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Why I Would Love Ancelotti To Succeed Sir Alex At Old Trafford

So who is the manager who should replace Sir Alex and why would he be a great choice to succeed arguably the greatest manager football has seen in the last 20-25 years?

His name as you would have probably worked out by the title of this article is Carlo Ancelotti who has had a quite remarkable career full-stop, not just as a manager but as a player as well most notably for Italian giants AC Milan and Roma.

As a manager he rose to fame at Parma where he inspired a young team (which included future World Cup winners Gianluigi Buffon and Fabio Cannavaro) to second place in Serie A behind Juventus in his first season in charge. Two seasons later he replaced future World Cup winning boss (and legendary manager at the time) Marcello Lippi at the Turin giants.

But for an inspirational performance by Roy Keane in the second-leg of United’s Champions League semi-final at the Stadio Delli Alpi (which @DHick92 paid tribute to last month when writing about the legendary Irishman), Ancelloti’s side would have contested that season’s final at the Nou Camp versus Bayern Munich.

After finishing second to a Lazio side then managed by Sven-Goran Eriksson the following season, Ancelotti was sacked. He didn’t have to wait long in finding a job and joined Milan. After three seasons he won the Champions League beating his former club Juve in the 2003 final at Old Trafford on penalties after a frankly dire game ended goalless after extra-time.

The following season he won the Rossineri’s first league title in 5 seasons before losing to a Steven Gerrard-inspired Liverpool in Istanbul in the Champions League final in 2005. That was a bitter blow for Milan who had dispelled the myth that Italian teams in Europe couldn’t possibly blow a 3-0 lead on the big occasion.

Ancelotti though despite being criticised for the defeat stayed on and two years later got revenge over Liverpool in Athens in the 2007 Champions League final. Of course as we all know in 2009 he joined Chelsea and enjoyed a successful first season in England winning the double, something no other manager has done in their first season.

Despite not winning any silverware last season, there’s no doubt that Roman Ambramovich was wrong to sack the Italian in the way that he did. Ancelotti didn’t moan once despite it being virtually ‘public knowledge’ that he was going to get the chop and won many friends in his two years in England due to his attitude and knowledge of the game.

He is a man who knows how to win the big-games. Just like Sir Alex he is a 2-time Champions League winner. He has a great record in the transfer market, knows how to handle the big characters at a football club, knows how to handle the pressure and demands of being at a club that virtually has to win every game and has the class, respect and distinction of everyone that he’s come across in the game.

My first choice to take over Sir Alex would probably be Jose Mourinho, but the next best alternative if he too is available to take the job would be Ancelotti who is being heavily linked with jobs at Arsenal, Spurs and even Milan’s cross city rivals Internazionale for next season.

English football though has clearly a left a mark on Ancelotti who it seems wants to return to England, if this interview with Italian newspaper La Republlica is anything to go by:

“In a few months Capello’s job will go to an Englishman that will free up a spot at a club. Only big jobs interest me like Liverpool and Tottenham. But I’m not in a rush.”

“I still have a very strong desire to stay in England. For a coach, it is the ideal country. In Italy it is difficult to get full intensity during a training week, in England it is the opposite. It is difficult to reduce it.”

Whilst there’s no denying that the Spurs and Liverpool jobs would be gigs too hard to turn down for any manager, there’s no doubt that if Ancelotti would stand a better chance of lifting his third European Cup at Old Trafford. Then again perhaps he would want to prove people wrong and taken another traditional club like Spurs who are a team challenging to become a top team (just like Parma were back in the 1990’s) to the top.

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