It came as little surprise to those who follow the soccer news, after the fallout between Carlo Ancelotti and the president of Napoli Aurelio di Laurentiis. However, it was quite an unfortunate timing to get sacked, as the Serie A club got the qualification to the next stage of Champions League, following a 4×0 victory over Genk.
It was rumored for some time that Ancelotti was already on the bad side of De Laurentiis after he backed the Napoli squad after their riot. In case you missed it, most players of the Serie A side decided to boycott the orders of De Laurentiis to go on a ‘ritiro‘, which literally means spending an entire week in the stadium facility.
The decision of the chairman happened after they drew a game against Salzburg in the Champions League. The athletes denied it and went home instead and they were ordered to pay the club extremely high fines.
Ancelotti, allegedly, did not agree with the way the club was forcing the players to follow orders, like in the ‘army’, and backed up their claims. Since then, Aurelio has been searching for a replacement for Carlo Ancelotti.
The fact that Napoli is currently in the 7th place of Serie A, 8 points away from the 4th (Cagliari), mustn’t have helped.
What went wrong for Ancelotti?
Last season Napoli finished 2nd behind Juventus and had a quiet but steady campaign in Serie A. The club decided to back up Ancelotti with some signings, bringing inexperienced players like Kostas Manolas and record signing Hirving Lozano.
However, the campaign has not been equaled the last one so far. Napoli is now two months without a victory and far away from the top 4 desired spots.
Still, they are holding steady in the Champions League, where they kicked off by beating current title holders Liverpool. They qualified with 3 victories and 3 draws to the knockout stage.
It is impossible to not connect the lack of victories to the moment when the ‘ritiro‘ happened. The draw against Salzburg happened in early November and since then the team has not won another Serie A match.
The club has not yet communicated who will be the interim manager of Napoli or if they have already appointed another coach. It is rumored, however, that Gennaro Gattuso is on the leading position, with several meetings having occurred between Di Laurentiis and the former Milan manager.
What’s next for Ancelotti?
Whether Ancelotti had responsibilities in Napoli crumbling over the past months, it is undeniable that his resume speaks for himself. As a player, he won the Champions League twice and as a coach, he won it 3 times: 2 with Milan and 1 with Real Madrid.
Not many coaches can say they had so many times managed a Champions League winning squad.
It is then no surprise that several teams are looking for his services, now that he is a free agent. Arsenal is apparently one of the crests who contacted Ancelotti already, as the Londoners still look for a replacement for Unai Emery.
Ancelotti has only been in the Premier League once when he coached Chelsea from 2009 to 2011. He won the league with the Blues and the FA Cup in his first season.
Also, Everton might try the approach as well, although it is unlikely that Ancelotti accepts to coach a team that is not a usual top 6 contender in the league.
Another option would be returning to a house he already knows Bayern Munich. The Bavarians have dismissed Niko Kovac, and Hansi Flick has been struggling recently, with 2 consecutive losses in the Bundesliga. Ancelotti would provide a safety net since he is an acquainted member of Munich.
One more far-fetched destination for the Italian manager would be AC Milan. A former legend of the club as a player, where he played as a midfielder, surely Ancelotti would bring the experience necessary to a now struggling ‘Rossoneri’ side.
Nonetheless, the recent appointment of Stefano Pioli suggests it is unlikely to happen. What do you think will be the next destination for Carlo? And who will succeed to him in Napoli?