is still unclear.
But it ensured Ferguson was heavily criticised for not at least consoling the player in the aftermath of what should have been a memorable afternoon.
It was symptomatic of the unrelenting desire and passion Ferguson had to do well for both Everton, and inevitably himself, with a permanent manager not yet lined up.
It was this passion that inspired those results and that the Toffee fans could so readily relate to.
While Moshiri has long-desired a star name in the dugout, a win against Leicester tonight would seal a hugely successful three-game spell for Ferguson and ensure he remains firmly in the minds of both owners and fans alike should Ancelotti’s time in the north west not go to plan.