Carlo Ancelotti's future on the line as unforgiving Florentino Perez ponders

Carlo Ancelotti's future on the line as unforgiving Florentino Perez ponders

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Madrid were dealt a firm beating by Pep G's rampant Man City

Words are often carried by the wind. Florentino Pérez ratified Carlo Ancelotti a fortnight ago, curiously, as the Real Madrid president had never before spoken out about the situation of the coaches he has had. The Italian continues to have the backing of Madridismo, who believe in him despite the bad performance in the League and in the bad way of saying goodbye to the Champions, the worst defeat of Los Blancos since 2009 when they lost 4-0 against Liverpool.

The coach repeated at the Etihad the same eleven that won 4-0 against Barça in the Copa del Rey, and the one that eliminated Chelsea (0-2 and 2-0). "We didn't do what was planned, but there's no need to make a drama," said the Italian, to hint at where the problem lay.

"He has a contract for this season and one more and we are delighted with him," said Florentino Pérez a few days ago.

A phrase that everyone interprets in their own way. For some, the ratification is clear and, for others, it leaves the exit door open.

The drubbing against City opens the debate knowing that Perez is one of those who does not forgive. Ancelotti knows this well. He experienced it in his first period when he was sacked without warning and without even expecting it, with another year left on his contract. Just like now. 

The Italian is hoping to take over the Brazil national team, a destination that excites him, although he claims he is more excited about "staying at Real Madrid for many years", as he has said publicly on several occasions. The reality is that the team has shown highs and lows throughout the season. They have lacked consistency, especially in La Liga, and the consequence is that they have lost 11 games, the same as in the two worst seasons of Florentino's second spell in the presidency. 

The first came in Mourino's second year, 12-13, and the Portuguese was sacked despite his close relationship with the president; and the second, in 18-19, with three coaches (Lopetegui, Solari and Zidane). And it could be worse, because there are four La Liga games left (Valencia, Rayo, Sevilla and Athletic) and those eleven defeats could increase to end up being the season with the most games lost since 2009-10. 

But the question is whose fault is it, Ancelotti's or those in charge of the squad planning. The polls are leaning towards the second question, and excuse the Italian whose profile is liked inside and outside of Madrid. Since the start of the season, Madrid's camp has pointed out that the squad might not be sufficient for a season with six competitions and a World Cup in between.

It was a very demanding year in which the secondary string was going to be needed to keep up the pace.

In the end, it turned out to be too little too late. The example was set by City themselves when, with Benzema and Vinicius lost, the Madrid players looked at the bench and did not see a top-class substitute to score goals or knock down opponents, while Guardiola brought on Foden, Julián Álvarez and Mahrez, who would be starters in any team in the world.

Ancelotti has what he has, a squad of 16 useful players in his eyes and seven second-choice players, five of whom have not played. And all this to face a season in which many of the indispensable players have played 60 games and with others who have not been up to the task, such as Benzema, who is essential to the team's structure. But Ancelotti is also not free from some criticism, such as having left Rudiger out, changing what worked in the first leg and doing so to repeat for the fourth time the best eleven he has used this season, but which, as he says, "did not comply with the approach".

The ball is in the president's court. What he said can be understood chronologically by referring to that moment. But the end couldn't have been worse and it doesn't matter that the Italian has the backing of Madridismo, that the decision will be taken by Florentino Pérez and everyone will abide by it with discipline in a season in which Madrid have won three titles, but none of the two biggies: La Liga or the Champions League.

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