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Young talent E. Camavinga. EFE
Carlo Ancelotti: the coach every megalomaniac football club owner desires
A look at LaLiga

Carlo Ancelotti: the coach every megalomaniac football club owner desires

He has used his experience, imagination, and expertise to find the recipe for the "ingredients" placed before him

Friday, 24 May 2024, 13:29

Opciones para compartir

La Liga became unpredictably predictable as the issues in the top level of Spanish football were settled with a round of domestic matches remaining.

There will be no last day drama, suggestions of incentives for winning matches, or doing old pals a favour; everything is sewn up going into the final weekend.

You don't have to be a retired footballer-turned-millionaire media pundit to analyse why Real Madrid are the champions. "They're simply better than everyone else" was the summary of my pal who is the caretaker at our local gym. He's spot on.

Carlo Ancelotti is the coach every megalomaniac club owner desires. He moulds a bunch of players into a team of winners. It hasn't been a classic Real Madrid with the loss of Karim Benzema plus injuries to Éder Militão and Thibaut Courtois. Ancelotti has used his experience, imagination, and expertise to find the recipe for the ingredients placed before him.

The trend is for club owners and presidents to sign players they desire and instruct the coach to get on with it. Ancelotti is a touch fortunate that his president signed incredible young talent like Jude Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga and Aurélien Tchouaméni.

Xavi Hernández isn't as fortunate. He was dealt a totally different hand by those who run FC Barcelona. His situation is similar to Mauricio Pochettino at Chelsea; a disparate bunch of footballers were thrown their way and they were asked to mould them into a football side. It's quite an achievement that Barça managed second place as Xavi fought against the odds and club politics all season.

Girona deserve "team of the season" for their third-place finish. It's easy to cite the fact that they are the Spanish cousins of Manchester City, yet the two clubs exist in different orbits. Maybe they do benefit from the scouting intelligence of the City Football Group, but their record signing was Artem Dovbyk at €7.5m. The achievement of coach Michel and his players should not be underestimated.

In contrast, it has been a very average season for Atlético Madrid and Diego Simeone. Fourth place is about right for a team that has grown stale together. He doesn't have too many players who are beyond the "use by" date, but then again he doesn't have many fresh new faces in the picture. A little like the black suit and shirt combo that he wears for every single game, he needs a change of footballing wardrobe.

Elsewhere, Athletic Bilbao are still recovering from the hangover from winning the Copa del Rey; Real Sociedad deserve a Europa League place for a decent season; and Real Betis will be reminded that they could have done better than 7th with another season of UEFA Conference Thursday nights as punishment.

Villarreal and Valencia have improved; the signs are they will be pushing for the top six next season. But Sevilla and Mallorca continue to struggle and will change their coaches in the summer. Maybe it will dawn on the clubs that constantly changing coaches is one of the causes of the underachievement?

It wasn't a good season for Andalucia, three clubs from the south went south. Almería, Granada and Cádiz all tried to play attractive football but failed and now need to prepare for life in the Segunda.

Prediction for next season? Real Madrid, already better than the rest, will have Endrick and probably Kylian Mbappé on their books. Punditry isn't rocket science.

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