Frank Lampard…Meet Carlo Ancelloti?
Before todays mixed signals coming from the Giussepi Mezza, we were 90% sure that Carlo Ancelotti was coming to Chelsea. However, there is still a strong possibility of this and we expect to find out this week. Rossoneri vice-president Adriano Galliani confirmed last week that the club will make a statement on Ancelotti’s future this coming monday, after achieving Champions League qualification. AC Milan president Silvio Berlucsoni also recently publicy criticised Ancelotti stating that he had cost AC the title.
Carlo Ancelotti was a successful player from the late seventies to 1990′s after beginning his career with Parma in 1976 before transferring to AS Roma in 1979. During his eight seasons in the nation’s capital the midfielder won four Coppa Italias and the Serie A title in the 1982-83 season. Ancelloti then moved to AC Milan in 1987, where he increased his medal haul with two ‘Scudettos’, two European Cups, the Coppa Italia, an Italian Supercup, two European super cups and two intercontinental cups. ‘Carletto’ was capped 26 times by Italy.
Ancelotti first stepped into coaching with AC Reggiana in 1995, three years after retiring from his playing career. Reggiana won promotion in his only season with club before Ancelotti moved to Parma where he had begun his proffessional playing career. Ancelloti took the Ducali to a runners-up finish in Serie A – their best ever finish. After finishing the next season in 6th Ancelotti replaced Marcello Lippi at Juventus finishing runner-up twice in serie A.
The most notable move for Ancelotti to date was his appointment as manager of AC Milan in 2001. Ancelotti has replicated the success he had at the Giusseppi Meazza as a player with numerous trophies and has coached the second highest amount of games for any coach at the Rossoneri. Under Ancelotti’s charge, AC have won a singular Sucdetto, the Champions League twice (losing a 3rd final to Liverpool in 2004) and a Coppa Italia in addition to the World Club cup, Uefa and Italian Supercups.
Roman Abramovich is desperate for his club to win the Champions League and Carlo Ancelotti certainly has pedigree in this area. He will inherit high expectations and talented sqaud of players that is beginning to show it’s age in some areas. I feel the most significant challenge he faces, if indeed he is appointed as manager is to not only to break Alex Fergusons tight grip on the Premier league trophy but to fend off an emerging Liverpool side. Chelsea have been someway short of United for the majority of this season and if one were to tip any team to finish above the Red Devils it would be Liverpool. Ancelotti has no previous experience of the English game and I feel that this is something that has taken Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez a few seasons to learn. The Italian, one would assume will not be afforded that luxury if Chelsea’s recent record is anything to go by.
Guus Hiddink got the most out of his resources at the Bridge having not had a single transfer window in which to sign any of his own players. Expectations have again been raised in that corner of west London and a question mark is raised as to whether Chelsea are likely to spend big enough again to overtake their title-rivals. If the current AC Milan coach does indeed arrive at Stamford Bridge, then he is facing the biggest challenge in his career to date and one where success can only be measured against Jose Mourinho’s golden age at the club.