Monday, 1 June 2009

Latest In The Hot Seat

The appointment of Carlo Ancelotti to the vacant manager’s position at Chelsea betrays Roman Abramovich’s single minded search for success in Europe.

To his credit, Ancelotti brings two Champions’ League victories as manager of Milan, but when you look beyond that, there is not a great deal else to recommend him.

He has managed the mighty Milan for eight seasons and, in all that time, has only won the Italian Championship once, and that was five years ago. Far from building a dynastic legacy at Milan, such as those of Ferguson or Wenger, he has simply allowed his team to grow old and failed miserably to bring in any younger talent. The honourable exception to this is the Brazilian Alex Pato, although the truth is that even that deal was brokered by their Brazilian “ambassador” Leonardo – the man who will now replace Ancelotti.

There are those in Italy who say he has just got out in time, the house of cards about to collapse. I, on the other hand, look at the fact that they finished third, fifth and fourth in the last three years, and suggest he’s a couple of years too late.

Let’s face it, Abramovich does not have a track record of allowing his managers to build a generation of players – six managers in his six years in charge is almost as unstable as Tottenham Hotspur – so his choice of Ancelotti is revealing. He has picked a man not for long term development but for short-term success in Europe.

Despite the fact Ancelotti’s Milan have not even reached a quarter-final in the two seasons since their 2007 Champions’ League victory, the implication is clear. Either he delivers in Europe, or he will be on his way.


  1. here is a thought ... the Chavs win the CL ...

    Does Roman then jack it all in ?

  2. That would be funny. According to their accounts, Abramovich has never given Chelsea a penny. It is all in the system as indeterminate interest-free director's loans. In other words, the day Roman gets bored, Chelsea is around £150 million in debt and, depending on his mood, they could go bust at a moment's notice.