Carlo Ancelotti is on the brink of joining Real Madrid as the manager of the club as Los Blancos look to come out from the bitter era of Jose Mourinho. Mourinho failed to win the tenth Champions League title for Madrid despite having a talented side at his disposal. At the end of that reign, there was a lot of protest erupting from within the team with public expressions of distrust in the manager.
‘The Special One’ could not stop the Catalan juggernaut either as it eventually came out on top by a distance last season. However, Mourinho’s failures have nothing to do with the expectations that will arise at the arrival of Ancelotti. He will be handed a huge list of demands and anything short of it will not be good enough.
His task is made further difficult by the fact that he will inherit a side with a lot of star-power and that is never easy to manage. He will definitely be a different kind of man-manager. An anti-thesis to Mourinho’s over the top style, the Italian is more understated and authoritative.
He is an able tactician and will want to colour the squad with his own ideas without wholesale changes. It remains to be seen how he resolves some of the ongoing debates at the club one of which surrounds out-of-form goal-keeper Iker Casillas. He will not have a lot of time to settle into the club as it is already the end of June.
Here is a list of five things that we can expect at Real Madrid with the arrival of the Italian.
Better relationship with fans
Jose Mourinho’s relationship with the fans had grown bitter by the end of last season. His antics had created an atmosphere where most Real Madrid fans began to believe that Mourinho wanted to be the biggest image at the club. Though the truth of that perception is something that can never be tested, the presence of the perception itself was a deterrent for the club. Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival will give a fresh beginning to the club with fans re-investing support into more-or-less the same set of players.
Real Madrid already have a great core group of players who can lead Madrid to success next season. Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema to name a few. Ancelotti will have to address a few concerns like Kaka and Higuain, who look set to end their spell at the club.
Ancelotti has already been linked to a move for Brazilian midfielder Paulinho whereas Gareth Bale is bound to arrive sooner or later. Plus any manager, who will have the economic firepower that Real Madrid offers, would like to set up some of his favorite players to build a team that perfectly represents his footballing philosophy.
Change of tactics
PSG was a bitter-sweet campaign for Ancelotti but he did earn a lot of accolades for his tactical set-up against Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. He showed that he does not necessarily need swift legs to compose a team as he deployed 37-year-old David Beckham in a quarter back role for his ability to throw accurate balls to Lucas Moura and Christophe Jallet on the break.
He changed his set-up at Camp Nou giving Marco Verratti a part to play in his side and he did so admirably. Even though PSG eventually lost out on the semi-finals spot, not many teams have managed to evade defeat over two legs against the Catalan giants. He will definitely bring his defensive organisation to the side, it will not be as attractive an exhibition of football as is boasted of by some managers around the world but it will be effective.
Better Man Management
Real Madrid need a figure at the helm of the club who has the composure and status of Ancelotti. Mourinho ended up creating a troubled dressing room as was evidenced from his spats with Iker Casillas, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Sergio Ramos. His public appearances became an issue for the Club President, who was defied by Mourinho on multiple occasions. Ancelotti is a professional who sets himself strict boundaries and is unlikely to be involved in ugly public debates with his own players. You can expect him to create a team out of individuals as he did at Milan and at Chelsea.
He’s won almost everything that is out there to be won. Scudetto in 2004, the Champions League in 2003 and 2007, the Coppa Italia in 2003 and a Premier League and cup double with Chelsea. It will be his first major stint in Spanish football and he will be hungry for success. His record suggests that there is nothing lacking in his ability to taste success with the group of players he has at Madrid. He needs to dethrone the Catalan giants but with Bayern Munich’s success, it is evident that it is not an impossible task.
Ancelotti and Real Madrid sound like a pairing fated for success.