Ancelotti or Arteta – The situation
Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta. Two names that have been banded around the entirety of Twitter for the last two weeks. Both Arsenal and Everton have been in search for a manager to save their currently disastrous seasons. Allegri isn’t ready, Vitor Pereira has said no. But finally, both the Gunners and Toffees fans are getting closer to getting someone in their dugouts. The question is, are they making the right choices?
Sky Sports have dropped two bombshells today. Arsenal officials have begun talks with Arteta, whilst Everton have reportedly agreed a deal in principle with Ancelotti. The red of North London has looked towards youth and fresh ideas, the blue of Merseyside has gone for an experienced serial winner. We did individual articles on both the Italian (HERE) and Spaniard (HERE), prior to today’s revelations. However, with this article, I want to compare the two different directions the clubs have gone in.
Short term vs long term? Youth vs experience? No C.V vs one of football’s most decorated trophy cabinets? The two managers couldn’t be more different and on paper, it seems like a no-brainer that Everton have made an incredible appointment, whilst Arsenal have been left in the mud. But I don’t think it’s as simple as that…
Carlo Ancelotti – The trophy winning genius
We’ll start with Carlo Ancelotti. His resume is absolutely incredible, only matched by Jose Mourinho in modern day football. 3 Champions Leagues, a Premier League title, Bundesliga title, multiple Serie A titles, Ligue 1 title. We haven’t even mentioned the domestic cups he’s won, the man is a serial winner.
The former AC Milan manager’s ability to move from team to team and continue winning silverware speaks volumes. This elite mentality he has carries over to almost wherever he goes. The brand of football under Ancelotti too is excellent. He allows players to express themselves with freedom, tending to bring the best out of fullbacks as well as the attackers. That double winning Chelsea side in 2009/10 were a joy to watch, the first team to score over 100 goals in a season in the Premier League era. But the former AC Milan boss also builds a strong back four. His Rossoneri side between 2001 and 2009 says it all. The likes of Nesta, Maldini and Staam flourished under his stewardship.
Criticism of the Italian
But has he still got it, and also, how long for? These are the two questions surrounding the 60 year old veteran. The former PSG manager hasn’t stayed at a club for more than 2 seasons since his 8 year stint at the San Siro. Though he has brought silverware wherever he has gone, both Everton and Arsenal are clubs that require a long term plan with certainty as well as stability. Ancelotti’s last two jobs you could argue have been failures for the most part. At Bayern, he did the bare minimum of winning the Bundesliga. Yet beyond that, his tactics and ‘laid back’ style of management was criticised.
Based on what we’ve seen with the Gunners and Toffees, some of their players need serious coaching. Can Carlo do that? I’m not so sure if he’s as relaxed as suggested. His last job at Napoli has also been scrutinised. A poor start domestically saw him sacked with the side 7th in Serie A. The fact he was removed despite reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League suggests Europe papered over the cracks of the former Real Madrid coach. In many ways, his career bears similarities to Mourinho. Trophies, short term success and then moving on. Many believe both are on the decline, hence why Ancelotti’s suitability for another top flight job is being questioned.
Mikel Arteta – The exciting prospect
Now, Mikel Arteta. Obviously, you can’t compare a novice with one of the greatest managers of all time. No question about it. However, the significance of the appointments for Everton and Arsenal is timing. Ancelotti very much looks like he’s coming to the end of his illustrious time as a manager. Arteta on the other hand, is looking to kick start his own. It looks like a huge gamble for the Gunners, but could it pay off?
“He’s helped me a lot. From day one, so not just the last two seasons, from day one. He has an incredible work ethic, and he has a special talent to analyse what happens, and to find the solutions.”Guardiola on Arteta succeeding him at the Etihad
The former midfielder has been Pep Guardiola’s right hand man since he arrived in Manchester. You don’t get selected for that position for nothing. The 37 year old has been praised by Pep for his intelligence and role in the City dressing room. How he played the game, it’s no surprise that he’s having this praise heaped on him. Arsene Wenger also praised Arteta for how he reads the game. If two legendary managers are saying that, you’re definitely not a mug.
A tough ask for a beginner
With the La Masia academy graduate, you’d like to think the club would give him time. He would be learning on the job, establishing a long term vision for the club and, Arsenal would hope, give the side an identity as well as foundation for the future. Yet being the manager of a club the size of Arsenal as your first EVER job in management is a tough ask.
Essentially, the club would be going in blind. Being the main man in the dugout compared to the assistant is a completely different kettle of fish. Also, how patient will the fans and board be with Arteta? Emery only got a year and a half. Who’s to say their former midfielder will be given much longer? Football is a cruel business at the end of the day. If Arteta does get the job, everyone’s expectations at the Emirates will have to be lowered in the short term at least.
Ancelotti or Arteta – Summary
The reason I’ve compared Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta is because both clubs have been linked to both. It now looks like the former will be blue, whilst the latter will be red. In fact come Saturday, they could be in opposite dugouts for their first games. Assuming everything continues as expected. It’s a question of experience vs youth. Arteta is a large gamble for Arsenal yes, but is Ancelotti really the right fit with the stage Everton are in? Both appointments have their pros and cons. But only time will tell who out of the Gunners and the Toffees is better off…
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