Former Chelsea and AC Milan striker Hernan Crespo has leaped to the defence of former manager Carlo Ancelotti as the Italian continues to be criticised for his failure to give younger players a chance.
Having just secured Bayern Munich's fifth consecutive Bundesliga title in his first season at the Allianz Arena, Ancelotti is discovering that trophies do not necessarily equal success as he comes under-fire for his lack of trust in youth.
Hernán Crespo: "Carlo Ancelotti not good for young players? At 21, He taught me football and life. He was like a father to me" [Bild] pic.twitter.com/LGjnQP7x9U
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The likes of Kingsley Coman and Renato Sanches, both highly thought of in Europe, have struggled for game-time this season, with the latter failing to build on winning the 2016 Golden Boy Award.
But as the critics circle around Ancelotti and his team selections throughout the season, his former player, Hernan Crespo, has defended the 57-year-old and pointed out that the Bayern boss gave him his first opportunity as a youngster when they were both at Parma.
Speaking to Bild, Crespo said: “Carlo Ancelotti not good for young players? At 21, He taught me about life as well as football. He was like a father to me.
“He taught me to be like an athlete, how to eat and sleep.
“He has always looked after young players, but it depends on them, too, and if they listen to him, it’s the best thing that can happen to them.”
Whilst Ancelotti's critics remain vocal, the Italian is likely to hand some younger players at Bayern a starting spot in what remains of the season.
With the title wrapped up and the Bavarians no longer in the Champions League or German Cup, the likes of Sanches and Coman could well feature in this weekend's home clash with bottom side Darmstadt, whose relegation from the Bundesliga will likely be confirmed after the match on Saturday.