Carlo Ancelotti has been through this before. He's come into a new club, a big club with a long tradition of success, and he's largely been able to continue that tradition, sometimes even writing new chapters in the storied history of the clubs. So with his Bayern Munich team's preseason preparation in full swing, and a match with Inter on Saturday, Ancelotti has his eyes trained on both the big picture and the little details.
The manager said after his team's penalty shootout defeat to AC Milan in their International Champions Cup opener that fitness and conditioining is the most important thing on the field, especially because so many of his players remain in Europe on holiday after Euro 2016. But also important to the Italian tactician is building relationships with not just his players but with everyone involved with the Bavarians.
"I think as a manager the relationship with a player is the most important part but also the people that are working with you, for you, in the club. Not only the players.," Ancelotti said. "The key of success at one club is to build a strong relationship with the club, with the players, with the staff and also with the supporters. It will be fantastic."
Ancelotti has made a strong first impression, with defender David Alaba telling Goal the Italian is "a really cool guy." Centre-back Holger Badstuber described the manager as "calm," while forward Julian Green said he's "the perfect coach" to lead the Bundesliga champions.
"He’s really friendly, a top-class manager," midfielder Arturo Vidal told Goal on Friday. "It’s a privilege to have him here as a manager, and we’re going to try to take advantage of that and do things well so we can win everything."
Part of the reason the coach has won over his players is his track record for success, but the other is Ancelotti's style of valuing face time and conversation with his charges. The pre-season tour, which provides more downtime than the typical European season with its rigid schedule that brings weekly matches and frequent midweek games, has been the perfect medium for Ancelotti to get to know the Bayern players and the people around the team.
"This is a good time for this because we have more time to spend together," he said. "Yesterday, we went to a beautiful steakhouse and had fun for two hours. Apart from the relationship with the players, it’s important to have time to build these relationships. I’m really enjoying the staff because they have humble people who work hard. So up to now, everything has been OK."
The tactician will have more relationships to build once the team returns to Europe and is joined by some of its brightest stars, but Ancelotti is doing his best to make clear that every person, every moving part, will be important during the slog the season can become. Ancelotti said he's looking forward to seeing his former team-mate and current Inter coach Roberto Mancini on Saturday, but again hinted that the result of the contest would come second to the concepts he's looking to instill in his team.
Ancelotti hopes the personal touch with his players and staff at Bayern will get everyone pulling in the same direction, the direction that leads to more titles for Bayern's trophy case. Even though it's a scenario he's lived out before, it's one he'd be more than happy to go through again. [source]