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Tuesday July 10 2018
Ancelotti is what Napoli need

Carlo Ancelotti might not have the tactical guru tendencies of Maurizio Sarri, but his practicality is what Napoli have been missing, writes Richard Hall.

You cannot call Carlo Ancelotti a gamble, but his recent appointment at Napoli feels as though it just might be. Let’s be clear that there is no disputing his pedigree, his intelligence or his adaptability, but he is entering a world laced with Maurizio Sarri.

Perhaps it is the jump from a Coach who simply coaches, to a man who wins though trust, which may scare the locals. Will they sacrifice their beautiful football? Can they compete against Juventus now with Ancelotti? There are many questions and it seems no obvious answer.

At first glance, it seems like quite a coup for the Neapolitans, as a serial winner has taken over the reins at Serie A’s nearly men. Surely a man who has won domestic leagues already in Italy as well as England, Germany and France as well as two Champions Leagues is the perfect man to allow the Partenopei to challenge The Old Lady?

The Scudetto has now taken out a mortgage in Turin. Napoli after all have a talented team, but the question does remain whether President Aurelio De Laurentiis is willing to spend money and hang on to some of their star assets. Dries Mertens has been noted by Roma, Pepe Reina has already gone to Milan, Jorginho is swapping Naples for the grey skies of Manchester and everybody wants Kalidou Koulibaly.

Ancelotti will need financial commitment if the Neapolitans are to challenge in Serie A. After all, Juventus are committed to spending this window. Inter have made some fantastic acquisitions so far, while Roma are a year on with Eusebio Di Francesco. This means challenges for a man used to the deep squads of Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich and Milan back when the Rossoneri were feared. That is not to say Ancelotti cannot still coach a talented team and provide results, but there is perhaps an issue with this. Sarri wanted nothing more than 16 players on a training field and repetition. Can Ancelotti coach to the same levels Sarri can? Does he need to?

One should not be disparaging when it comes to Ancelotti’s coaching credentials, as after all he is studious and will experiment. His dissertation at Coverciano’s coaching course was in depth analysis of the 4-3-2-1 formation (something that would go down well at the Stadio San Paolo).

Throughout his career he also showed how adaptable he was, especially as he made a self-proclaimed error in his early days at Parma. Here he played 4-4-2 religiously, understandable having played under Arrigo Sacchi at Milan for so long. This however, resulted in him playing Gianfranco Zola on the left and he also missed out on signing Roberto Baggio as he ‘didn’t fit the formation.’

Learning from this, he used a 3-4-1-2 at Juventus, a 4-3-2-1 at Milan although this soon moved to a 4-3-1-2. At Chelsea, PSG and Bayern he played 4-3-2-1, 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 showing that he was not set in his ways. The football his teams played has been effective and with a mix of handling (even if in his own unique style) big stars and an ability to utilise his rather large budgets to fit square pegs in square holes, he has managed to instil a winning mentality into his teams.

Perhaps Napoli need to move on from the free-flowing beauty that was so sumptuous under Sarri, but ultimately fruitless in terms of trophies. This may be one of the best appointments this season if he can manage to add some game management and European experience in to a team that is sublimely talented.

What Ancelotti will not want is to end up in a situation where his budget is so far behind the Northern powerhouses that it leaves them sliding down the table. After all, surely this was the beauty of Sarri? A Coach who could create so much from a squad that truth be told never really went deeper than 16 players. Whatever happens will be intriguing, as it will uncover the players’ mentality, how they can improve with more trust and freedom, or on the flip side, if they fall away as they lament the barking that used to come from behind the cloud of smoke on the touchline.

Have your say...
its catches to me like having a goergeas wallet but without money in it. In that circumstance, sarri was much suitable than with carlo now. In a Fertile land of coaches, Carlo ranks the highest orders; undoubtedly. But jeez man, ADL is hard to stomached!
on the 11th July, 2018 at 4:53pm
@Maldini Milan was never getting a top coach while the ownership nightmare continues. Just be happy we didn't re-appoint Brocchi something equally as ridiculous.

Anyways, I believe Carlo will do well.
With Jorginho gone, and Hamisk, Mertens, Callejon maybe also, I'd say Napoli need a CF (Cavani dream) and like FERBAN said a CB partner for KK plus a RB in order to have a hope competing with Juve.
on the 11th July, 2018 at 4:40pm
A suicide move for Don Carlo, when the president of a team loves to moan & complain via social media or interview, and focus more on other teams' performances & results instead of his own team then they usually are finger-on-the-trigger to fire their coaches.
People like ADL or Zamparini will never fill their teams' cupboards with prestigious trophies.
on the 11th July, 2018 at 8:21am
Ancelotti might be the man to win trophies but did he make the right choice to coach Napoli?
When your presidents keep moaning & complaining thru social medias for their teams' failure, something is definitely wrong.
Instead of focusing on other teams' success or performances, start focusing on your own teams. Don't make any excuses for your own failure.
This could be a suicide move for Don Carlo.

And last but not least, like Tony Stark said on Avengers first movie :

"We have Ronaldo."
on the 11th July, 2018 at 6:59am
I hope it works out as Juve seem almost unstoppable now they've signed Ronaldo! It will b good 4 Serie A if it's another close title race! Napoli would benefit from a new stadium but I think ADL will spend more money 4 Ancelotti?
Serie A is improving no doubt! If a few other clubs could own n/or build new stadia too it would enhance Serie A even more! Roma n Inter have had a good transfer campaign so far n Lazio don't seem eager to sell n have already improved their squad. Forza Serie A!
on the 10th July, 2018 at 10:30pm
Sarri's football was beautiful, but sooner or later other teams were going to figure out how to deal with it. That's the nature of the game.

Ancelotti was brought in to win the Scudetto, and will get far more financial support from ADL than Sarri ever would have. There will be one or two more important players to arrive before the transfer window closes. I hope Cavani will be one of them.
on the 10th July, 2018 at 2:59pm
@Maldini's Heir I think im just enjoying us having the same coach for a summer for once, I love Gattuso and I really do believe he did exceptionally well after coming in. He can definitely take us to the top 4 and if we need someone to then make that next step then I'm all for it. Im just glad Li is gone. Elliot now business and will put the right people in the right places, they will also handle any sale better, Maldini now supposedly agreeing to come back shows he trusts them and i do too.
on the 10th July, 2018 at 2:31pm
@Johnnyboy

You could say that about several teams. Inter, Milan, Napoli, Roma, Lazio could all end up delighted with 4th
on the 10th July, 2018 at 10:11am
They need a top CB partner for Koulibaly, and a decent FB back-up for Hysaj and the luckless Ghoulam.

Rugani, if Juve want to sell, and Darmian might fit those spots

Question marks remain over the goalkeeping position too with Meret untested.

Meret
Hysaj Rugani Koulibaly Ghoulam
Allan Ruiz Zielinski
Callejon Insigne
Mertens

Karnezis ? Darmian Rui Tonelli Albiol Chirches Diawara Hamsik ? Verdi Inglese/Milik Ounas

Sell or loan: Maksimovic, Jorginho, maybe Hamsik, Machach, Rog, Younes
on the 10th July, 2018 at 3:08am
It's almost impossible to form a view of Gattuso since he's barely left management school. However, I have long said that the manager is the single most important person at the club. This summer Ancelotti, Emery and Conte were available. Instead Milan have been fiddling around on the transfer market trying to sign Zaza. That's why we won't be challenging next season (unless Gattuso turns out to be the next Conte).
on the 10th July, 2018 at 2:28am
I won't be surprised if Napoli barely finishes 4th next season.
on the 10th July, 2018 at 2:08am

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