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Throwdown Thursday is back for the new season. We had a big debate on the thread recently about Carlo Ancelotti and his time at Bayern Munich. Is he failing? Is he to blame for the current situation? What about the board and players? Check out our thoughts and have your say in the comments and on Twitter.
1. Was Ancelotti’s first season at Bayern Munich a success or failure?
Alex: Neither. They won the Bundesliga and the Supercup, both of which they were expected to win. They didn’t get too far in the Champions League, but then they haven’t been close to winning it since Heynckes anyway.
Bernie: By Bayern Munich’s standards it was a major disappointment. Yes, they haven’t been close to winning it since Heynckes left but Ancelotti post-La Decima was expected to do better. Only winning the Bundesliga by 15 points and not winning the DFB Pokal are both downgrades on the season before. That said, Bayern’s expectations are extremely high.
Rishay: Failure. The Bundesliga isn’t really the measuring stick for a manager of Bayern Munich let alone Carlo Ancelotti. Bayern want to make headway in the Champions League and their failure to his former club (Real Madrid) was unfortunate. The frustration was clearly evident on the manager’s face and that enough was a moment that defined his season.
2. Is Ancelotti being unfairly treated by the Bayern Munich players and hierarchy?
Bernie: The Bayern hierarchy are treating Ancelotti unfairly primarily because they simply haven’t backed him in the transfer market. It’s not his team, not a team they moulded in his image in the way they did for Pep. That said, we all expected more from this team so they have the right to criticize. Just make it a lot less obvious. The players are a bunch of twats. Ribery and Robben act like godfathers and need to be recycled. Lewandowski needs to shut the hell up, he’s not untouchable. Ancelotti has won the Champions League more than anyone, these guys need to show some respect.
Rishay: It’s always messy when the club hierarchy’s expectations are not met, particularly when it comes to style and methods. Ancelotti is sticking true to his own style, and that seems to be causing friction. Ultimately, it is the results that matter, and Ancelotti is under pressure to deliver CL success to Bayern, so we could see another season where Ancelotti has won many trophies yet ends up being sacked.
Alex: I’m with you, Bernie. The Bayern hierarchy are a bunch of egoists and they love to talk, to leak things to the press, and as Andy Brassell recently said on a podcast, to” swing their dicks around”. They do this every time they aren’t entirely satisfied by a manager and it is undermining. If they aren’t happy with Carlo, that’s fine. They could have sacked him in the summer. As it is they’ll probably sack him next summer, so why not hold your fire (at least in public) until then?
3. Is Bayern Munich’s recent (relative) failure Ancelotti’s fault or the Bayern board’s?
Alex: We’re talking about failure to win the Champions League, and that’s hard to pin on the board. They’ve put together a squad of incredibly talented players and employed a succession of world class managers. One can argue (as Lewandowski has) that they need a little more star power to compete, but it doesn’t look like they can afford to pay PSG and Barcelona prices so they targeted younger talent in Coman, Sanches and Douglas Costa and more recently Tolisso. It hasn’t worked out as planned, but it wasn’t the wrong idea.
As for Ancelotti, I don’t think anyone really expected Bayern to win the competition last season. Guardiola’s Bayern side should probably have won one Champions League, but he got it wrong at the crucial stage. That’s the fine margin we’re discussing here.Bernie: I put 80% of this on the Bayern board. Thomas Muller is done, Ribery and Robben need to be moved on. Vidal has a year or so left on his contract and is getting older, more injury prone. What do they do? They bring in James Rodriguez on a two year loan and make moves for a few talented youngsters. Bayern are rich and in a market where PSG, City, United, Barcelona etc are making big moves, Bayern need to show more ambition. Why not bring Di Maria from PSG to play on the wing now that you know he’s surplus to requirements? Why not stump up the money for Alexis Sanchez? If you want a bargain, why let Matuidi go to Juventus? Ancelotti isn’t one to get involved in transfers to the board needs to put up or shut up.
Rishay: The club. Ancelotti’s style has got him to where he is today. The club should expect the manager to bring in his own style and methods, and if there is a disagreement because of a lack of communication in that department, it is the club’s fault.
4. How will Bayern do this season?
Bernie: They will win the Bundesliga, will probably go out in the Champions League semis and this time win the DFB Pokal. Nothing major. As you were.
Alex: Same as last season.
Rishay: Dominate domestically and should make a CL final appearance, but won’t.