Arsène Wenger

Ancelotti brings credibility to PSG

Arsene Wenger

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PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti

I believe that Carlo Ancelotti's appointment will help Paris Saint-Germain in the transfer market, but that doesn't stop me from feeling sorry for Antoine Kombouaré.

Kombouaré was sacked having led PSG to the top of Ligue 1 midway through the season. But this is often the way when a club is taken over — the new leadership wants to bring their own man in, and the incumbent pays the price even if he has done a good job.

But Kombouaré should feel proud for what he did — he put PSG on a good track and deserved to go further with this team. What matters for a coach is his sense of accomplishment and he did well on this occasion.

I don't know how things work exactly at PSG but, in going for someone like Ancelotti, they are obviously looking global rather than local.

For PSG this is as small a risk as it is a big disappointment for Kombouaré — I say this because Ancelotti has a superb track record and brings the kind of international credibility an ambitious team like this wants.

He has coached great teams and he can attract top international players, which seems to be PSG's motivation. PSG will use him to attract the best talent.

One player they could not bring in was David Beckham. I met David during the period when he was in talks with PSG: he was definitely attracted by the club.

But it is clear to me that he decided to stay in Los Angeles for family reasons; his children are being raised there and he wants stability for them.

What they really needed though was a striker, but it is always difficult in January because very few top players are available.

Carlos Tevez was the only one who was really available — I don't count Alexandre Pato because he never wanted to leave in mid-season — but the cost put them off. PSG have money to spend but they won't be held to ransom.

When this failed, it was clear they needed to stabilise the defence: Ancelotti was not convinced by their defensive system so — with Clement Chantome injured — he opted for a tough midfielder in Thiago Motta to protect his back four, and an experienced central defender in Alex to marshal it.

Alex's signing means someone will lose out — and I hope it is not Mamadou Sakho. I hope it is not him because he has so much talent, but is a young player who needs time on the pitch. He has to play to improve and PSG must be patient.

Moving to Germany, and their league leaders Borussia Dortmund could well be the champions again.

They are remarkable — when a team plays that well it is difficult to stop them. They are like a steamroller with a real collective spirit and I believe they can do it — they are not in Europe any more so only have the Bundesliga to focus on.

Bayern Munich, meanwhile, are distracted by the Champions League. It will be either Bayern or Dortmund in my opinion.

And Dortmund's success must be attributed to Juergen Klopp. When he arrived Dortmund were on their knees; the rebuilt them, won the title and did an incredible job.

Were it not for a Marseille miracle they would still be in Europe — they still were with 20 minutes left of that fateful last match. Had they stayed in the tournament I feel Dortmund would have been able to go further in the Champions League.

In Italy, Juventus are top and that do is down to the coach, Antonio Conte.

After their recent slump I was expecting a longer period of stagnation but they have worked the transfer market really well.

The platform for all their play is Andrea Pirlo — everyone thought he was finished but he has been made the centrepiece of their team, the man everything goes though: it was a really smart move to pick him up.

The revival of Gianluigi Buffon has helped too. He is back playing to a very, very high level. He was injured for a lot of last year but he is back fit and showing his true ability.

I, and many others, had our doubts: in addition to the injuries, he was making mistakes that he never did before.

But his revival — and that of Pirlo — shows that the great champions have some kind of inner motivation, something the pair of them are showing with the Old Lady.

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