Some Everton fans have been reacting on social media, after Bernard claimed that his recent form has come as a result of the freedom allowed by manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Bernard has been in and out of the first-team since Ancelotti was appointed as Marco Silva’s permanent successor in December, with the Italian calling on the 27-year-old to feature against Burnley, Brighton, West Ham and Newcastle in the Premier League.
His display at home to the Magpies earned him a standing ovation from the Goodison Park crowd when taken off in the 83rd-minute, before Steve Bruce’s visiting side would secure a dramatic point with two stoppage-time goals.
Bernard initially opened the draw on the left-hand side of our four-man midfield, but drifted centrally throughout the encounter and it was from the middle where the £18million-rated playmaker lifted the ball through to Moise Kean to open the scoring.
Ancelotti had looked elsewhere in his squad when we beat Newcastle at St. James’ Park back in December, and again in Saturday’s comeback victory over Watford, but Bernard has been pleased with what he has been able to produce under the former Real Madrid coach.
“I am really happy with my performances and that I have been able to help the team,” Bernard told EvertonTV. “Part of that is the freedom Carlo Ancelotti has given me to play.
Where should Bernard play vs Palace on Saturday?
“Now it is a process of development and understanding what the coach wants from you, evolving and developing day to day.
“What the manager has asked from me is to look to find spaces between the defensive lines. I have been able to find this space, receive the ball and turn around and play it quickly. The freedom Carlo has given me is enabling me to find these spaces.”
Bernard struck two of his three shots on target during the 2-2 draw with Newcastle, as well as taking 70 touches, playing two key balls, 33 accurate passes, making one successful dribble and two successful tackles from five attempts, per WhoScored data.
Despite his in-and-out inclusion to the starting line-up – only opening 11 league games – the £120,000-per-week ace averages the third-most key passes per 90 minutes in the top-flight of our senior players with 1.8.
That average is up marginally from the 1.7 penned last term, while so are his shots (1.1 to 1.0) and successful dribbles (2.0 to 1.7).
Here are some of the messages shared as fans reacted to Bernard’s claim that Ancelotti is allowing him to have a greater freedom on the pitch…
I love this man
— Cal (@callumspring) February 4, 2020
He’s magic 💙💙💙💙 pic.twitter.com/E8bYL2jCQT
— Laura Loves Tom 💟🙋🏻♀️💙 (@Lauz_79) February 4, 2020
I believe Bernard could be really effective playing behind the attacking duo in the foremost point of a midfield. He is highly skilful and with Carlo’s guidance he could become a star.
— Roger Williams (@RogerWi33581994) February 4, 2020
Start him then
— Tomj1878 (@tomj1878_) February 4, 2020
The magical ewok
— Big Fella Yerry (@MainManMina) February 4, 2020
Seriously can’t understand why with all the talent we have with the likes of bernard we ain’t smashing teams and why we ain’t higher in the league we are far better than the likes of man utd
— Andrew banks (@Andrewb0001878) February 4, 2020
— ⎊ carlo fantastico 💙🇮🇹 (@_jennifer1878) February 4, 2020
In other Everton news, the club will reportedly revive a failed pursuit of a £13.5m-rated defender come the summer.