Bayern prides itself on being not a team but a club in the truest sense of the word, a Bavarian civic institution. It expects its players to dress up in lederhosen for Oktoberfest, and to go out to visit fan groups once a year. It demands its manager engage with its social side, too. Guardiola, single-minded and reclusive, never did.
When the time came to replace him, then, Bayern decided it needed a change of pace: not quite a rest, but not far from it. Ancelotti fit the bill perfectly.
He had the rÃ©sumÃ©: three Champions League victories as a coach, at A.C. Milan and Real Madrid, and a list of former employers that proved he could coach a team of big names and manage a board of considerable egos, too.
Just as significant, though, he had the personality: genial, professional and, compared to Guardiola, relaxed. âCarlo is a calm, balanced expert, who knows how to deal with stars and favors a multifaceted style of play,â Rummenigge said when Ancelottiâs appointment was confirmed. âWe were looking for this, and we have found it.â
Ancelotti was exactly as advertised. He is calm, and he is genial. He was popular in Munich, a much more approachable figure than Guardiola: âDown to earth,â in Rummeniggeâs words at last yearâs annual general meeting of club members.
Ancelotti was just what Bayern had wanted. It just turned out he was not at all what it needed.
On the surface, Bayern appears to have acted with uncharacteristic haste in firing Ancelotti now, just a few weeks into the season and a day after a…