Why I’d Choose Ancelotti over Mourinho

Why I’d Choose Ancelotti over Mourinho


Everyone can admire the achievements of Jose Mourinho but, as a Chelsea supporter, I can honestly say that if I was given the opportunity to have any of the men who have managed Chelsea reinstated then he would be bottom of my list. Not counting Scolari, obviously.

I would, without doubt, choose to keep Ancelotti. I think this question would split a lot of football supporters and, really, I think that more people would be inclined to opt for Mourinho to manage their team. Ultimately, it’s a question of whether you favour success and efficiency or creativity and entertainment; whether you want football to be a science or an art.

You don’t even need to look at the records to know that Mourinho, statistically, had a better first season than Ancelotti. Both won the Premier League and a domestic cup each, and Mourinho got further in the Champions League. Mourinho’s Chelsea lost fewer games, won more, conceded less and finished with 9 more points in the Premier League. They had won the title by the 35th game – at this stage last season Ancelotti’s side lost to Tottenham and were starting to look like they’d slip up and allow Macnhester United to their 4th consecutive title.

Would you prefer to win the league with time to spare or do it emphatically on the last day?

Supporters who would prefer an Ancelotti would probably point to the entertainment factor associated with Ancelotti’s team. In his first league season Ancelotti scored 31 goals more than Mourinho’s Chelsea did. Also, after Mourinho spent £41 million on attacking players in his first season, his side didn’t score on 5 occasions – including 3 times at home. Ancelotti’s side scored in every game bar one, and scored 2 goals or more in all but two of their home games. At home, Ancelotti’s Chelsea scored an average of 3.58 goals per game, whilst Mourinho’s scored 1.84.

Would you prefer to stay unbeaten at home and concede only 6 goals, or lose one game but score nearly double the amount of goals and win all but 2 games at home?

Many have hailed Mourinho’s transfers and said that Ancelotti has merely inherited Mourinho’s team. It may be true that a large proportion of Chelsea’s best team were bought by Mourinho, but, I would argue, that a manager might prefer to be able to buy and pick his team, like Mourinho was able to. He spent over £90 million in his first season, compared with Ancelotti’s £20 million. Mourniho’s signings have included some of Chelsea’s current best players, but a lot of these players, notably Alex, Malouda, Mikel, Kalou and Drogba, have been much better under Ancelotti, than when managed by Mourniho, or any other managers.

Would you prefer a manager who spends lots and gets great results, or a manager who gets the best out of players who are already at the club and gives promising youth players a real chance in the first team?

Obviously there are a lot of extra factors which could be taken into account, but the most notable differences between Mourinho’s first season and Ancelotti’s are efficiency, entertainment and transfer activity (or inactivity).

To each question posed I would opt for the latter:

 I would prefer to win the title emphatically on the last day.

 I would prefer my team to score more goals and lose a few more games.

I much prefer the excitement and satisfaction of getting the best out of current players and improving the youth system, to spending extravagant amounts on fickle players who are likely to move on within a couple of season (6 out of 9 of Mourinho’s signings have now transferred away).

I want football to be an art; not a science. Winning the Premier League with Mourinho was a fantastic experience. In terms of entertainment, though, he was poor; there was the odd notably entertaining game, but supporters paying £50, or more, per game, deserve entertainment each week.

Since the days of Guillit and Vialli Chelsea have been about flair and entertainment; with Mourinho came 1-0 home wins with the winners being scrappy headers from corners. Ancelotti has, so far, retained the success of Mourinho, whilst reverting back to the entertainment of Vialli’s Chelsea.

Success is great; but, in my opinion, football should, primarily, be about entertainment.

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  1. i will always thank Mourinho for what he did for Chelsea, giving us the belief that we are one of the best teams in the world. the football being played right now, is great, and i wouldn’t want to change that at all.

    i would say, that when JM showed up, nobody was coaching like him. he basically walked in the door and took control of everything, and it showed in the near instant success he brought us. what was instilled, can still be seen, the cool efficiency, the way the defense can stand up to nearly any attack, the patience. i hope we can keep Carlo around for long enough to build on what we have, to let him put his stamp on the style of play, which i think has a beautiful flow to it now.

    success is great; but should be about entertainment….i fully agree, but winning can be quite entertaining, considering some of our opponents. at times, i chuckle when we use our physicality and ability to completely wreck the game plan of sides like arsenal.

    sure, i’d take Mourinho back, but only if King Carlo gets ate by Godzilla!

