As the years roll by, Carlo Ancelotti’s sacking at Chelsea looks increasingly harsh. He narrowly missed out on winning back-to-back league titles, and that was after clinching the double in his first season.
Looking back, there is a tinge of regret about how Ancelotti was dealt with in west London. His departure was abrupt and sudden.
Frank Lampard takes his Chelsea side to Everton’s Goodison Park on Saturday, where Ancelotti is now manager, and to the same dressing room where the now-Chelsea bosslearned that Ancelotti had been sacked just two hours after the final match of the 2010-11 season.
Ancelotti had unfinished business in the Premier League, emerging at Everton following his departure from Napoli last season, and now he is set for a visit from a man he held in high regard as a player.
Indeed, it was Ancelotti who arguably got the best out of Lampard the midfielder; the former England international scored 32 goals in 60 Premier League games during his two-year spell under the Italian.
Ancelotti’s time at Chelsea may not have finished as he would have liked but he has enjoyed plenty of success since. He went on to win league titles with Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, while delivering the fabled Decima– the 10th Champions League title– for Real Madrid.
“I think he would have liked to have stayed, he loved the Premier League and him coming back showed it,” Ancelotti’s former assistant Paul Clement, who worked alongside him at Chelsea, PSG, Madrid and Bayern,tells Goal. “Still, he went on to rich and fulfilling experiences in other European clubs.
“Iwas proud to be a part of Chelsea’s success, though, and so was Carlo. He is the only double-winning manager in the history of the club. He went onto win the title with PSG in France, the 10th Champions League at Real Madrid, so things worked out alright for him in the end.”
‘King Carlo’, as they called him in west London, is now a popular figure on Merseyside andClement believes that the secret to his success has been an ability toadapt.
“He came to Chelsea as a 49-year-old who didn’t have any other languages. He only knew the Italian league but it was the start of his incredible adventure working across Europe,” he says.
“I always found that whatever club he went to, he would always work really hard at finding the best system and tactics for the players at the club, and not the other way around.
“Even at Everton, who were a 4-4-2 team last season, in all the clubs I worked with him he never played that formation. He has adjusted it again with new signings like James Rodriguez, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan.
“He is a really good coach and he improves players. That’s why talented players will work with him.”
Ancelotti promoted players like Josh McEachran and coaches like Clement from the academy during his time at Chelsea.
Lampard is now following a similar path – having seen Ancelotti’s work first-hand– by involving the likes of Jody Morris and Joe Edwards on the coaching front and a raft of academy talent like Reece James, Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Billy Gilmour in the first-team picture.
Clement, who faced Lampard in his first match as a manager with Derby County, believes that the Blues manager has quickly forged his own identity in the dugout.
“He has done really well,” Clement adds. “I follow him closely because Frank is someone I know and respect a lot having worked with him.
“Derby is my old club and his first ever game was against my Reading team. He won it in the 93rd minute, a good day for him but not us!
“Even in his first job at Derby, we played them in his first game and you could see that the team had a clear identity straight away. That’s not always an easy thing to do as a coach.
“First of all, to be very clear about how you want your team to play, then you have to get everyone to buy into it, and then you need to coach that in an effective way. He was able to do that at Derby.
“He has continued it on at a transitional Chelsea and now this year when you reinforce it with high-level talent. Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Edouard Mendy and Thiago Silva. He has added these to an already good squad, continuing his coaching and I think there can only be an upward curve.”
Clement is a highly regarded coach in his own right and, having worked at Derby, Swansea City and Reading, is now head coach at Cercle Brugge. The Belgian First Division side offer Clement the chance to work on player development as they often take players on loan to develop for their sister club Monaco.
“It was an ambition of mine to go abroad again having had such positive experiences working on the continent as an assistant,” he says.
“Having coached as a manager in the Premier League and Championship, I thought a different experience would be really positive.
“I had this ambition when I come to the end of my coaching career that I can say I have worked in multiple countries, league and languages. Sporting director Paul Mitchell was a big attraction as he runs both Monaco and Cercle Brugge.
“Firstly, we want to be a very stable team within the Belgian First Division, who are competitive. Secondly, and most importantly, is to develop young and high-level young talent.
Source : goal.com