Friday, 30 December 2011

Carlo goes to Paris: Ancelotti unveiled at PSG

"Just think how many cigarettes I can buy with all that Arab cash"
Earlier today in the crazy world that is Twitter, one of the trending topics worldwide was “Eleanor goes to Paris”.

Having done some web-based research, I’ve ascertained that Eleanor is model Eleanor Calder, girlfriend of singer Louis Tomlinson from X-Factor band One Direction. Apparently romantic/sappy (delete as appropriate) Louis whisked his beau off to Paris for a surprise Christmas trip, bless his little cotton socks.

Personally I prefer the story “Carlo goes to Paris”, which sees heroic/scheming (delete as appropriate) Brazilian heart-throb Leonardo whisk Carlo Ancelotti off to Paris to persuade him to become Paris St
Germain’s new manager using the lure of a humungous salary being part of the QSI project.

“I loved my English experience at Chelsea but with PSG there is the possibility of [doing] something great,” said Ancelotti, as he was unveiled as the club’s new head coach earlier today on a two and a half year deal.
“The club has huge ambitions and I am very excited about this project.”

The Italian’s unveiling was preceded by an announcement confirming that Antoine Kombouare had been sent on his way with a golden handshake reportedly worth €3million.

“Carletto” will be assisted by Claude Makalele, and like his predecessor has been set the task of reaching the promised land of the Champions League.

“The priority is to participate in the Champions League next season,” he said. “The team should be competitive and effective in Europe in the near future. We are currently leading the league, we intend to remain there until the end of the current year and grow over that time.
“Improving every day will be the key to my work.”

That last quote is an interesting one for me. As I’ve said before, I have great admiration for the way AK turned a new group of players into an XI that, for all it’s faults, functioned well enough to top the table.

But did they improve during his tenure? You might argue they were no more of a team by December than they were in September, still relying on individual brilliance to get by when the chips were down.

In some ways Ancelotti is on a hiding to nothing between now and the end of the year. If he wins the league, AK takes at least half the credit, and besides which we ought to finish top given our squad and budget.

However if he can guide the team to Champions League qualification while putting a structure in place and engendering some team spirit in a squad which is likely to be bulging at the seams by the end of the
January transfer window, then we should be well set for next term.

After six months working with someone else’s man, the owners finally have a manager in place they are totally happy with. You would hope he’ll be given the freedom to lay some foundations for the future
without having to worry that every bad result is going to cost him his job. Over to you Carlo…


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