  2. It’s not a competition
    I like carlo and always have even at milan
    however if carlo inherited the team that mourinho did all those years ago do you think he wouldn’t have purchased players? or are we forgetting that chelsea has sent some very large bids for pirlo and pato? what if milan allowed them to leave? then ancelloti would have effectively spent 70 million on bench warmers…

    Mourinho proved he has ancelloti’s number in the Champion’s league last season as the ultra “efficient” chelsea couldn’t manage a single goal in the contest

    Don’t get me wrong I like carlo and prefer him at chelsea right now but only because mourinho already laid the foundation to which carlo has admitted he has found very helpful

  3. Those who thinks foundation is the only thing then why Scolari failed who inherited Mourinho’s team earlier than Ancelotti. To me Mourinho is a symbol of negativity, and look at the clubs expenses versus earnings during Mourinho, it was way negative. If you compare Mourinho’s squad vs Ancelotti, Ancelotti’s is almost half of what Mourinho had with most of the players 30+. To me it is no-brainer to say Ancelotti is much much pleasant to watch and hear than Mourinho. Yes Mourinho can sell news papers and create controversy. Chelsea has become more likable now that 3 years ago.

  4. I agree with Bibek entirely. Scolari is proof that Mourinho’s foundations have potential, but they need a really good manager to make the best of them.
    I think that, as discussed in the article, Ancelotti could have wanted a lot changed in his team. He inherited an ageing squad where all of the best players were entering their 30s, and he has, to his credit, made some of the younger players, Ivanovic, Mikel and Kalou, more important to the team. He has also given real focus to the younger players, showing that he does not intend to spend masses on players in the future.
    Would I want Chelsea to win the Champions League? Of course, but I would be a lot less satisfied with winning the Champions League in the way that Mourinho’s Inter did last season.
    He’s clever, he’s admirable and he is the best manager in the world. More importantly for me though, as a football supporter, is that he is a boring manager – he doesn’t just kill the flair of other teams, he also stifles his own team’s attacking potential.

  5. Mourinho has moved on. Its the greatness he represents that makes him still become the heart of every Chelsea Discuss. Who remembers Ranieri; Grant etc? No two persons are thesame. There is always an opportunity cost to every choice. Hail JM!!!

  6. Who has Cole chosen above his wife?? That says it all.Chelsea like Inter is still on Mourinhos foundations.Cole is as stupid as Wenger and as seen
    science beat art in the CL easily,fans want trophies in the first place not entertainment

  7. I don’t think any Chelsea supporter would have enjoyed Mourinho’s first Premier League win as much as Ancelotti’s.
    A lot of fans do want trophies, of course, but if Chelsea won the title every year at the end of April, then the fun would wear off. Supporters want positive entertainment and overcoming the odds; trophies are a by-product of this. If I was a Blackpool supporter I would be just as pleased, if not more pleased, if they were to stay in the Premier League than if I was a Manchester United supporter and won the League Cup. Another hypothetical example: a last gasp escape from relegation to the conference makes the fans at that club just as happy as the supporters of the Premier League Champions.
    Not every team in the country has aspirations to win the FA Cup. If a conference side beats Manchester United in the 3rd round you can guarantee that they will be more happy about that than a Manchester United fan would be if they won the FA Cup Final 3-0 against Scunthorpe.
    The point I am trying to make: football supporters want entertainment. Success and trophies are a by-product of this. Success and trophies are not nearly as satisfying without entertainment.

  8. It is wonderful analysis by William Turvill. I totally agree to that. I also like to see chelsea playing marvelous in the EPL. But thing is that Ancelotti’s team lack static for the CL. They lack the spark there.

  9. Mr William Turvill you forgot to mentioned that before JM arrived to Chelsea did not win PL for almost 50 years, Arsenal finished the season unbeaten and Man Utd was Strong. JM team beat Barcelona at home(4-3) and away (2-1). Would choose Ancelotti to rebuild Liverpool?

    Building something from the scratch is different than improving someone else work.

