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Bayern Munich: Ancelotti was the victim of unrealistic expectations

The Italian was a victim of timing and also who he wasn’t and what he didn’t bring to Bavaria.

Losing to Paris Saint-Germain 3-0 is not a crime, such is the sparkling football that they play these days, and especially with the attacking trident which they have.

For a club like Bayern Munich though, any kind of defeat is unacceptable, especially by such a margin. 

Indeed, it was so unacceptable that their manager Carlo Ancelotti lost his job, even if they are still in a qualifying position in their Champions League group and are only three points behind Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga.

This also comes off the back of a season where they won the league by 15 points and were unfortunate to go out to Real Madrid in Europe at the quarter-final stage.

Sacked for who he wasn’t

However, it seems as though the Italian was a victim of timing. He was, too, a victim of who he wasn’t and what he didn’t bring to Bavaria.

When Pep Guardiola came to Munich, the thinking was that he would take them to the level of the superclubs in Europe, to the status of Barcelona and Real Madrid. For all of their success over the years, both domestically and on the European stage, Bayern has never been a glamour club.


The arrival of the Spaniard was going to change that, with his unique tactical philosophy and the track record of unparalleled success that he was bringing. He ultimately did not take Munich on to be the dominant force in Europe, but he brought new ideas and revolutionised their way of playing. 

Ancelotti did not do this.

Whereas the Spaniard was demanding of his players, the Italian was laid back, and perhaps he was too much of a drastic change from what the players and the club had experienced with Guardiola.

Unfortunate circumstances

Ancelotti was punished for not being someone else, but also he was unfortunate to inherit a side that was reaching the end of the line, whether it was through retirement, loss of form, injury or moving past their peak.

The loss on Wednesday was notable by who was not there for one reason or another.


Xabi Alonso and Philipp Lahm have both retired, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Manuel Neuer were all injured, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are past their best, Thomas Muller has been woefully off form for a good while now, while Arturo Vidal is clearly knackered having played football non-stop for four years now.

Players like Corentin Tolisso and James Rodriguez have come in, but it will take time for them to adjust, though it seems as though time is not something they have if the treatment of Ancelotti is anything to go by.

Have Bayern moved too fast?

Bayern are looking for an improvement, and aren’t going to hang around waiting for it, as shown by the sacking of the Italian.

However, the question is as to whether they are going to find anyone better out there right now that is going to have the desired impact.

The players that any incoming manager will have to work with are going to be the same and changing once the season has already started isn’t always the best recipe for improvement. 

Furthermore, who’s to say that Ancelotti wouldn’t have turned it around, especially when you consider that it’s not as if they were all that bad last year, and aren’t exactly in a parlous state right now.

If anything, they’ve perhaps done themselves more harm by making this somewhat fast change. 

Only time will tell.

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Richard Firth

A follower of all sports, but in particular football.

Bayern Munich: Ancelotti was the victim of unrealistic expectations

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