Ancelotti tastes the Koeman medicine after horror week

FT Desk
  • FT Desk
  • October 3, 2021, 20:02 CEST
  • 4 min read

Carlo Ancelotti risks a mini-crisis at Real Madrid after a horror week in charge of the Spanish giants.

A week ago Madrid were in a great position both domestically and in Europe after a five-match winning streak in all competitions.

However, their unbeaten start to the campaign has since come to a crashing halt.

Real Madrid’s horror week

First of all, Madrid could only manage a 0-0 draw with Villarreal last weekend in La Liga.

Then, in midweek, the Blancos suffered arguably the most humiliating defeat in the history of the club as they lost 2-1 at home in the Champions League to Moldovan minnows Sheriff Tiraspol.

And they followed that up with another 2-1 loss on Sunday to Espanyol as Karim Benzema’s strike proved to only be a consolation.

This result means that Madrid have thrown away their lead at the top of La Liga and may have lost their leadership entirely by the end of the matchday.

“We were bad. There is not much to say,” Ancelotti accepted following the defeat against Espanyol.

“We started with an idea, but after the first goal we were not able to remain calm.

We were confused. We were not well-positioned. I have to be honest, it was our worst game of the season.”

Is Ancelotti the right man for Real Madrid?

There were big question marks in the summer whether Ancelotti was the right appointment as he returned to the club as coach after six years away.

One of the greatest managers in history – having won three Champions Leagues and league titles in four of Europe’s big five leagues – is Ancelotti now past his best.

At the age of 62, his last two spells at Napoli and Everton have been far less successful than his previous jobs.

It is still far too early to call this situation a crisis as Madrid are well in contention both in La Liga and in the Champions League – where they are second in their group with three points from two games.

But should this run continue after the international break, then Ancelotti will risk finding himself in the same situation that Ronald Koeman does at Barcelona.

Koeman is on the verge of the sack at Camp Nou after a disastrous start to the campaign that sees Barca languishing in mid-table in La Liga and with no points and no goals from their two Champions League matches.

Real Madrid face Athletic Bilbao next on October 16 in what is now a must-win match after this horrific week.