Ancelotti happy to inherit Guardiola’s Bayern
Pep Guardiola’s successor Carlo Ancelotti says he has changed little at Bayern Munich as the defending German champions drubbed Werder Bremen 6-0 on Friday to kick off the new season.
The Italian is clearly a fan of the adage ‘never change a winning team’ after Guardiola led Bayern to the German league and cup double on his swansong last season.
Under Guardiola, now head coach at Manchester City, and his predecessor Jupp Heynckes, Bayern won the last four Bundesliga titles in a row, a record in Germany’s top flight.
Ancelotti says he made few changes to Guardiola’s set up as Robert Lewandowski netted a hat-trick and Bayern enjoyed 70 percent possession at Munich’s Allianz Arena.
“I changed very little as this is a very strong team, maybe we just need to play forward a little more,” Ancelotti told German broadcaster ARD.
“I am very happy. That was a very good performance from my team.
“We got off to a good start and took control of the game early on.
“We played well over the 90 minutes, I’m happy and there are only a few things to improve.
“Robert Lewandowski is a fantastic striker, but we played well going forward, using lots of combinations and attacked with lots of players.”
Lewandowski, the Bundesliga’s top-scorer last season with 30 goals, could have finished with five as Bayern ran riot.
After Xabi Alonso scored the first goal of the 2016/17 campaign at Munich’s Allianz Arena, Lewandowski netted either side of the break before captain Philipp Lahm added a fourth.
It was no more than shooting practise for Bayern by the time Franck Ribery fired home, with Lewandowski then converting a penalty to claim his third and Munich’s sixth.
Germany forward Thomas Mueller was outstanding with three assists, including a superb cross for Lewandowski’s second — 39 seconds after the break.
Having also hammered Hamburg 5-0 in last season’s opening game, this was another emphatic win as Bayern look to win a fifth Bundesliga title in a row.
Ancelotti’s next league game is at Schalke 04, who finished fifth last season to qualify for the Europa League, after the international break on September 9.
– squad ‘so strong’ –
The ex-Chelsea, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid head coach says his biggest problem is who to leave out of the starting line-up in Bayern’s star-studded squad.
“The squad is so strong that it is very hard to only put on 11 players, because it means you have 11 happy faces and 12 or 13 who are not,” said Ancelotti.
“I found a fantastic atmosphere at Bayern, the players generate a good team spirit and support each other.
“They seem to be tight personally.”
Guardiola, a self-confessed perfectionist, often seems obsessed with winning, a character trait which has so far earned him 21 trophies with either Bayern or Barcelona.
Ancelotti says he is more concerned about the harmony within the squad, which he believes will yield results.
“I don’t always think about winning,” confessed the Italian, who has already won the German Super Cup — the 18th title of his career as coach — with Bayern.
“It is more important there is a good rapport among the players.
“If you win, it is a result of that.”