Florentino Perez seems to have made up his mind about the future of Carlo Ancelotti and the Italian will most likely leave Real Madrid next week. The coach wants to stay, the players want him to stay and most of the fans too. But once the president has made a decision, there is very little that can be done.
Ancelotti is without a doubt the manager that has provided Real Madrid with a more calm environment since Vicente del Bosque, he won La Decima and he broke an all-time straight victories record. Yet, to the president’s eyes, he has sinned gravely by failing to win any of the major titles this season.
The Los Blancos boss has made a few terrible mistakes this season, there is no doubt about that:
- During the whole season, he has refused to rest key players that were playing too many minutes. That is the case of Toni Kroos, who seemed pretty tired during some stages of the season but kept playing every game from the start. For a team that plays six competitions per season, a certain rotation is necessary to reach the end of the year in good shape.
- He has underestimated all the substitutes. Players like Jese Rodriguez, Asier Illarramendi and Chicharito Hernandez could have helped the team in many occasions, but most of the times they weren’t given the chance. When a player receives such a lack of trust from his coach, problems appear, as it happened when the Mexican went furious in an interview –although he would later get more action thanks to Karim Benzema’s injury.
- He didn’t have the courage to sit some of the stars on the bench when they were putting in one poor performance after another. Iker Casillas and Gareth Bale had some terrible runs that would have caused them to lose their spot in the starting eleven should they have any other manager.
Despite of all, it is very difficult to think of a coach that can be better for Real Madrid than Carlo Ancelotti. These are some of the reasons why Ancelotti deserves to stay:
- He has created an atmosphere of peace around the squad that has helped the players a lot. Real lacked this since 2003, when Vicente del Bosque was fired. His good relationship with the press and with the players has helped reduce controversy and conflict, which is a very tough task at a club like Madrid.
- He has built strong bonds with the captains and the most important players of the squad, contributing to unite the team and obtain a higher commitment from his footballers.
- He has managed to give balance to a team build without any common sense. After replacing two midfielders with great defensive skills –Xabi Alonso and Angel di Maria– with two pure playmakers –Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez– it seemed almost impossible that the team wouldn’t break in two. Yet, Ancelotti was able to find a good balance between defence and attack, earning an impressive record of 22 straight wins.
If we started counting the titles he’s won and all the records he’s broken, the list of Ancelotti’s achievements would be pretty long, but those are goals any other manager could have reached with some effort. However, those three accomplishments mentioned above will hardly be met by any other.
Being Real Madrid manager is probably one of the most difficult jobs in football. Ancelotti is not the perfect man for this position, but he’s certainly close to it. If he learnt to rotate players a little more and valued his footballers for their performances rather than for their status, not even Florentino Perez would dare to question his suitability, regardless of the titles won. Any manager that comes will be at least a little bit less perfect.