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Carlo Ancelotti’s decision to initiate Robin Olsen and bank Jordan Pickford at Leicester City on Wednesday night turned out to be a huge risk for the near-flop Everton.
The England goalkeeper was eliminated for the 2-0 victory at the King Power Stadium with AS Roma borrower Olsen entering the fold only because of his second appearance at Everton since joining a one-season contract.
The Swedish international was beaten twice on his Newcastle United debut last month but had the chance to settle in the East Midlands with Ancelotti keen to manage his players’ workload through the hectic holiday schedule.
Should Ancelotti keep sending Pickford for Olsen?
Yes you should rotate your GK
No, you must keep one
Ancelotti famous After the defeat of Newcastle he had chosen to rotate his options in goal since he is used to alternating between his goalkeepers, having decided to trust different players while he was in charge of Real Madrid and SSC Napoli.
The Italian confirmed after the Leicester game that Pickford’s omission was again a purely tactical decision, and that the English international will return between the posts when Everton host Arsenal at Goodison Park this weekend.
“Just to rotate the players and keep him involved. He’s a serious professional, a good, experienced goalkeeper and that’s it. On Saturday Jordan will be in goal ”, Ancelotti said.
Ancelotti may be willing to dive between Olsen and Pickford as the games start to pile up, but the decision to ditch the England international in Leicester almost proved costly for the Toffees on a night in which they moved closer to a Foxes point, fourth classified.
Olsen started well at King Power Stadium to make an impressive save to deny his Roma teammate Cengiz Under a Premier League first goalBut he let the high quickly turn to low as the lack of cohesion with Everton’s bottom line opened the door for Jamie Vardy to attack.
A little more Vardy quality again might have seen Olsen beaten, only for the Foxes hitman to head straight for the goalie after finding a delicious cross from James Justin.
Olsen’s limited playing time so far this season ensured there would be times against Leicester when he and the Toffees’ defenders weren’t on the same page, an aspect Ancelotti should have tried to avoid including in his plans at a game of great importance.
The loss at King Power Stadium would have seen Everton slip behind West Ham United in the race for European football, but instead they are firmly in the mix at the one-third stage of the season.
Ancelotti must now think carefully about benching Pickford in any future Premier League match, as Olsen has been convinced of his ability to replace £ 100,000 per week Sunderland product when it matters most.
And in other news, Everton enter a four-way battle to sign a courageous 21-goal scorer in January.