Real Madrid News: 5 Reasons Why Los Blancos Need to Hold onto Carlo Ancelotti
President Florentino Perez is close to delivering the Holy Grail to his club's supporters. Since their last Champions League trophy in 2002, the quest for the almost enigmatic 10th title has been relentless.
Victory would see Perez immortalised among the Bernabeu faithful—the president that delivered La Decima.
The obstacle in Los Blancos' path is recently crowned La Liga champions Atletico Madrid.
While a victory would be glorious, a defeat would be considered disastrous—particularly one to their cross-city rivals, who have only a fraction of Real's financial muscle.
It is likely that the ultimate responsibility of a defeat would fall on Carlo Ancelotti's shoulders—albeit somewhat harshly.
So, with this in mind there are five reasons why Perez needs to keep his finger away from the trigger if the unthinkable occurs in Lisbon.
Ancelotti had an excellent CV before his Bernabeu appointment last summer.
Upon moving to Chelsea he won the domestic league-and-cup double—something which Blues favourite Jose Mourinho failed to achieve.
His stint in France with Paris Saint-Germain resulted in another league title.
A victory on Saturday would see Ancelotti join Bob Paisley as the only manager to win three European Cups.
This evidence would therefore suggest very few candidates would be better qualified to lead Real Madrid, regardless of Saturday's outcome in Lisbon.
4. Los Blancos' Playing Style
The Real Madrid of 2012/13 and 2013/14 are akin to chalk and cheese.
As per a FourFourTwo publication shortly after Ancelotti's appointment, it was deemed that President Perez wanted Real to exhibit an expansive style of football.
Despite scoring approximately the same number of goals in La Liga (103 goals in 2012/13 versus 104 goals in 2013/14), they did create over 50 more chances during the course of this past season.
Furthermore, flamboyant football has particularly been evident in Los Blancos' current Champions League campaign by scoring 37 goals (including three against Serie A winners Juventus and five against Champions League holders plus Bundesliga victors Bayern Munich) compared to 26 last season.
It is safe to say Ancelotti has met Perez's objective of delivering an attractive and fluid brand of entertaining football.
Statistics provided from Squawka.com
3. Integration of Younger Players
Upon his Real Madrid appointment, Ancelotti received a fitting accolade from the great Paolo Maldini.
Of all the coaches I have had, he [Ancelotti] was the one who managed the dressing room with the most serenity. The secret of our success was his normality. He isn't one of those who works alone, and this shows great intelligence. For this reason he will win titles wherever he goes: with Milan, Chelsea or Real Madrid.
This statement personifies the Italian's calmness, evident as he has aided expensive young signings such as Isco and Asier Illarramendi to make a relatively smooth transition to Bernabeu life.
Meanwhile, Real youth products such as Jese and Alvaro Morata (who scored 13 goals between them) have played their part this season.
2. The Dynamic Duo
Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail interviewed Ancelotti this week, and suggested that one of the reasons Bale has settled so quickly in Spain is because Ronaldo has taken him under his wing:
Small things. In the tunnel before the players come out; in the huddle just before a game. It will be a quiet word, a squeeze of the shoulder. And he and Bale and Benzema work for each other. Very unselfish
After scoring 67 goals and creating 116 key chances this season (La Liga and Champions League combined), the pair have demonstrated that they gelled together to form a potent partnership—which few defences have looked forward to facing this season.
Statistics sourced from Squawka.com
When Gareth Bale scored a late winner against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final, he along with Ancelotti were the flavour of the month.
The La Liga title also looked a strong possibility but that all changed during one week in early March when Los Blancos took just two points from three games.
In the end, Real finished the season three points away from eventual-winners Atletico—a disappointment but an improvement compared to 15 points last season (although last season's champions Barcelona have admittedly regressed).
So now the attention firmly turns to Saturday and La Decima:
From the first day I arrived here it was about the Decima, because for Real Madrid this cup is special. I wouldn’t call it an obsession. Just a motivation.
It may be more than a motivation for Perez but if the outcome in Lisbon is not a favourable one, he must avoid making any rash decisions regarding the coach—Ancelotti must stay with Los Blancos.