You better believe that Don Carlo has a plan. Bayern are going for the TREBLE this season
When Bayern started this season there were some doubts that Ancelotti will be able to continue the club’s Bundesliga domination on his first try. Bayern players were acting lethargic even when they were winning, and the rise of newcomers RB Leipzig to the top of Germany’s top tier has asked some serious questions about the Bavarian’s unquestionably ageing squad.
Carlo Ancelotti came to the side to take over from Pep Guardiola who decided to move to Manchester City during last year’s mid-season before failing to take Bayern Munich to the Champions League Final for the third successive season. Despite dominating the less competitive Bundesliga, it was a big disappointment for both Guardiola and the board that the club couldn’t win another trophy in Europe, but it was his decision to move on.
Ancelotti’s reputation of a “Champions League specialist” and his history with managing ageing squads were the main reasons behind his appointment. Bayern wanted to continue the good momentum without surviving another radical transition.
New star players were signed in the likes of Mats Hummels and Renato Sanches, while Ancelotti was also allowed to bring in his close friend and assistant from his previous clubs, Paul Clement.
Bayern had a slow and lethargic start to the season playing-wise, but the were still as clinical as ever. What appears to have lifted the spirits at the Alianz Arena were the announcements about some immediate and impending departures as assistaint Paul Clement has accepted the offer to manage Swansea, while Xabi Alonso and Philipp Lahm announced that this will be their final season in their respective careers.
Bayern had a good winter break and training camp in Qatar and returned a revived side to play out the rest of the national and European competitions. Without impressing anyone, Bayern qualified for the DFB semi-final, remained favorites for the Bundesliga title after RBL dropped points and they received Arsenal as their next opponent in the knockout stage in the CL, a draw which Arsenal supporters met with disgust and rightly so! Bayern scored 10 goals over the two legs and now they calmly await their next opponent in Europe’s biggest tournament.
Bayern are desperate for a treble season, but not just any kind of treble. The club wants to win the aforementioned three most important competitions. Carlo Ancelotti indeed is the Champions League King. In his career, he has lifted the famous trophy three times in his tenures with AC Milan and Real Madrid and they really were glorious achievements. This year around he can become the first coach with four Champions League medals in history.
But he is hardly the domestic league King isn’t he? With Milan he managed to win only one Scudetto in 2004 despite him being there for eight years in charge of one of the most historic AC Milan generations, and his other notable league triumph is the one with Chelsea in 2009/10. He won one out of two with PSG, and failed to win La Liga with Real Madrid.
Ancelotti has received his fair share of criticism for not being the complete manager, but rather a specialist for winning tournaments. His name is always being mentioned among the world’s best of all time, but when you compare his three domestic championships with Alex Ferguson’s sixteen or with Mourinho’s eight it looks quite laughable.
In Bayern Munich’s offer, Carlo saw an opportunity to change the way how the world perceives him. Much like with PSG, he saw a chance to manage a world class side in a less competitive league which would allow him to both win the league with less effort and chase his beloved Champions League glory as well, because in no other side would he be able to enjoy such conditions for improving his resume and legacy.