Ancelotti vows to keep Bayern on the attack

Berlin (AFP) – Bayern Munich’s new coach Carlo Ancelotti said Monday he would stick to his predecessor Pep Guardiola’s offensive strategy for the Bundesliga giants, pledging to “try to win every competition”.

“I come after a fantastic manager … and I will try to follow (him with) good football, and offensive football,” Ancelotti said in his first press conference as head coach of the German champions.

“I’m not here to do a revolution. The job that Guardiola made was fantastic and I would like to follow his style,” stressed Ancelotti, who, like the Spaniard, spoke in German at the beginning of his first press meeting, having taken a language crash course.

Ancelotti has, in fact, a better record in Europe than his predecessor.

The 56-year-old Italian has won the Champions League three times with two different clubs, in 2003 and 2007 with AC Milan, then in 2014 with Real Madrid.

Guardiola lifted the trophy twice with Barcelona, in 2009 and 2011. 

But, despite leading Bayern to a record fourth consecutive Bundesliga title in April, the Champions League crown eluded the squad during his reign.

Ancelotti said Bayern will “try to win every competition” even if he acknowledged the difficulty, given that “all the top teams start their season to win the Champions League”.

But first he may have to tackle the question of what to do with Mario Goetze, who has endured three unhappy years in Munich, where he has mostly been kept on the bench.

Speculation had been rife that Germany’s World Cup winner was set either to join up with ex-coach Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool or return to former club Dortmund.

Ancelotti said he had had a frank conversation with Goetze a month ago, but would not reveal details of the chat.

The manager would only say that as long as Goetze is a Bayern player, “I will treat him as a Bayern player”.

While refusing to shut the door to possible transfers while the window is still open until August 31, Ancelotti suggested that there would be few changes to the team.

“The squad is really good, we are not talking with the club about new signings because we are really happy,” he said, before heading out to the pitch for his first training session.

On the eve of the session, Bayern’s sporting director Matthias Sammer announced he was leaving his position after a health scare.

Sammer, 48, suffered a blood circulation problem in his brain in April and has since regained full health, but said he no longer had the desire to continue in his role.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said the club had offered options including a sabbatical to convince Sammer to stay, but “he told us that for him the best option was to end the chapter at Bayern”. 

Sammer’s contract was due to end only in 2018, and colleagues will cover for him until a new sporting director is found, said Rummenigge.

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