Carlo Ancelotti was relieved of his duties last week, the news hit the public officially on Monday when club President Florentino Perez revealed that he, along with the board of directors, decided to fire the La Decima winning coach.
If you look at the decision on its own, well, Real Madrid won nothing this season and the coach gets canned – that is the normal course of action for a big club. But on the face of it, Perez’s poor choice could potentially set the club back a few years. If, indeed, it is Rafa Benitez who takes over, you can see why most of the Real Madrid members and their fans were in a state of anger last Monday evening.
One thing Perez was right about, when facing the media, is that Real Madrid is a worldwide institution that deserves the best. But, who exactly is he trying to kid here? With all the managers that are out there is he trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes in saying Benitez is a better coach than Ancelotti. Quite frankly, if he actually believes that to be the case, he should think about running the volleyball or basketball side of the organisation because football is not his forte.
Perez openly admitted he did not know why the club sacked Ancelotti – but if you buy that, I’m not entirely sure why.
Yes, it’s been an institutional problem long before Perez became President for the first time. It harks back to when the great Santiago Bernabeu was President. Surely, there is a little light that would come on in the back of Perez’s mind that screams “Bad idea.” He will come under more pressure than ever if Benitez fails.
It’s a childhood dream for Benitez – to manage the club he supported as a boy and where he spent some years as a youth coach. It will be the biggest test of his managerial career, far greater than his success at Valencia in 2004 or his Liverpool Champions League triumph in Istanbul. He will have to put his sketchy time in Serie A behind him, as he will have to be the man to stop the Barcelona juggernaut from creating another Guardiola-esque dynasty.
He may just be able to do that – but it won’t be pretty to watch. Unfortunately, for Benitez he is just another managerial pawn in Real Madrid’s game. Just like Vicente del Bosque, Fabio Capello and the disastrous spell of Wanderlei Luxemburgo during the Galactico era.
Perez will have to do something spectacular to make sure the next managerial appointment works. Ancelotti was well liked at the Bernabeu, not only from the support, but also had the backing of key players. Cristiano Ronaldo had this to say about him on Twitter:
Maybe it’s time for Perez and the club itself to look at the game and Real Madrid in a more rational manner. It shouldn’t be about star power, or glamour – it should be about putting a well-balanced, winning team on the park. It happened with La Decima-winning side, but with only one domestic title win in seven seasons something has to change.
I wonder what is going to have to happen to Madrid for the president to realise that this isn’t a real-life game of Football Manager and that he must start to run it in a sensible, balanced manner before they are left behind by Barcelona, and the other big hitters in Europe, for another ten years.
Article originally posted on Forza Futbol