Carlo Ancelotti Showing Different Characteristics to Mourinho on and off Pitch

Paul WilkesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2014

Real's coach Carlo Ancelotti talks with a colleague before a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Gabriel Pecot)
Gabriel Pecot/Associated Press

When Jose Mourinho left Chelsea in 2007, Didier Drogba was in tears over the news. "I thought Jose would stay for 10 years. Everything was working perfectly," said Frank Lampard at the time.

His departure from Real Madrid last summer didn't have quite the same devastating effect, as few can argue that his tenure at the club wasn't rightfully brought to a close.

Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge was best for all concerned. His management style was different to that of his previous personas, not tactically or with the media, but with the key influential figures within the dressing room.

There were of course some players that were sad to see him leave, though mainly the change was needed for the good of the squad. The employment of Carlo Ancelotti was done to avoid repeat mistakes and counterbalance against the past.

Mourinho wanted complete control of the club from top to bottom whereas Ancelotti is happy to work within a structure, as he has done previously at Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.

It's his past CV that's proving vital when coming to terms with the challenges the job has to offer. "A club is not only under pressure from the Press. There is also pressure from the players who don’t play. That’s the worst," Ancelotti told reporters at a press conference on Thursday.

"I think when you put on the shirt of Milan or Madrid you feel different. They are similar in that sense. In all the big clubs the pressure is the same," the Italian continued.

There have been fewer leaks to media since Ancelotti took over and the camp seems united, which is the very trait that Mourinho was renowned for in other posts.

The completely contrasting ways the two coaches have dealt with Iker Casillas is a prime example.

When Mourinho placed him on the bench, Spain's No. 1 was admittedly upset. "I cried, suffered, felt bad and had nights where I slept little, if at all," he told

Under Ancelotti, he still isn't the preferred goalkeeper, having to make do with starts in the Copa del Rey and the Champions League. "At the moment, the two goalkeepers are playing alternate matches and so Iker is as much our first choice as Diego Lopez," Ancelotti recently told

His willingness to make Casillas feel part of the team is obvious rather than trying to make an example of the captain or attempt to show the shot-stopper who is the boss.

"I have to congratulate him because he is playing brilliantly at the moment. He deserves his record and he is really helping the team," he said about Casillas not conceding a goal for numerous matches.

On the pitch, it's not just selection issues that have been handled differently. The team are more expansive under Ancelotti and look to keep possession for longer periods.

This season, indicates that Real Madrid average 59.5 percent of possession per match. Last year, that number was 55.7 percent.

Behind closed doors, it appears that Ancelotti likes the players to feel comfortable with his authority and doesn't feel the need to be overly expressive about his position.

"I don’t like the Coach who says ‘you do this because I say so’," Ancelotti said.

I like the relationship to be at the same level, not above or below.

My office is always open, although they only come in when there’s a problem.

If I have to talk to a player, I do. Usually it’s if a player who usually plays isn’t going to.

I’m not the kind to rule with an iron fist but we do have discipline, a code of respect to adhere to.

The transformation is there for all to see. That's not a dig at Mourinho or his style, but right now Ancelotti is exactly what Real Madrid needs.