Why Italy should look at Carlo Ancelotti to guide them to another World Cup title
Euro 2016 had many people talking about Italy because they were arguably the Champions who never were. They stopped Belgium and Spain, only to lose to the Germans through penalties. At the time, they had a very organised back three, while their midfielders, even though not creative, knew how to execute their passes and in the end, create goals.
The notion that most of their achievements were because of the now Chelsea FC manager, Antonio Conte, a very tactical manager, might be true.
Looking at their recent performances, one might not be able to spot their weakness because they have won four of their last six matches, lost one and drawn two. They have also scored eighteen times and conceded four goals. On paper, these statistics might seem above average, but the details in them scream louder.
This is because of the fact that the only convincing win that Italy posted, was the 3-0 mauling of Uruguay. The other wins were against teams which can be considered inferior; San Marino, Liechtenstein and Israel. Amazingly, Italy were beaten 3-0 by Spain and could muster just a draw against Macedonia FYR with a 1-1 scoreline.
The truth of the matter is that the Italians have historically, and even on paper, been stronger than the Macedonians. Prior to this draw, the Italians only managed a 1-0 win playing at home against Israel when they should have performed better, and the worst of all, was their 0-3 defeat against Spain.
This means, that out of nine points, the Italians have only managed four, scoring two goals and conceding four. These statistics should worry any Italian football fan because they are not convincing at all, and do not look like four-time World Champions.
For a team of Italy's stature to be losing their power when the World Cup is around the corner is worrying. Gian Piero Ventura is an experienced coach who is trying to fill in very big shoes vacated by Antonio Conte.
Despite a good squad, a 39.35% win rate is hardly inspiring before a major tournament.
Italians have a very different approach to football because historically, they have been known to concede few goals, with long passes being a trademark that they have kept for so long. They also like wing-backs who can stretch play. The problem with Ventura is that his tactics do not seem to fit with this type of style and that he should see the signs of an unsuccessful World Cup campaign and leave the position for a better manager.
The same sentiments should be spotted by the Italian football body, who should make the necessary steps as fast as possible so that they can avoid disappointment, come Russia 2018.
Carlo can save Italy
It is not late for the Italians to gain power, neither is it late for them to make befitting changes. As we speak, one of the most successful Italian managers, who is arguably the best and got fired because of player power - Carlo Ancelotti, is unemployed. The Italian football body should convince him to take over the reigns of their national team and lead it to glory because Ancelotti has got a Midas touch.
His club managerial career is littered with trophies, having had won titles in Italy, England, Spain, France and Germany, among other individual titles as a manager.
His managerial win rate of 58.93% is way more convincing compared to Ventura's 39.35%. Before making it clear that he was going to take time out before joining another club as manager, it was rumoured that he was going to join the likes of West Ham and at one point, on his way back to AC Milan.
Instead of taking a sabbatical, returning to work will bode well for Ancelotti. Popular opinion, however, is that Ancelotti shouldn't join any club yet, as he has already won almost everything there is to win.
The only title he should consider going after is the FIFA World Cup, and Italy should be his means to do so. Undoubtedly, he should be appointed Italian national team manager and rescue them from grave embarrassment and disappointment that could befall them next year.