There is a curse hanging over Chelsea football club and that curse is all Roman Abramovich, as poor Carlo Ancelotti found out.
Ever since the Russian took over at Stamford Bridge there has rarely been a manager who has survived ‘long-term’ – irrespective of success. Jose Mourinho was the first to feel Abramovich’s wrath in 2007, despite winning the FA Cup once and the Premier League and League Cup twice, though this was more a case of the Portuguese jumping before being pushed. Whilst Roberto Di Matteo, who was never really up to scratch, Mourinho (again) and Antonio Conte have all suffered since – despite winning a Champions League and two domestic titles between them.
Our interest today, however, is Carlo Ancelotti.
The Italian sacrificed a very positive working environment at AC Milan, where he was apparently adored, to make the unpredictable jump into Premier League management under Roman Abramovich in 2009 (as per The Guardian). Having been crowned a Champions League winner twice with his former club, we think it is fair to say that expectations were quite high when he arrived at Stamford Bridge. And, for the most part, he did not disappoint. Chelsea won the domestic title in his first season at the club, beating Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United by a single point.
But cracks began to show soon after, as they often do with the Blues. Ray Wilkins was surprisingly sacked in 2010, results started to dip – including a shameful defeat against Sunderland, and Abramovich started meddling in football again as he had done with Mourinho years before. He was eventually sacked in 2011 – presumably, via an unceremonious text message, we all know the Russian loved doing that (as per Express).
Carlo Ancelotti has since enjoyed success in some pretty high-profile roles, including the Champions League, Copa Del Rey and FIFA Club World Cup with Real Madrid, Ligue 1 title with Paris Saint-Germain, and Bundesliga with Bayern.
He’s now with Napoli. Probably a happier man.
Chelsea fans, what are some of your favourite Ancelotti memories? Join the discussion by commenting below…