Bayern Munich have sacked manager Carlo Ancelotti after the German champions were beaten 3-0 by Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
Bayern confirmed the decision had been made after an "internal analysis" in a statement on their official website on Thursday and that Willy Sagnol will take over on an interim basis. According to ESPN FC, Bayern officials met with Ancelotti earlier in the day.
While Bayern were poor in Paris, in the Bundesliga they’ve also failed to show their best form this term, trailing leaders Borussia Dortmund by three points.
The pressure has been building on Ancelotti since the pre-season, when Bayern looked a long way short of their usual standards in losses to Inter Milan, AC Milan and Liverpool. However, there was hope the team would find their groove once the competitive football started.
Although Bayern beat Borussia Dortmund in the Super Cup, they’ve yet to convince in the league. A loss away at Hoffenheim meant Ancelotti attracted further criticism.
A 2-2 draw with Wolfsburg at the Allianz Arena—a game in which Bayern led 2-0—prompted more angst, while the chasm between the Bavarians and PSG in the Champions League was another cause for concern.
As noted by journalist Rafael Hernandez, early in the 2017-18 season Ancelotti has made some strange decisions:
Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117
Ancelotti benched Boateng and Hummels for Süle and Martínez, he’s lost the plot. I don’t think he’ll last the season.2017-9-27 18:51:27
The players didn’t seem completely behind the Italian either. When pointedly asked about whether he still backed the manager after the PSG match, Bayern winger Arjen Robben said "I will not answer that," per Matthew Scott of Goal.
Meanwhile, club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said there was to be "consequences" after the defeat by PSG, per the Associated Press (h/t the MailOnline). Per journalist Raphael Honigstein, the good work done at the club by former manager Pep Guardiola appears to have been undone by the ex-AC Milan coach:
Raphael Honigstein @honigstein
Don't think anyone at Bayern thought it possible that all of their positional and possession play could disappear so quickly.2017-9-27 21:24:26
The position at Bayern is one of the most illustrious managerial jobs in world football and it’ll be fascinating to see which way the club turn in their recruitment.
As noted by Ed Malyon of the Independent, Hoffenheim’s 30-year-old manager Julian Nagelsmann has been tipped as a potential successor, although there may be issues getting him on board at the moment:
Ed Malyon @eaamalyon
So if Carlo Ancelotti goes, do they get someone in as interim until Nagelsmann in the summer or somehow convince Hoffenheim to let him out?2017-9-28 10:22:08
While Bayern have a clutch of world-class talents on their books, the next man taking over doesn’t have a straightforward job to do. After the summer departures of Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso, the side evidently lacks leadership, while star goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is out of action until 2018 after breaking his foot.
Ancelotti enjoyed success at Bayern in his first season, winning the Bundesliga title. However, he was expected to build on the foundations carefully built by Guardiola and overall it appears as though he was never the right man to do so.