Man Utd Crowned Champions and Ancelotti Sacked

May 23, 2011 - by mosesbet · Filed Under Uncategorized Leave a Comment 

Man Utd were crowned the champions of the Premier League yesterday for a record 19th time while Blackpool, Birmingham and West Ham suffered the fate of relegation down to the Championship.

The record season for Utd has been characterised by fighting spirit and an excellent home record on their turf at Old Trafford.  Man Utd have regained an extra 10+ points after going 2-0 behind at Blackpool, West Ham and Aston Villa.  They have won more points than any other team after coming back from behind, and their points from home made up an incredible 68% of their total points tally (a record for a Premier League title winning team).

Chelsea’s season was in stark contrast.  Their head coach Carlo Ancelotti was sacked from the club just minutes after the final whistle of their 1-0 defeat to ten man Everton.  Ancelotti has been under the microscope for months, even since Chelsea’s tumultuous form during Christmas time where they capitulated an 8 point lead at the top of the table after losing 3-0 to Sunderland at home, 1-0 away to Birmingham, and two draws away to Newcastle and Aston Villa.

Did Ancelotti Deserve to be Sacked?

Whether Ancelotti deserved to be sacked depends on your philosophy and value for short term vs long term success in my opinion.

Ancelotti is a proven manager having won countless Serie A titles and two Champions Leagues at AC Milan – the biggest club in Italy.  He came to Chelsea FC with one task on his mind, to win the Champions League.

Ancelotti’s 1st season in the English Premier League was hugely successful by any standards.  Having won the double (including the Premier League and the FA Cup), Ancelotti looked like a manager settled at Chelsea for the long term.  With his proven track record in Europe already on his CV, Ancelotti had everything.  Surely it was only a matter of time and squad renewal before Ancelotti brought home the 3rd trophy to Stamford Bridge.

In the end, when you look around at successful clubs such as Man Utd and Arsenal who have kept their same manager for 9+ years during bad times and good (Arsenal haven’t won a trophy in over 8 years) and see their enduring success, managerial stability and longevity seems to be a key issue.

However, let’s not beat around the bush.  Yes, Ancelotti is a great manager.  There is no question about his pay grade or previous successes.  But the 10/11 campaign was very poor in Chelsea’s own standards.  After winning their first 3 games a thumping 5-0, Chelsea went flat over Christmas time.  Lacklustre display after lacklustre display led to a desperate Christmas splurge on £50 million signing Fernando Torres and £20 million signing David Luiz.  However, the wayward results continued as Chelsea kept slipping points in the title race (they were an astonishing 15 points off leaders Man Utd before their visit to Stamford Bridge).

Chelsea’s Champions League campaign was no better.  They had an excellent record in the group games (their best ever record) but throughout the knockout games Chelsea failed to display the creative, exciting football of previous seasons, with minimal goal tallies from Drogba, Lampard, Essien and Torres.

Overall, my argument is that Chelsea had a very poor campaign both in terms of trophies, individual results and team performances.  Ancelotti didn’t just lose out on the Premier League title or Champions League at the last minute.  The former was decided over Christmas time when Chelsea dropped 18 points in 10 games, and the latter was a hangover from previous domestic performances.  You could argue that the difference between success and failure beating Utd in the Champions League and in the final weeks at Old Trafford is marginal.

But then again, surely a world class manager on a salary of £3 million per year should turn those margins in their favour. Let’s not kid ourselves, Avram Grant did a similar job getting Chelsea FC to the Champions League final in Moscow 2008 (only to lose on penalties), and came 2nd by just 1 point in the Premier League.  And even he was sacked.  So what choice did Ancelotti really have when you consider the success and trophies demanded by him?  Abromovitch doesn’t have all the time in the world.  He only wants short-term success and trophies for his £500 billion investment. These are the criteria for the new manager.

 

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