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There is a shocking report in Le Parisien today who claim that Carlo Ancelotti has informed the club that he will leave in the summer. From those on the outside looking in they will feel that this is not such a big deal and Les Parisiens can go and lure another of the game’s great names. But, it is not as simple as that. The Italian has built steadily since he arrived in December 2011, whilst reinventing himself as a coach by adjusting to the difficulty of Ligue 1. Whoever comes in will not only have big shoes to fill but will possibly take time to readjust themselves which could hamper the progression of the team.
If he is indeed to leave, there will be ramifications to the club as a whole. Focal to that is talisman up top Zlatan Ibrahimovic. His agent Mino Raiola has made no secret that a possible change in coach will make his client consider his future. Ibra and Ancelotti have forged a strong bond since the two were acquainted last summer and this is certainly a worry if Carlo opts to seek pastures new. There is no secret that Real Madird are weighing up the Italian as a possible replacement for Jose Mourinho who looks a foregone conclusion himself to leave his post. So after a title winning season, we could be on the lookout not only a new coach but one that will implement a whole new ideology to the team which will undoubtedly aid some but affect others in the squad.
It is only natural of course. PSG have been aware that Ancelotti was considering his future for some time with the Spanish giants flirting with his name. Only one-year left on his deal, Leonardo had said earlier in the week that he and Ibrahimovic would remain at the club but Ancelotti was yet to decide. It is pretty obvious from that statement that something was brewing behind the scenes.
The club want him to stay, there is no doubt about that. The progression made under his tenure has been strong despite some of the criticism he gets for below par performances in the cups and against the smaller teams. Nevertheless, on the basis of winning a league title and producing a fruitful Champions League campaign, he has come up trumps. There are not many coaches in the world who could have matched his achievements so he has to take enormous credit for that. He brought a stability to the team, as well as the club so his departure will be greater than some people think.
Whoever does come in will implement their own ideas, have their own players in mind to bring in and will look to ship others out. The thing with Ancelotti is that it took him a good six months to get to grasp with the game in France and realise the importance of a French contingent in the set-up. It is obvious that a marquee name from abroad will be implemented and may very well undo all that good work. Jose Mourinho, as great as he is, will find out just how tough it is to win in Ligue 1. The physicality and endurance of it is not entirely realised by the majority beyond French shores. Arsene Wenger however, who is incessantly linked, will be a smart appointment in the sense that he believes in nurturing youth through the academies, is tactically aware of the French game and can perhaps offer something different to any other coach. He will see it as a long term project, as you can see what he has done at Arsenal. Mourinho – or whoever – would only be here for a couple of years at least before seeking pastures new which is not entirely healthy for the club. Especially for one like ours which needs stability as it continues to grow in the coming years.
All in all, Ancelotti’s possible departure is far from ideal, putting the hierarchy in limbo in appointing a successor. Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Leonardo must think long and hard about who will be brought in to continue the good work done this season. They can ill afford to appoint someone who will disrupt the apple cart too much, whilst have an understanding of how important it is to implement a strong French contingent – such as keeping and getting the best out of the likes of Mamadou Sakho and Jeremy Menez.
This summer looks as if it is going to be as interesting as ever at the Parc des Princes.