Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti insists it is an honour to be compared to Jose Mourinho and is delighted when people describe his own tactics as “old style”.
Ancelotti may have won more Champions Leagues (three) than his Tottenham counterpart (two) but the Portuguese has the edge on league titles (eight) to the Italian’s four – although both have had success in four different national championships.
With an age difference of just over three years between them, Ancelotti believes the pair have a lot of similarities in their philosophies and so is happy to be mentioned in the same breath.
“It is an honour for me to be compared to Jose but we didn’t talk too much about this,” said the Everton manager, who will have to get past Mourinho’s side at Goodison Park on Wednesday in order to guide the club to their first FA Cup quarter-final in five years.
“I think we are really close with our idea of football. How I see his team play can be comparable to us.
“He is focused defensively and offensively like I am. Mourinho’s team are always in balance, which means they do a good job defensively and offensively.
“I don’t know if it is a new style of football but for me to be compared to his style of football is an honour.
“If they say to me ‘Your team is playing old style football’, I am pleased.”
The 1995 FA Cup was the last piece of silverware to make it into the Goodison Park trophy cabinet.
Ancelotti is aware supporters are yearning for something to celebrate again but he insists his priority remains to qualify for Europe by improving their league position, although winning the FA Cup would gain entry into the Europa League.
“We are working for this. I know how Evertonians are desperate to win trophies,” said the Toffees boss.
“I don’t know if it is the right time this season but what I can assure is we are doing everything to have a trophy here as soon as possible.
“For the stability of the club, the most important is to reach a position in Europe.
“Of course for the happiness winning a trophy will be important but the stability of the club is going to have a big improvement reaching the European positions.”
Ancelotti will make a late decision on the fitness of playmaker James Rodriguez and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford ahead of the visit of Spurs.
The Colombia international was taken off as a precaution in the 3-3 draw at Manchester United after complaining of a tight calf, while Pickford has sat out the last two matches with a rib injury.
“I have to wait till training to see if Pickford and James are available,” said Ancelotti.
“James had a little problem on his calf, a tight calf. I took him off after 70 minutes to avoid risk.
“He will try (in training) and if he feels comfortable he is going to play; if not he will train Thursday, Friday and Saturday and if he is OK, he is going to play Sunday.”