Napoli sack Ancelotti despite progressing in Champions League

By Sports Desk December 10, 2019

Carlo Ancelotti has been sacked by Napoli despite steering the Serie A club into the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Napoli beat Genk 4-0 at home on Tuesday to end a run of nine games without a victory in all competitions, securing second place in Group E behind Liverpool.

Rumours that Ancelotti was set to depart the Stadio San Paolo after just over 18 months in the role have been growing in Italy, with suggestions ex-Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso has already been lined up as his replacement.

After the Genk win, Ancelotti indicated he would not be resigning from his post but said he would be holding talks with club president Aurelio De Laurentiis over his future.

Napoli announced Ancelotti's departure in a short statement posted on social media just hours later.

The statement said: "Napoli has decided to revoke the role of technical manager of the first team from Mr Carlo Ancelotti. 

"The relations of friendship, esteem and mutual respect between the company, its president Aurelio De Laurentiis and Carlo Ancelotti remain intact."

Speaking at a news conference after the Genk win, Ancelotti said of his future: "As of today, I'm still on the bench and I hope I will be on it for the next game too.

"I have no decisions to take, no assessment to make, except for the one with the president, who will decide, based on his indications, whether we can go forward or not. There's not much else to discuss.

"The fact that I am at risk is absolutely normal, it's part of this world. The team, as you [the media] have written many times, has had a negative performance in the league.

"Nothing to complain about what we did in the Champions League, but what we did in the league was - in light of our path in the Champions League - insufficient."

Ancelotti, a three-time winner of the Champions League as a coach, has now been sacked by his last three clubs having previously been fired by both Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

The 60-year-old has been linked with a return to the Premier League having coached Chelsea to the title in 2009-10.

Ancelotti is reportedly of interest to both Arsenal and Everton, who have sacked Unai Emery and Marco Silva respectively within the last two weeks.

Napoli finished second in the Serie A table last term, 11 points behind champions Juventus, but are seventh this term after a poor run of form.

Related items

  • Ibrahimovic has been a 'godsend' for Milan, claims Pioli Ibrahimovic has been a 'godsend' for Milan, claims Pioli

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic has proven to be a "godsend" for Milan, says Stefano Pioli.

    The Milan boss added the Rossoneri squad have already been helped on and off the pitch by the forward's arrival.

    Ibrahimovic signed for Milan as a free agent after leaving Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy, returning to the club where he spent two seasons between 2010 and 2012 before leaving for Paris Saint-Germain.

    It did not take long for the 38-year-old to make an impact, with Ibrahimovic scoring on his first start in a 2-0 win over Cagliari last time out in Serie A.

    Milan, now unbeaten in three matches in all competitions following their 3-0 win over SPAL in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday, sit 10th in Serie A, and Pioli has hailed Ibrahimovic's immediate impact.

    "Zlatan is proving that he is not just a decoration or a statue, but a great player, performing on the field," Pioli told a news conference ahead of Milan's clash with Udinese on Sunday. 

    "His arrival was a godsend for what he shows on the pitch and in training. 

    "He gives his best like a young player. He is a player who doesn't want to lose even one match, that's how he raises the level in a team, he was also signed for this."

    Pioli has been contending with a glut of injuries, but has been impressed with how Milan have played since returning from the winter break.

    "The team is working a lot, we have found balance even with a different game system, everyone is actively trying to put pressure on the opponent," Pioli said.

    "We have to score more points quickly. We will play four times at the San Siro in the next five games, including the Coppa Italia. It will not be a decisive period but it's very important.

    "I was hoping to recover a few more players, we are in somewhat of an emergency, but those who are there are well and motivated."

  • Conte keen not to reignite Mourinho feud over Inter's Eriksen interest Conte keen not to reignite Mourinho feud over Inter's Eriksen interest

    Antonio Conte insists there are "no problems" between himself and Jose Mourinho after his old rival took a swipe at him over Inter's pursuit of Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen.

    Inter have been extensively linked with Denmark playmaker Eriksen, who is out of contract at Spurs at the end of the season.

    Speaking ahead of his team's 0-0 Premier League draw at Watford, Mourinho expressed distaste over what he perceived to be a public courtship of his player.

