Ancelotti and Madrid – a perfect fit

The separation is now a reality. On Monday Real Madrid announced Jose Mourinho’s departure at the end of the season, bringing to a close months of speculation.

His reign at the club has been chaotic to say the least. Fraught relationships with players and media alike marred his time in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu and have seemingly damaged his reputation as a manager. The Copa del Rey loss last Friday at the hands of cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid was a fitting end to his turbulent spell. Now with Mourinho on the verge on an exit, it’s time for the club to move on.

Rumours have it that Ancelotti is pushing for a Paris Saint-Germain exit in order to take up the reins in the Spanish capital. Real Madrid President Florentino Perez has long admired the Italian and his credentials, and previously tried to sign him up in 2009 upon his return to the club for a second run as president. Four years on and it looks as though Perez’s prayers may have finally been answered.

And although Ancelotti’s CV may not be as illustrious as his controversial predecessor, he may be the right man to finally bring the club success.

Firstly, Ancelotti possesses a tactical edge over his Portuguese counterpart. He once was a midfielder himself and seemingly understands the game, showcasing a vast array of tactical knowledge. Throughout his managerial career, he has favoured a 4-3-2-1 formation, making use of playmakers both in deep and advanced roles on the pitch, providing at previous clubs for a much more attacking style football.

Described by Marca on Monday as a ‘peacemaker’, Ancelotti is made of steel, he possesses a strong character and a cool head, attributes which are needed to manage a side with such high expectations. Also his ability to shy away from the spotlight will be treasured by many, a stark contrast to Mourinho’s ‘outspoken’ personality.

The Italian has had an impressive record of maintaining healthy relationships in the past, and most notably with difficult characters such as Silvio Berlusconi and Roman Abramovich. And finally he demands and generates respect in the dressing room. He is a Coach with excellent man management skills, reflected in that he is seen as a father figure to many a player. His shrewdness could see him iron out the cracks at Madrid made visible by his controversial predecessor.

Los Merengues have in the past confronted Europe’s top trainers, but none of them can boast of a higher reputation. His managerial success at cash-rich PSG has persuaded Perez that the Italian is the man for the job. With Mourinho gone, it’s time for Los Blancos to assert their dominance, and Ancelotti is the man to get Madrid winning again.

Importantly, the Italian will step into the job knowing he has the full backing of the board, fans and the media, a relationship which may be vital in ending Madrid’s Decima hoodoo.