Welcome Back Uncle Carlo
Big news emerging from various football corners is that Real Madrid will appoint their former boss Carlo Ancelotti. Last week Zinedine Zidane announced his decision to leave Los Blancos, penning a letter about how the powers that be do not trust him. The leading candidates to replace the Frenchman were candidates were Massimiliano Allegri, Real Madrid legend Raul Gonzalez, and Antonio Conte. However, Florentino Perez has done a U-turn and rehired Ancelotti who has left his role at Everton. Massimiliano Allegri has returned to Juventus after a two-year hiatus from the dugouts, Conte’s future remains in limbo, while Raul is set to continue with Real Madrid’s Castilla.
Perez’s decision to bring Carlo back comes as a last-minute surprise to many as the feeling is that Conte and Allegri are perfect for the rebuilding job that has to be done for the royal whites. Barcelona’s financial limitations mean that there is an opportunity to establish some domestic dominance and that area is where Allegri & Conte specialize in while Ancelotti is more of a Cup winner. Color the football world surprised when Ancelotti emerged as the leading candidate to take over the Real Madrid helms.
A Poor Record Since His Departure
Ancelotti’s record since his departure from Real is also another cause for concern. Despite winning the German Super Cup twice & the Bundesliga title, his tactical setup was scrutinized and inefficient. There were rumors of players organizing additional training sessions and he fell out with at least 5 senior players. His misuse of Thomas Muller was a major bone of contention in Germany. He was sacked after a 3-0 loss to PSG in the UEFA Champions League.
His stint at Napoli was also unremarkable failing to win any title or make any significant improvements on the side that Maurizio Sarri left behind when he moved to Chelsea. Aurelio De Laurentiis fired him in December 2019 after some major squad issues. It was truly surprising considering his avuncular nature. He would then join Everton and led them to a mediocre twelfth position in the 2019/2020 season. The 2020/2021 season started with much hope, Ancelotti won the Premier League Manager of the month award for September 2020 after leading Everton to three wins out of the first three EPL games. They were top of the EPL table for a while then a 2-2 draw with Liverpool preceded a three-match losing streak. All in all, Everton finished tenth, with no significant improvement from the previous season.
The 61-year-old’s return is the “safest” option available as he knows the squad having previously coached Real from 2013-2015 and winning the Champions League in 2014 with Zidane as his assistant. He remains a well-liked figure at the Santiago Bernabeu and his hiring is imminent, with a three-year deal set to run till 2024 already in place. However, one questions the ambitions of Florentino Perez following the move.