    "I think Antonio. He has said publicly [about Eriksen]," Mourinho said.

    "We coaches should all behave in the same way in relation to transfers. I think we should always be closed, until something happens.

    "I think we shouldn't speak about players from other clubs until they become our players."

    Addressing a pre-match news conference for Inter's Serie A trip to Lecce, Conte appeared mindful of reigniting the bitter feud that raged between the two men in early 2018 when they were in charge of Chelsea and Manchester United.

    "No not at all," he replied when asked whether he had a problem with Mourinho's comments.

    "I think it's business as usual. I know Mourinho, there are no problems."

    One player already secured by Inter during the January window is Ashley Young, who arrived from Manchester United this week.

    "He has just signed, he needs time to adapt," Conte said. "He might be ready for the Cagliari game [in Serie A next weekend].

    "He is experienced, he is 34, he has been there and done it. At United, he was playing lots of positions so he is a versatile player. He started as a winger but can play full-back and he is a reliable player.

    "I need players like that. He is a player who can complete the squad. We need those type of players.

    "I think he will settle in well, he can play in a 3-5-2, he has the abilities to play for Inter.

    "He has lots of experience behind him and is very enthusiastic. He was not playing much at United, the only issue I could foresee is getting him up to full match fitness."

    Conte dismissed suggestions Matias Vecino could be Premier League bound, with Carlo Ancelotti's Everton reported to be among the potential suitors for the Uruguay midfielder, while he also addressed Matteo Politano's future after the collapse of a proposed swap deal with Roma involving Leonardo Spinazzola.

    "Vecino is not available," he said.

    "Politano - the players know I made a technical decision. As for the rest, you have to ask the others.

    "The technical decisions are something I am happy to accept. My door is always open. I am happy to discuss the situation. These are situations that have to be handled.

    "Politano thought he was a Roma player, he wanted to go there, but it did not happen. There is still time before the window closes, so we will see how it goes."

  • Sarri confident over Ronaldo-Dybala alliance Sarri confident over Ronaldo-Dybala alliance

    Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala have no problem playing together, insists Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri.

    Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo has been in typically prolific form this season, scoring 14 times in 16 Serie A appearances and chipping with another two in the Champions League.

    Argentina international Dybala has also impressed while not scoring with the same frequency. He has 11 in 25 across all competitions, although he dazzled on his way to a brace in the 4-0 Coppa Italia win over Leece in midweek – a match Ronaldo sat out due to illness.

    "It seems to me that Dybala is doing the best things this year with everyone, he is always doing well," Sarri told a news conference ahead of Parma's visit to the Allianz Stadium on Sunday.

    "With him and Ronaldo, we have fewer players in the middle, but lately with them both we have always created and scored.

    "I consider it a myth that the two of them have difficulty playing together, Cristiano is also scoring and I don't see any problems whatsoever.

    "They also scored with Gonzalo [Higuain], so I don't see any problems."

    Much of the focus will be on Dejan Kulusevski this weekend, the attacking midfielder who Juventus bought from Atalanta earlier this month but remains on loan at Parma until the end of the campaign.

    The 19-year-old has four goals and seven assists in Serie A this term and Sarri said: "I hope that Kulusevski will not be a danger and that will mean that our defenders have contained him well.

    "Then I hope he does well with us six months from now."

    Kulusevski's impending arrival does not mean Federico Bernardeschi, who has been linked with a move to Barcelona, will be allowed to leave.

    "Nobody said anything to me," Sarri said. "As  far as I know, Bernardeschi is a player who won't be leaving. It's not an issue."

    Sarri began his briefing on Saturday by paying tribute to Pietro Anastasi, the ex-Juventus and Italy forward whose death at the age of 71 was confirmed by his former club.

    Anastasi scored 130 goals in 303 Juve appearances between 1968 and 1976 and was on target in the Azzurri's 2-0 final replay victory over Yugoslavia at the 1968 European Championship.

    "I'd like to remember Anastasi," Sarri said. "A very important player in Juventus' history and Italian football.

    "I remember him as a leading man in the 1968 European Championship, a great footballer and a great man."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.