  10. Mourinho was amazing to come and win the title. But so was Ancelotti and, arguably, under more pressure.

    Mourinho did not build Chelsea from scratch. Before Mourinho took over the difference between Chelsea and the champions was 11 points. Chelsea finished ahead of Manchester United and, at that stage, were better than them already.

    Ancelotti took over and Chelsea had lost out on the title by only 7 points this time. They did, however, have two teams in the league that were better than them.

    Despite the fact that Mourinho’s Chelsea lost 2-1 to Barcelona away, they did win 4-2 at home and this was an incredible result. I think doing the doubles over Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United in the league is also a great achievement though.

    Building something from scratch is different from improving on someone else’s work, but I think on this scale Ancelotti and Mourinho weren’t too different.

    The stand-out difference for me is that there is a difference between getting £90m and having your pick of the best players in Europe, and being given £20m and having to revitalise the form and attitude of a team not playing to it’s potential.

  11. I’m very grateful still to this day that Mourinho was our manager. The confidence that he brought to the club players and fans that we were winners and we deserved success. The respect that our opposition learned.
    But I am happy as well for Ancelotti who is an able successor and the right man at this stage of our development.
    I do not want CFC to be like Arsenal, all entertainment but fragile minds, no belief. This is the most important ingredient.
    Only Mourinho, Hiddink and Ancelotti in the last ten years made me believe.

  12. While not taking anything away from Ancelotti’s achievement, your trashing Mourinho’s achievement smacks of a small mindset, Mr. Turvill.

    Before Mourinho came in, were Chelsea players playing with same level of intensity that they started playing.

    And if you are suggesting that Mourinho and Ancelotti’s teams are on similar levels, you seriously are joking.

    Mourniho inherited a team, without belief, rather who had a belief that they wouldn’t win anything. Ancelotti’s team had a taste of glory just a couple of years back.

    IIRC, in the first year of Mourinho we had players like Mutu, Smertin, Gudjohnsson, Cudicini, Melchiot, Gronkjaer, Huth. Where are they now?

    Granted, the core of Mourinho’s team was also there at the time with people like Terry, Gallas, Lampard, Bridge, Cole, Duff. But were they playing as champtions, I doubt that. So you cannot really compare the team that Mourinho inherited and built as against Ancelotti did.

    I am not trying to belittle what Ancelotti is doing, but it does not give you license to trash Mourinho. After all, as somebody has already mentioned, he was the person who gave CFC a winning mentality, which has served them tide over difficult times recently.

  13. The point of the article was not to ‘trash’ Mourinho’s achievements. He was a great manager and was very successful. I simply suggest that Ancelotti is better.

    I think if Mourinho’s Chelsea were a slightly better team. I’d still prefer to support the current Chelsea team, though.

    When Mourinho came the club was in excitement and was on the rise (in 2 years we’d gone from 6th to 2nd). When Ancelotti arrived the team was in steady decline and without the help of Hiddink may not have qualified for the Champions League. The players and supporters were in a very negative place because of league positions and Champions League failure. Mourinho needed to bring belief and he did very well. Ancelotti needed to bring back belief and he did in spectacular fashion.

    In terms of statistics both managers inherited quite similar teams. Mourinho’s Mutu’s were Ancelotti’s Deco’s. The difference was that Mourinho sold them and spent nearly £200 million in 2 years, and Ancelotti kept them, gave them confidence and spent about a quarter of this in two years.

    Both Mourinho and Ancelotti have done great jobs. But, personally, I prefer the outcome of Ancelotti’s work.

    P.s.Mourinho may have inherited some dubious players, but Cudicini and Gudjohnsen were superb players for Chelsea and official legends of the club (http://www.chelseafc.com/page/Legends_Index/0,,10268,00.html).
    Melchiot has been our best right-back in a decade, other than, possibly, Bosingwa.
    As for Jesper Gronkjaer, his form was ropey but he did score, arguably, the most important goal in Chelsea’s history; that should not be forgotten.

  14. When you say that person ‘X’ will be last in your list of favourite people, you are obviously trashing that person, maybe you were just trying to gain publicity by baiting people (like me)…

    Creating winning mentality and resusciating winning mentality are totally different and though both are necessary. I believe that creating requires more efforts, sweat and intensity.

