Carlo Ancelotti brings more than a fresh face to Real Madrid. Rather than simply replacing Jose Mourinho, Ancelotti will take his own approach to getting the most out of a talented side.
Disappointment was widespread at the Bernabeu last season as the side failed to bring home any major trophies, but the Italian will instigate new tactics to bring hardware back to the capital city.
No More Drama
The "Special One" may have been a talented manager, but he was immature when it came to player relationships. Perhaps the pressure at Madrid became too much, but Jose Mourinho needlessly created rifts in the squad with his comments to the media.
Quite frankly, his ego hampered his performance.
Carlo Ancelotti should bring a more stable approach to personnel decisions. His first task must be to bring the players together and develop unity within the team.
A good place to start is the assessment of Iker Casillas. The much-publicized fallout with Jose Mourinho and the Spanish captain became an unnecessary distraction throughout the campaign.
Ancelotti is unlikely to play the same type of mind games that Mourinho was fond of, and he appears far more focused on the footballing capabilities of his squad.
Mark Doyle of Goal reported comments made by Ancelotti that suggested talent—not history—would reign supreme.
The Italian manager stated, "Casillas is a great player. He has won everything. But the rules of football are what they are: if he deserves it, he will play."
Ancelotti's objective approach will surely put the right players out on the pitch.
Building for the Future
While past managers have ushered in waves of established players, Ancelotti's new members are rising stars.
The buy-back of Daniel Carvajal followed by the acquisition of Isco indicate that the club is preparing not just for immediate results, but for the coming years.
What's more, Ancelotti believes that the young players can generate competition for spots this season. Speaking to the Telegraph, Ancelotti described Isco.
From what I have seen of him, it's clear he has a lot of quality. Spain's Under-21 side has a lot of great players and he is one of the best. He could get into any team in the world, so he could also play for Madrid.
Despite a crowded fleet of attackers, Isco will surely get game time to prove what he is worth. At just 21 years of age, he has ample time to develop and learn from the likes of Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil.
A more direct impact signing is that of Dani Carvajal. A Madrid academy product, Los Blancos realized he has the quality to come back to the Bernabeu and fight for a spot in the first team.
Alvaro Arbeloa was an easy target of criticism during last season, conspicuously beaten on the right side of defense too frequently. After a less-than-stellar Confederations Cup, Arbeloa will need to work hard to keep his spot ahead of the young Carvajal.
Furthermore, Madrid have secured the signature of Real Sociedad's Asier Illarramendi after activating his $50 million release clause.
The introduction of Illarmendi—like Isco and Carvajal—is a step toward uniting a young Spanish core that will see through a transition in the coming years. Illaramendi will be useful cover for Xabi Alonso—who is out with a groin injury—and will likely inherit his role after a few more seasons.
Revisiting Lost Talent
Despite the addition of numerous youngsters, Carlo Ancelotti has not forgotten about the veterans in his new squad.
Kaka will be thankful for that.
The former Ballon d'Or winner should have experienced his peak years for Los Blancos. Instead, his performances were lackluster and he failed to lock down a starting role during his stay in Madrid.
According to Marca, Ancelotti and Kaka held meetings to discuss his future. The outcome was positive. Kaka will be given a fresh slate to prove he is still capable of competing at the top.
Another player Ancelotti will modify is Luka Modric. The diminutive Croatian was snapped up from Tottenham but has been unable to replicate his good form with Madrid. Often deployed as a deep-lying playmaker, Ancelotti believes he is more suited up the pitch.
The Guardian reports that Ancelotti doesn't see him adapting well to a deep role, but stated, "Modric needed to be able to move all over the pitch."
By injecting new life into the squad and analyzing old prospects, Ancelotti will bring a thoughtful approach to a powerful side. His tactical awareness and professional manner will be a welcome contrast to the struggles of last season.