Undoubtedly the best period of Ancelotti’s coaching career was at Milan. It was the time when Milan had Maldini, Gatusso was more in verve than ever, Pirlo and Kaka were young and capable of performing miracles and Inzaghi upfront could have been invisible for 89 minutes and change the fate of a game with a single touch. They could have been Real and Barca put together back in those days.
Having players like that around, one would think that there’s not much left for a manager to do. Oh but there is, coaching is not only about picking the 1st eleven from a group of 20 talented and expensive players… There’s the need for coherence, lucidity, for great atmosphere in the locker room, but maybe most of all for motivational skills, and that’s something that Mr Ancelotti profoundly lacks.
You know those situations when suicidal people going up on buildings and threaten to jump? The police always brings in a negotiator or someone to prevent a tragedy. Well, if that negotiator would be Ancelotti not only that the respective person would jump, but all bystanders listening to Ancelotti talk would also get up and jump, only not to hear him anymore…
By far the biggest motivator at PSG is Ibrahimovic, as every time a teammate makes a wrong pass or has a lazy run, only the look on Ibra’s face is enough for an improved and more determined attitude. So maybe he could be a playing coach, like we see in lower leagues all over Europe…
Vision is also a must for every coach, vision to foresee how a game could evolve with a certain player in the field, and that is also something Ancelotti lacks. Past season when defensive midfielder Bodmer was in top form and PSG were conceding 2 goals per game, he insisted with 3 offensive midfielders, leaving Bodmer out and the defenders in pain and suffering. Now he started using the weakest links: Armand and Maxwell, both starters… Their left flank will be look like Hiroshima after the bomb… especially since Menez will also play on that side, and I don’t remember him ever being so unmotivated and soft (maybe because of the coach…?)
If you have some free time and start to browse forums dedicated to Chelsea’s fans you will realize they had the exact same issues back when Ancelotti was coaching them. There was immense quality in the squad, but no motivation whatsoever. Some people even blame him for Torres never adapting at Chelsea and always playing at an amateurish level.
PSG is owned by the state of Qatar which is owned by the Al Thani family… (rulers of Qatar). They are fully enjoying their new role on the international stage. They are more and more important to the region as day goes by. They are involved in Syria, recently Gaza (pretty soon they will have more influence there than Iran), rubbing bellies with US president Obama on weekly basis, and everyone seems to be asking for a sponsorship from them… With all these going on you can imagine that there’s very little time for hobbies like football and subsequently PSG… Time is short, but money isn’t, as PSG is funded by the surpluses from gas and oil, and it seems there’s a lot of that going around. There was already a big infusion of funds that helped pay for important transfers, and now, rumor has it, there will be even more money coming in.
It looks like the passion for football is at high levels in the Al Thani family (they even managed to bring the World Cup to Qatar… and it may be the first competition of its kind played in the winter…) and the expectations aren’t high. Maybe they are looking ahead and wish to build a project for the future, but why ignore the present? Especially since now you have all the means available at your disposal?
The expectations might not be high for them, but there’s a different story with the fans and many other people around the world that were bombarded since summer with news on the new and upgraded PSG on every mainstream channel in this world, from CNN, Euronews and Al Jazeera to MTV, Cartoon Network and the Disney Channel… The pressure will soon start to mount as PSG aren’t showing even half of their true potential when playing. Champions League will most probably end for them after the first round in spring, and Ligue 1 will be just as balanced as it was last year, when they lost the little in the final rounds. For their sake and for the wonderful fans that fill the stadium at each home game, let’s hope it won’t get to that.
If there’s a bookie giving odds for Ancelotti to get sacked till the end of the season, jump on them while the price is good (and please let me know in comments) as, in this manner, there’s nowhere to go for PSG but down…If they want to avoid an international embarrassment they will change Ancelotti.