Originally written on O-Posts  |  Last updated 10/22/14
After much success in Italy, England, and most recently France, Carlo Ancelotti is set to embark on arguably his biggest challenge to date: bringing the almighty Real Madrid back to both domestic and European glory. One thing that will give fans of Real the most hope is Ancelotti’s experience in looking after and getting the best out of experienced players, something that was largely responsible for Jose Mourinho’s exit from the club in June. The first order of business for the Italian will be to unite or rather reunite the dressing room. Talk of factions emerging in the Madrid squad last year plagued their season, with many players including Iker Casillas desperate for Mourinho to leave. Casillas was eventually forced out of the starting XI by Mourinho, but one would have to think Ancelotti will want the Spanish captain back in goal for Madrid, as do the large majority of the fans. Ancelotti is somewhat of a traditionalist in terms of his defensive tactics. At Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea and PSG he utilised a four man defensive line, but in some respects, he revolutionised the concept of attacking full-backs. Cafu at Milan was solid but also got forward and put crosses in, while Ancelotti favoured Branislav Ivanovic at Chelsea mostly, largely due to Ivanovic’s efficiency at getting forward and back again quickly. Ashley Cole contributed in an attacking sense more than ever in Ancelotti’s first season with the Blues, an element of his game most had questioned before then. When he was forward, Cole’s final ball was often exceptional. At PSG, Jallet and Maxwell in particular added to the side with bursts forward, but Ancelotti made sure they only went forward when there was little chance of them getting caught out. If Ancelotti could possibly mould the likes of Fabio Coentrao, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Arbeloa and any other full-backs Madrid may bring in into these types of grafters; Madrid may have the most wide formation and deep squad in world football. One of the few positive things in Madrid’s frustrating and disappointing 2012-13 season was the emergence of Raphaël Varane. The 20 year old French centre-back put in some magnificent performances throughout the season, especially in big games, where he neutralised the attacking threats of the likes of Robin van Persie, Didier Drogba, Lionel Messi, Pedro and Carlos Tevez to name just a few. With Varane, Pepe and Sergio Ramos all capable of putting a shift in for Les Meringues, I see no obvious need to bring in another centre half unless one of those mentioned previously leaves. The midfield formation is harder to predict. The 4-2-3-1 formation appears to be the in thing at the moment, with Mourinho using it at Madrid last season, while Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, at times Manchester United, and a few other top teams all opting to use it. The signing of Isco means Madrid could well have one of the best attacking or creative midfield trios in the world with Mesut Özil, Cristiano Ronaldo, Angel Di Maria and even José Callejón, (presuming they all stay) possibly playing there. Mourinho opted to play Alonso and Khedira mostly, and sometimes Modric there, but this would mean Madrid would not really be advancing from the Mourinho days. Ancelotti likes to put his stamp on things. So what can Ancelotti do differently to Mourinho? A 3-2-4-1 has been suggested by some but that type of defence doesn’t really suit Madrid at the present time. A 4-2-2-2 could also be an option, although it would almost certainly force Madrid into signing another striker. Gonzalo Higuain is being heavily linked with a move away from the Bernabeu, while Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez, even Robert Lewandowski have all been supposedly looked at as possible additions. Alvaro Morata had a sublime UEFA Euro U-21’s tournament, but it is difficult to tell if he is ready to compete and score goals consistently in a team that relies so heavily on Cristiano Ronaldo, and has done for the past four years. With main title rivals FC Barcelona bringing in the electrifying Neymar to play alongside the brilliant Lionel Messi, you get the sense Madrid almost have to bring in a big name centre forward, as Karim Benzema doesn’t strike fear into the hearts of opposing team’s defences in the same way Neymar and Messi do. Ancelotti has further endeared himself to the notoriously demanding and hard to please Madrid crowd by bringing in club legend Zinedine Zidane to work alongside the Italian. Zidane has spoken out about his desire to see apparent Madrid target Gareth Bale in the iconic white shirt of Madrid, although Tottenham seem determined to keep the Welshman for at least another year. Whoever comes in, whether it be Cavani, Suarez, Bale or anyone else, Ancelotti has shown he can handle and organise a big, quality packed squad. It will be a long pre-season for the two time Champions league winner, as he looks to add La Liga to the already illustrious list of leagues which he has already won. Madrid need unity and dedication as well as ability if they are to surpass FC Barcelona domestically and perhaps finally win that tenth European cup that they have chased for the last eleven years. If anyone can guide them there, it is Ancelotti.   Written by Joshua Sodergren Follow Joshua on Twitter @chelseasalad365 Please like O-Posts on Facebook You can follow O-Posts on Twitter @OPosts

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

Ricky Williams: People are let down when I turn down weed

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays


Randall Cobb: Contract situation played role in slow start

Notre Dame WR faces discipline if he hooked up with porn star?

PGA president calls Ian Poulter ‘lil girl’ for Nick Faldo comments

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

C-USA hired PR firm to help Marshall’s playoff chances

WATCH: American flag rips during Game 3 national anthem

WATCH: Tony Parker draws foul by simply yelling 'hey'

Video: Tom Izzo takes the stage with KISS on Midnight Madness

Eight NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

'FIFA 15' glitch turns goalie into headless giant with no arms

WATCH: HBO releases trailer of 'The Offseason: Kevin Durant'

Broncos corner snags INT, then takes pregnant wife to hospital

Gurley dressed up as a pirate for Halloween, yelled, 'Free me'

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Nick Saban pens touching letter after high school coach dies

Soccer News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.