Whatever you think about Ancelotti, and there’s a significant minority who are against his appointment, we’ve got to get behind him. If nothing less, he deserves our respect for what’s he’s achieved at AC Milan and we should be proud that he’s chosen our Club.
Let’s go through some of the concerns:
1. His English is poor: If management is all about communication then he’s already up against his first hurdle. Scolari suffered with his English and there’s no question Mr Ancelotti needs to spend the next month sitting in a darkened room with an English teacher. Concern rating – 8 out of 10.
2. One Serie A Title in 8 years: At the elite level of European football that’s pretty poor by anyone’s standards. It would be a bit rich for us to complain when our team has historically won a title once every half century but Chelsea (post Abramovich) will expect to win a title at least once every 3 years. However, don’t forget that during Ancelotti’s AC Milan reign there was a significant period of corruption and scandal with Juve bribing referees to win the Championship in the Calciocaos affair – hardly a level playing field. Concern rating – 7 out of 10.
3. Liverpool’s Istanbul comeback: Carlo my son, if we were 3-0 up in a Champions League final against Liverpool only to promptly lose it, you’d be out on your ear quicker than you could say ‘Blue Flag’. It would be the end. Don’t even think of pulling a stunt like that on us against those Scouse idiots. It was probably the worst capitulation in the history of European football. Concern rating – 11 out of 10.
OK, let’s look at some of the pro’s:
1. Man Management par excellence: Apparently Mr Ancelotti is revered amongst his players, staff, fans and the Italian public alike. In this respect he’s similar to Guus Hiddink and it’s instructive that Hiddink told his players that Ancelotti’s ‘like me’. David Beckham spoke out last month and said, quote, “Ancelotti is one of the greats. His man-management skills are exceptional, he’s a brilliant coach.” Beckham continued, “Milan players are pleading with him to stay”, adding that “every one of Milan’s players adores him.” Pro rating – 10 out of 10.
2. European pedigree: Unlike Scolari, Ancelotti’s got day to day management experience in one of the toughest leagues in the world. He’s won the European Cup twice playing for one of the best sides ever to grace the world stage – the late 90’s AC Milan with Van Basten, Rijkaard, Gullit and Baresi. He’s also won two European Cups as manager. His experience at every level is perfect. Pro rating – 10 out of 10.
3. Tactical awareness: Serie A is the hardest league in the world for breaking down defences and scoring goals. Ancelotti, as a defender and manager for AC Milan, is as astute a tactician as Guus Hiddink. At the top level this is imperative – just look at Ferguson’s failings in Europe last week. Fergie was made a fool out of, just as he should have been against us last year and against Bayern in 1999. Being lucky is not great management. Pro rating: 10 out of 10.
4. English: Carlo’s no fool and his English will be OK by August. Don’t forget that he’s already been interviewed in English and one of his assistants is Ray Wilkins who already talks fluent Italian and played for AC Milan himself. Getting across his message shouldn’t be a problem. Pro-rating: 5 out of 10.
So there you have it. Concerns – 26 points, Pro’s – 35.
Welcome Mr Ancelotti and don’t listen to the fools talking about ‘Brazilian football’. Arsenal do that already and whilst it’s easy on the eye, there’s still no silver in the Emirates trophy room. As we all know, it’s about the results, the fantasy football can come later.