Does Carlo Ancelotti deserve to lose his job at PSG?
After losing 2-1 to Nice at the weekend, rumours in the French press are abound that Paris Saint-Germain manager Carlo Ancelotti will be relieved of his duties and out of a job by Christmas.
When asked about newspaper reports of his imminent sacking, Ancelotti said: “I have not read the papers, I don’t know what they are saying”.
The message in L’Equipe, France’s sport newspaper, was pretty clear. The club’s wealthy Qatari owners have lost patience with the Italian, and have already contacted Pep Guardiola, who is without a club, having left Barcelona in the summer.
After a run of disappointing results, the Parisian giants have fallen five points behind league leaders Lyon, and the likelihood of clinching their first Ligue 1 title since 1994, grows more doubtful by the day.
Would it be Scrooge-like of the PSG board to dismiss Ancelotti, or does the Italian deserve time to turn around his team’s fortunes?
Since taking over the reign at the Parc des Princes almost 12 months ago, Ancelotti has spent over €150m on player acquisitions, and apart from the signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic from AC Milan, very few of his big money arrivals have justified their price tag.
In fact, if it wasn’t for Ibrahimovic, it is fair to say PSG would find themselves in mid-table. The phrase ‘one-man team’ has never been more appropriate. The 31-year-old Swede has scored over half of PSG’s league goals, 10 more than anyone else in the squad.
Despite the undeniable success of Ibrahimovic, Ancelotti’s other signings have failed to bear fruit.
Defender Gregory Van Der Wiel, signed from Ajax, has struggled to adapt to life in Ligue 1, and despite odd glimpses of magic, €10m man Marco Verratti has been a disappointment.
The supremely talented Javier Pastore, who signed for an estimated €40m prior to Ancelotti’s arrival, has failed to sparkle under the Italian’s guidance, and doubts have been raised over Ancelotti’s capabilities of getting the best out of the current crop of players.
PSG are by far Ligue 1’s biggest spenders, and arguably Europe’s. Surely with a seemingly infinite amount of money at his disposal, Ancelotti – who has previously managed AC Milan and Chelsea – should be able to mould a team capable of winning Ligue 1.
No one is doubting Ancelotti’s credentials as a top class coach, but with the lure of an available Guardiola, the owners are thought to be keen to pip Chelsea to the signing of the world’s most sought after manager.
Despite the general consensus being that a manager should be given time to build a team, for a club with the resources of PSG, football is about winning things. With their vast wealth, why should the owners wait around for Ancelotti to mould a successful team, which at the moment, doesn’t seem like happening?
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been much criticised in the press for his ruthless dismissal of managers, including Ancelotti and most recently, Roberto Di Matteo, but in the last seven years, Chelsea have won 10 major trophies. Compare that to Arsenal, who, in the same period have won nothing, despite sticking with manager Arsene Wenger.
Whatever PSG’s owner choose to do, they will know that their club needs to start winning football matches on a more regular basis. Time is running out for Ancelotti. Pep is lurking.
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