After twenty-eight matches unbeaten, both at domestic and international competitions, it is probably a good time to analyse the work of the new Real Madrid’s head coach – Carlo Ancelotti.
The 54 year old Italian manager arrived this season at Los Blancos to replace “The Special One” (José Mourinho) after the unimpressive campaign of the team last term. Carlo Ancelotti brought in new ideas to the team and, above all else, he managed to somewhat break the chains left behind by Mourinho within the team’s spirit.
After a slow, uninspired and inconsistent start, with two defeats, to Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, on the first ten Liga BBVA matches, Ancelotti managed to put the gears into motion and Real Madrid won thirteen of the last sixteen matches on La Liga and keep their impressive tab at UEFA Champions League.
Carlo Ancelotti brought a different approach to the tactical schemes José Mourinho had implemented in the team during the time he was in charge. Carletto often varies from a flexible 4-3-3 to a more stiff 4-2-3-1, both of them flavoured with a touch of Italian football. On both schemes, the four attacking players are extremely versatile and the combination between Gareth Bale, Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo is proving to be lethal to the opposition’s defence lines. In the midfield, the duo formed by Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric is gaining points and is certainly one of the best centre midfield pairs on European football currently. Back in the defence, however, things are not that bright. Although the team looks more solid defensively in comparison to earlier this season, there is still plenty of work for Ancelotti to do. Despite the quality of the centre back duo, Pepe and Sérgio Ramos are quite often caught short handed and they have been very mistake-prone this season. The team has already conceded twenty-six goals in the same amount of matches in Liga BBVA this season and, despite being at the top of the table, Real Madrid is only the third best defence in the league.
Ancelotti privileges a more possession-based game style when compared to the quick counter-attack style Mourinho tried to implement last season. The Italian head coach relies on the passing, vision and first touch skills from Modric and Xabi Alonso to offer Real Madrid a different way to build up the game from behind and the key role both of them have at the team so far is easily noticed .
Although there is still a long road ahead for Real Madrid to claim La Liga’s title and maybe the tenth UEFA Champions League of their history, Carlo Ancelotti’s boys seem to be on the right path for success. Although it is probably still early to embark on futurology, the Italian manager, who was a honours’ student at Coverciano and who is known for his ability to adapt to different surroundings, is reshaping Los Blancos and the possibility of taking them back to the highest stages of the game is undoubtedly increasing by the day.