“It seems to me that Ancelotti does not have the personality and charisma to lead Real Madrid” said the ex-CEO earlier this month. He went on to attack their style of play under Ancelotti saying it wasn’t ‘defined’ or ‘organized’ and that they ‘concede too many goals’. In Calderon’s eyes, the hiring of Ancelotti was a mistake.
Ancelotti has had a storybook career; he has played for and managed some of the biggest clubs in the world. He has won the Champions League both as a player and as a manager, a feat achieved by only six other people. He has also won League titles in Italy, England and France, but some people are already questioning him just 14 games into the domestic season.
Real is a club where style and results are gauged with equal importance. There have already been signs of discontent from sections of the media and some of the fans. To make matters worse, the two teams they dislike the most, deadly rivals Barcelona and noisy neighbours Atletico are both ahead of them in the league.
Real sit 3rd in the Primera Division table, six points off top spot and to many Real supporters, this is unacceptable. Real have a winning tradition, but also a tradition of playing attractive football. This is what the fans demand and many managers have come and gone due to their inability to cope with the tremendous pressure the job brings.
Ancelotti’s preferred formation is the Christmas Tree (4-3-2-1) which was used to great effect in his time at AC Milan. It has been seen rarely at Madrid and on the few occasions it was implemented (which was at the beginning of the season) it proved to be ineffective.
Ancelotti also favours the diamond formation (a 4-4-2 variation with a central defensive midfielder, two central midfielders and a central attacking midfielder). It seems that the diamond is Ancelotti’s preferred system at Madrid as he feels that his squad is better suited to that formation. Integrating Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale was seen as a major challenge, but Ancelotti seems to have done this with relative ease.
Real are the second highest scorers in La Primera Division with 40 goals in their opening 14 games, but they have also conceded over a goal a game.
Whether Ramon Calderon is right, only time will tell, Ancelotti has inherited a squad that doesn’t suit his style of play and his preferred formation, but there are too many world-class players at Real Madrid to use that as an excuse. Ancelotti needs time, but as we all know, patience is not the greatest virtue at The Bernabeu.