Ancelotti sacked by Bayern Munich

Italian football coach Carlo Ancelotti arrives at the training grounds of German first division Bundesliga football club FC Bayern Munich in Munich, southern Germany on September 28, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 28 September 2017
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Ancelotti sacked by Bayern Munich

BERLIN: Bayern Munich have sacked coach Carlo Ancelotti in the wake of their Champions League defeat at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain, the club announced on Thursday.
“Following an internal analysis in Munich on Thursday 28 September 2017... the club is to part company with head coach Carlo Ancelotti with immediate effect,” Bayern said in a statement on their website.
Former player Willy Sagnol, the ex-France international who had been serving as an assistant to Ancelotti, has been named interim coach.
Pressure had already been building on Ancelotti with Bayern enduring an inconsistent start to the season before losing 3-0 to PSG in the French capital on Wednesday.
After that game the Italian was questioned by German media about his tactics and team selection, following his decision to leave Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Mats Hummels on the bench at kick-off.
“The performance of our team since the start of the season did not meet the expectations we put to them,” said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
“The game in Paris clearly showed that we had to draw consequences. (Sporting director) Hasan Salihamidzic and I had an open and serious discussion with Carlo today and informed him of our decision.
“Carlo is my friend and will remain so, but we had to make a professional decision in the interests of FC Bayern. I now expect the team to have a positive development and top performance, so we can reach our goals for this season.”
Bayern are currently third in the Bundesliga table after six games, three points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, before visiting Hertha Berlin on Sunday.
They have not been so far off the pace at the top of the Bundesliga so early in a season since 2010/11, when Dortmund went on to win the title and Bayern finished third.
Ancelotti, 58, led Bayern to a fifth consecutive Bundesliga title last season in his first campaign in charge after succeeding Pep Guardiola at the Allianz Arena.
However, the Bavarians lost to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and to Dortmund in the semifinals of the German Cup.
Ancelotti has also coached Parma, Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, PSG and Real Madrid.
Among the potential replacements being mentioned is Thomas Tuchel, currently a free agent after leaving Dortmund at the end of last season.


'We want to make Saudi Arabia proud': Pizzi promises better showing against Egypt

Updated 29 min 39 sec ago
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'We want to make Saudi Arabia proud': Pizzi promises better showing against Egypt

  • Saudi Arabia cannot progress from Group A even if they defeat Egypt in their final game on Monday
  • Wednesday’s overall performance was much improved, yet a lack of penetrative passing was obvious

ROSTOV-ON-DON: “Keeping possession of the ball seems to be the absolute and most important thing, but then when you sometimes find issues in getting the ball into your opponent’s half, you have to find other movements and ways of doing that,” said Oscar Tabarez after watching his lackluster Uruguay rely on a solitary Luis Suarez goal to eliminate Saudi Arabia from the World Cup. 
Tabarez was talking about his own team’s struggles, yet the assessment is considerably more applicable to the Green Falcons, who dominated possession and retained the ball with ease in midfield, yet for the second match running looked absolutely bereft of ideas in the final third. With Uruguay and Russia now on six points, Saudi Arabia cannot progress from Group A even if they defeat Egypt in their final game on Monday.
The Green Falcons coach Juan Antonio Pizzi confirmed he intends to stay at the helm of the side for the long-haul, yet is only too aware that the potential of this team is being hamstrung by its inability to score. He called it “our weakness”, adding that his side enjoyed “good ball possession, but no effectiveness”. They, he said, did not have the sufficient “weapons or tools” to equalize.
Pizzi’s side have found the net now just twice in their past five games and against Uruguay managed only three shots on target in 90 minutes — two of which came in added time and were so tame they would hardly have troubled the opposition goalkeeper Fernando Muslera had he been relaxing at his far post sipping a drink. In the 5-0 defeat to Russia last week, they failed to muster a single shot on target. 
Wednesday’s overall performance was much improved, yet a lack of penetrative passing was obvious. One passage of play in the opening exchanges saw Saudi Arabia complete 16 passes untroubled without the ball entering the opposition penalty box. When Uruguay finally won possession, they required only four quick exchanges to find Edinson Cavani on the left wing drilling the ball across the front of goal. 
“I don’t share that assessment,” said Pizzi, when it was put to him that his team was too slow to attack. “We played at the speed that was necessary. We need to be accurate, but if you step up the speed you lose accuracy with your passes. We had control of the game and that was why.”
Striker Mohammed Al-Sahlawi had been the focal point of much criticism from Turki Al-Sheikh, the head of Saudi’s General Sports Authority, after the Russia “fiasco” and was dropped from the side against Uruguay. So too was goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf, another who Al-Sheikh name-checked as having been at fault.
Pizzi, asked whether the scathing assessment from his bosses had forced his hand when it came to team selection, calmly dismissed the suggestion. He also ruled out the notion that administrative issues between the players and the country’s football federation had caused unrest in his squad.
“I have a list of 23 players here and they are all available to play. We are here together and pushing in the same direction. 
“I wanted — and still want — to make the Saudi Arabian people feel proud of our energy and the desire we show in matches. Unfortunately we were unable to do that against Russia and will be playing our next match without any hope of progressing. I hope now they will feel a little more proud even though we are out of the World Cup,” he said.