Managing Real Madrid is never the most stable of jobs. The manager receives huge financial support, and inherits a world class squad, but in return he has to deliver. The prize that the Real Madrid want, year after year, is not the La Liga title, but the Champions League.
Ancelotti is likely to win some silverware this year. They are three points behind Atletico in the league, but in better current form despite a weekend defeat. They also play Atletico in the Copa Del Rey semi-finals. Ancelotti should win one, or both, of those trophies.
The Champion’s League could be a different matter, however. They should comfortably dispose of Schalke 04 in the next round, but sterner tests await. Especially in Munich. Florentino Perez is less than confident that his man will deliver the odds.
Perez has gone down the route of appointing tried and tested managers, but Mourinho and Ancelotti haven’t delivered the flowing football and supreme triumphs that he wanted. He has his mind set on a different track. Appointing a young up-and-coming manager. And he has his eyes trained on Southampton’s Mauricio Pochettino.
Pochettino is barely into his 40s, but his reputation is growing by the day. An impressive spell in charge of Espanyol, although one that ended sourly, has been surpassed by his coaching on the south coast of England. He has his team playing attractive, confident football. Perez is impressed, and sees Pochettino as a manager that he can mould. A future star, rather than a stuck in his ways stick of dynamite like Mourinho.
The serious talk is that if Ancelotti doesn’t win the Champion’s League this summer, Mauricio will be on his way to Madrid.