Failure To Learn: Carlo Ancelotti Sleepwalked To Bayern Sacking

“With Neymar and (Kylian) Mbappe, Paris is looking for an identity,”

Ancelotti told ​Le Figaro ahead of Bayern Munich’s highly anticipated Champion’s League fixture against Paris Saint-Germain earlier in the week:

 “In Bayern, it’s clear. For years, the line has been drawn, the identity is clear”

Ancelotiti continued, and he was right.

Munich’s identity is well established, so well established that it was quick to turn in unison and force out their manager.

Following a comprehensive defeat to Paris, reports of discontent were quick to disseminate from the Allianz as a vote of no confidence spread throughout Munich’s squad.

When quizzed on his thoughts about the coach and whether the squad was still behind Ancelotti, Arjen Robben responded:

“I won’t say anything about that, because any word would be too much”

In the same interview, Thomas Muller claimed that, when asked what went wrong at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday night:

“The coach calls the shots”

The sense of rehearsal was apparent, with players biting their tongues until those further up the club’s hierarchy had set to work.

As a manger with a no-nonsense approach, quick to criticise his own sides, Ancelotti has always struggled to keep in favour with those he manages.

Ancelotti’s lack of support his players was reminiscent of his time at Chelsea, when news of training ground arguments and poor morale saw the London side lose out on the Premier League title.

The Italian famously claimed it would be “no problem” if Chelsea decided to terminate his contract. But was this a sign of goodwill or complacency? Having managed big clubs in the past, and with a good chance of managing more in the future, did Ancelotti really care? Did he really fight his corner and try to win back the dressing room? From the evidence of his Bayern Munich sacking just a few days after speculation over his job began, the answer to these questions seems to be a resounding ‘no’.

Having now left Parma, Juventus, Chelsea, PSG, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich during or at the end of his second full season at each club, its obvious that a pattern in emerging. Yet, Ancelotti’s statistics denounce any argument that would suggest he is incapable of getting results and instead tell a different story.

The man wins games and trophies, only he doesn’t do enough to prepare for a longer tenure. Ancelotti has been accused in the past of doing the bare minimum, utilising light coaching and training methods to contrast his own dour demeanour. Therefore, players will never improve under his management and will either only stagnate or maintain their current level – this is epitomised by the current decline of Bayern’s squad.

The Italian can rightly feel hard done by, with his stellar record at Bayern Munich trumping those of most other managers at big clubs. Put simply, Ancelotti and Munich’s initial successes raised the bar just a touch too high for him to maintain.

The same thing happened at Chelsea. Having won the Premier League title the season before a second-place finish, expectations were beyond reason. Upon a single dissatisfactory year Carlo was without a job once again.

Now Ancelotti looks likely to take over at AC Milan whilst ex-Barcelona boss Luis Enrique is odds on to take the reigns of Die Roten.

Bayern have been, and always will be a great footballing side, but was Carlo Ancelotti enough for them or just another manager to fall victim to his own excellence?

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