Napoli - Roma. The Derby del Sole. or Derby of the Sun in English. Except this time, the Sun takes a small step backwards as there’s one name that will steal it’s limelight (Ha! Get it? Sun, limeLIGHT?!). That name is Carlo Ancelotti. Oh dear Carletto...
Why are you on that blue bench and not Roma’s red one? Why has it all come this far? Who’s to blame? Maybe you, Carlo. Is Rome not good enough for you? Aren’t we big enough? Are you scared of the pressure, the fans? Don’t you want to take the responsability? When will you make it up to us and the city of Rome? What with those ten years as a Roma player in the 80s?Montella and Di Francesco returned as trainers, why won’t you?
So many questions, so few answers. To be honest, I can’t really blame Ancelotti if he stays away from the Roman graveyard of trainers. Especially former players are burried there. Montella, Conti, Völler tried it for a short period but failed. Ranieri only has that 2009-2010 season to brag about but that’s it because 2010-2011 was a whole lot worse. Di Francesco has the amazing CL run, but right now his future is uncertain and his job is up in the air after disappointing results in Serie A.
Long story short: perhaps Ancelotti and Roma just aren’t made for each other, although I think otherwise. A lot of fans (including me) would love both to collaborate and see what magic they produce. Yet Carlo’s almost 60 now and just signed a contract with Napoli. The team is doing fine so it doesn’t look like he will be a realistic option anytime soon.
However, before Ancelotti joined Napoli, we all thought Carlo doesn’t want to join Roma simply because we aren’t a financial superpower like Chelsea, PSG, Real, Milan (the CL winning one, not the current one, that’s a mess) or Bayern. But Napoli? Really?
Ok, last season they were phenomenal and way better than Roma. But it was Roma who shone on the European stage and got all the highlights. Roma’s squad vs Napoli’s squad isn’t that big of a difference. Roma has no Messi, Kane, Ronaldo, Griezmann or Hazard, but so does Napoli.
Mertens, Hamsik, Koulibaly, Allan, Insigne and Zielinski are all fine footballers, but so are De Rossi, Manolas, Dzeko, Kolarov or Ünder. If Carlo went to Juve, that would be logical since they’re always no1 candidate for the Scudetto and with Ronaldo joining the fray, they’re suddenly also a CL contender. But why Napoli?
You could say the ‘project’ at Napoli is interesting. The foundations are clearly there as they have been one of Italy’s most entertaining sides since two seasons. But they did sell Higuain, Jorginho, Inler, Reina among others, so it’s not like they’re untouchable. Roma’s project perhaps has its flaws, but with talents like Bianda, the Pellegrini’s, Zaniolo, Ünder, Kluivert or Schick there is also something brewing underneath.
Maybe the American ownership and guys like Pallotta scare him off. Could be but at Chelsea he had a Russian owner and at Paris he had Qatari owners. In other words, Carlo has seen some shit and has experience with extravagant presidents and chairmen. Besides, De Laurentiis at Napoli isn’t exactly a wallflower as well.
Oh hell, what does it even matter. We can’t hijack Ancelotti or tie him to a chair and make him sign a contract with Roma so I guess we’ll have to life with it. Plus, there’s one Eusebio already at the helm in Rome who isn’t planning to pack his bags soon. But let’s say Ancelotti would be open for a move, how many people in Church here wouldn’t hesitate a second to fire EDF?
I can understand. Because Carlo is an exception. He has that famous Roman background (170+ games, one Scudetto and four Coppe Italia with Roma), has won a tonload as a manager in various countries and would finally be a name with international prestige to join the Giallorossi. When was the last time Roma signed a coach that succesful? Capello in 1999? And guess when Roma won its last title? Yup, under Capello.
Tomorrow Roma will face Ancelotti in Serie A for the first time in almost ten years. EDF can try to outsmart one of his idols and make me eat my words. Or Carlo can condemn Roma and plunge EDF into another crisis in which Pallotta declares he feels ‘disgusted’.
Whatever the result may be on Sunday, I would still welcome Carlo with open arms. Welcome him back home in a city where he has so much history.
Secretly I hope that one day Carletto’s way will be the Roman way. The right way.