Carlo Ancelotti was going through a difficult time before leaving Everton in in 2021.

That’s according to Duncan Ferguson, who has told the Liverpool Echo that he wasn’t surprised when the Italian left Goodison Park to return to Real Madrid.

Ancelotti’s arrival on Merseyside came as a shock in itself, as he signed a four-and-a-half year contract to replace Marco Silva in December 2019, with Ferguson named as his assistant coach.

The 64-year-old guided Everton to two mid-table finishes before he was approached by Los Blancos and opted to leave the Toffees for a second shot with the European giants.

Everton FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League
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Both the club and fans were left frustrated by Ancelotti’s departure, but Ferguson was more understanding of his decision.

“I knew he was going through a difficult time personally with his family and things like that,” Ferguson told the ECHO.

“It was difficult for Carlo at that moment in time. I knew behind the scenes that it had been tough for him the last few months at Everton. I knew that because I was so close to him.

“When he left, I knew it was heading that way for a long time because certain things had happened behind the scenes, and it was tough for him.

“He was down in Crosby, and then he got broken into, and I have a standing joke with him because they robbed the safe, but there was nothing in it!”

Everton have been on the decline since Carlo Ancelotti left

Everton have gone from looking like a club cemented in the Premier League under Carlo Ancelotti to one barely clinging onto their top flight status since.

Everton v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
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Things could have looked a lot more positive under the Italian, though the Toffees’ decision to replace him with Rafa Benitez seems to be what really forced their downfall.

Fans can think ‘what if’, but the problems were always guaranteed to continue if their owners remained at the helm.

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