    About spending money, what exactly is Mancini over at ManCity doing? coming first every year is he? Come on, don’t go on about money spent.

    Boring teams?

    In the 2004-05 Season, out of 38 games, 12 finished with goal difference of 3 or more. 11 were the so-called boring 1-0 games. If you want your team to go out to play expansive game every time they take to the field, then I think that might not happen.

    In 2005-06 Season, the number of boring 1-0 games goes down to 9 and 23 games where Chelsea score more than 1 goal, and ofcourse they finish the season with highest number of goals scored (joint with ManUtd) and least number of goals against. If that is not achivement then I fail to see what is.

    It’s pretty much common sense, that you play as the game dictates, not as your fans wish you to play. You play to win, not to entertain. If you want entertainment then maybe we should play FIFA computer game, we can be as entertaining as we wish and spank ManUtd 10-0 in every game.

    Ancelotti is a great guy, but I would not put him in ranking just so that I can make my point. Mr. Turvell, I can very well understand the point that you are trying to make. I applaud you for making the point, I just regret to see that you have chosen to make it controversial by comparing with Mourinho, whereas you could have simply suggested that Ancelotti is doing a great job. I guess that would not have gotton you so many eyeballs.

  15. Sorry, since this did not have edit facility (atleast I could not see it) posting again regarding Cudicini and Gudjohnson.

    I rate them much much higher than their current status suggests. Rather Cudicini used to be my favourite goalkeeper at the time. Without a manager of Mourinho’s abilities, see where they have ended up and how…

    Sorry! couldn’t resist baiting you… :)

  16. I think we may have to agree to disagree on this one.

    After all, no matter what arguments I have put forward, the title of this article is ‘Why I’d choose Ancelotti over Mourinho’; not ‘Why Ancelotti is better than Mourinho’. I think he is, and I knew that a lot of people would disagree.

    You’ve put forward some good arguments but I don’t think we’ll ever convince each other.

    I think it is all down to whether you favour entertainment or overall season success (obviously there is a lot of cross-over, but I mean choosing one or the other).

    Personally, my favourite Chelsea moments have been beating Man Utd 5-0, Barcelona 3-1 and 4-2, drawing 4-4 with Liverpool and all of the romps under Ancelotti(I may have missed a few good ones but it’s hard to remember all the great things that have happened over the past decade). Although all of these games were successful, none of them (except Ancelotti’s big wins) contributed towards any season successes.

    It is the same with beating a rival – it’s good entertainment, even if it’s a small scoreline, but it is about the result on the day. Beating Man Utd 2-1 under Avram Grant still felt good at the time (and leaves a good memory) even though we went on to lose the title and lose the ECL final to them.

    I can understand why a lot of people would say that their favourite Chelsea memories were the 3 title successes and FA Cup wins etc. For me, these were great times but they’re not quite as good memories.

    A lot of people prefer their team’s to win things for the sake of winning. For me, football is about making your heart beat faster, making your throat hurt after 90 minutes and having no finger-nails left.

    This is my suggestion of why our opinions differ so greatly and probably always will…

  17. I like this. I take back my comments about having a small mindset. Please accept my apologies.

    Anyone who can say that we have to agree to disagree clearly understands that there can be two sides to a coin. Rarely seen now-a-days.

    And yes, we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

    Though it was nice crossing (s)words with you. :)

  18. Arsenal Fans? Most Fans only got to know Chelsea cause of Mourinho. Has Chelseas gates and Tv Profits Increased since Jose left.He Sparked Fear- Real fear and Awe into Opposing teams. Carlo is good but certainly not in same class as Mou. if u cant get Diamonds we’ll make do with Gold or Silver. Abromovich will tell us a lot about his prefrences. truthfully?………

  19. When he coached a SMALL team like U.D. Leiria ten years ago, he brought them to record 5th place in the Portuguese league…then with Porto he won the a treble, with the Portuguese League, Cup and Europa League and won the Champion’s League the following year…then he goes to Chelsea, who hadn’t won the Premiership in 50 YEARS! And wins 2 years in a row…and then goes to Inter and wins the first treble in Italian HISTORY! Italian league, Cup and Champion’s league…and is now at DESERVINGLY at Real Madrid…oh by the way, he hasn’t been defeated at home in 8 YEARS!!! and look at RM now….

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