Real Madrid’s Manager Carlo Ancelotti is the right man at the right time as he readies to lead what could become a super team. With the transfer of German midfielder Toni Kroos already completed and all eyes on Colombian James Rodriguez with his pending transfer to Los Blancos, Ancelotti will have the job of blending the vast collection of talent on the pitch. With Cristian Ronaldo and Gareth Bale already on the roster, adding the steadiness of Kroos and wizardry of Rodriguez will require a deft touch to achieve the full potential out of the talent assembled. Ancelotti has proven himself to have the flexibility necessary to blend the talents of his players in the most beneficial fashion and the squad being assembled at Real Madrid will require every bit of his flexibility and creativity to flourish.
The status of Angel DiMaria and Karim Benzema remains unclear, as both players are rumored to have Premier League destinations in order to help fund the rumored €75 million transfer fee for Rodriguez. Retaining striker Benzema makes sense on the field as the team needs a top flight striker to round out the offensive arsenal. Having Kroos with his passing accuracy leading the initial attack and Rodriguez to push the offense forward should allow Ronaldo and Bale to have a wealth of scoring opportunities. Keeping Benzema and his scoring ability would round out the side to prevent defenders from devoting too much attention to Ronaldo and Bale.
Ancelotti has admitted to being too bound to a 4-4-2 system earlier in his career when he led Parma and shunned a possible Roberto Baggio transfer. He did not believe that Baggio could thrive in his preferred system. Ancelotti learned that a lack of flexibility and unwillingness to adapt cost his team. With a more flexible approach as developed over time, Carlo Ancelotti is more capable of blending the dynamic talents of a potential Real Madrid super team.
When managing a team with offensive deficiencies, holding to a static model of offensive formations and player duties helps to mask the players’ collective weaknesses. Ancelotti’s task with Real will not be to hide weaknesses, but will instead be to permit the team’s abundant talent to flourish. With Ronaldo in particular, Ancelotti has spoken about putting him in positions where he is most comfortable. To the extent possible, Ancelotti’s job will be to determine where his collection of stars are comfortable and allow them to use their full talents. Through experience, Ancelotti has learned to adapt his coaching to the talent around him.
With FC Barcelona once again stockpiling talent in the form of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, together with the possible addition of Colombian Juan Cuadrado, the victory in the next El Clasico will go to the side which best meshes the collective talents of the players. Based on Carlo Ancelotti’s insight and flexibility, Real Madrid stands a great chance of coming out on top as the true super team. Ancelotti will figure out the best way to lead his squad to maximize their considerable talents.
Commentary by William Costolo