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Ancelotti sacking fuels speculation over Milan reunion as Montella sits on hot-seat

Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

With manager Vincenzo Montella on the hot-seat at Milan, and Carlo Ancelotti shone the door by Bayern Munich, could the Rossoneri reunite with their former Champions League winning boss?

After Vincenzo Montella’s shiny new Milan side failed to perform with any semblance of life to break down Sampdoria in a losing effort last Sunday, the former Fiorentina boss began to face the unpleasant reality of the sack.

Over six league matches this season, the Rossoneri have collected 12 of a possible 18 points (a sixth place position), yet performances have not looked all that convincing after spending around 200 million euros this past summer – which concerns supporters the most. Captain Leonardo Bonucci’s noticeable struggles to adjust since making his 42 million euro move over from Juventus, along with Andrea Conti’s knee injury, have thrown wrenches into their plans early in proceedings. However, despite that, the schedule’s been light enough to where Milan’s progression shouldn’t be hindered, which is why Montella’s deserving of much criticism for the lacklustre play on the pitch.

Tactically, his decisions, including opting for a notoriously inconsistent defender in Cristian Zapata over a skilled, and well-rested Mateo Musacchio make you wonder if he can properly rotate on three fronts, successfully manage this much talent under high expectations, and ultimately steer the ship into port for a Champions League spot in the end.

Assuming the worst occurs for Montella and Milan in the upcoming fixtures versus Roma and Inter, there is a chance the ex-Sampdoria boss will be ordered to clean out his office. But, when contemplating the sack, owner Li Yonghong, CEO Marco Fassone and sporting director Massimo Mirabelli must be certain his replacement is capable of stepping in to skipper a team treading water back to shore.

The names available do not exactly exert that much confidence. That is, until Thursday afternoon when one high profiled and well-respected face around Milano suddenly became accessible.

On Wednesday, Bayern Munich’s capitulation at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League spelt the end for Carlo Ancelotti’s term in Bavaria, as moments ago he was sacked by chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Since taking over the helm at Der FCB last July, Ancelotti had a record of 42-9-9 with a win percentage of 70%, along the way, winning the Bundesliga title and consecutive DFL Supercups. Yet, the 58-year old failed to lead the German giants to the promised land during the 2016-17 Champions League campaign, capsizing in the quarter-final round against eventual winners Real Madrid.

Under the Italian, Bayern have lost four of six away Champions League matches, signaling that perhaps his often-praised CV in winning the tournament does not measure all that well in Germany. But, as the old idiom goes; one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, which is why whispers of a reunion with Milan make almost too much sense given the circumstances.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Milan tenure was nothing short of remarkable. From 2001-2009, the Reggiolo-born tactician went on to win eight pieces of silverware, including a Serie A title (03-04) and four UEFA competition trophies (Champions League: 02-03, 06-07; Super Cups: 2003, 2007).

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 06: (L to R) Kaka, Alexandre Pato, head coach Carlo Ancelotti, Andrea Pirlo, Marek Jankulowski and David Beckham of AC Milan watch the penalty shootout form the bench after the Dubai Football Challenge match between AC Milan and Hamburger SV at The Emirates Sevens Stadium on January 6, 2009 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Notably, it were ‘Carletto’s’ creative tactics centered around a strong possessional game in several formations (4-3-1-2 and the 4-4-2 diamond) that brought the best out of many, including attacking midfielder turned deep-lying ‘regista‘ Andrea Pirlo who emblazoned the San Siro with his dictation and range shielding the back bank. Obviously, comparing the personnel of Ancelotti’s Milan to Montella’s would likely spell the end of my hopeful professional career in this industry, and my reputation on Twitter. My point is, if Milan do find themselves in a situation where they are in need of a shakeup at the post, calls from supporters for Ancelotti will reverberate louder than ever around Lombardy, as his body of work with the red and black speaks for itself.


Two years ago, in the prime years of the ‘Banter Era’ at the club, President Silvio Berlusconi made a concerted effort to rekindle the relationship that sparked one of the best eras the red and black side of Milano has ever lived. Of course, as we came to witness, the stars didn’t align and it wasn’t meant to be. Now, with Ancelotti officially free to join any club or federation (*wink wink*), and Montella feeling the pressure, there may perhaps be no better time for a reunion tour. However, Milan have two very important matches coming up with Roma at home, and the first Derby Della Madonnina against Inter, so while begs for Carlo are heard, focus should be on achieving the desired results on the pitch with Montella – as of right now, the acting manager.

@ItalianFD

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