Carlo Ancelotti returned from the United States enthusiastic about Real Madrid’s pre-season work.
Beyond the results and the good performance against Juventus, he is pleased with the work and the day-to-day atmosphere he saw on the training grounds at UCLA.
Winning LaLiga Santander and the Champions League could cause the team to rest on their laurels but there is no sign that Real Madrid are doing that.
The old guard want to make the most of their careers and the youngsters have a desire to join Real Madrid’s legends.
Ancelotti has talked publicly about how his squad is more competitive now than it was last season given the arrivals of Antonio Rudiger and Aurelien Tchouameni.
It does not seem like the coach is desperate for anyone new given he is content that he has other attacking options beyond Karim Benzema.
Ancelotti, along with every other coach, is aware that he will have to balance the squad and the dressing room this season as he has youngsters who want minutes and the calendar is tough.
For now, the team is convinced that unity in the dressing room is the best way to achieve the objectives at the end of the season. LaLiga Santander and, especially, the Champions League were won with the fundamental contribution of the players who came off the bench.
In the United States, Ancelotti has already been holding private conversations with almost all the players in the squad.
Always with a smile on his face, but being honest with his players, he has explained to each of them what he wants from them and how he intends to manage the season, with five titles up for grabs until FIFA publish the date of the Club World Cup, which is difficult to place in the calendar.
This is a very special season for the Italian coach. Ancelotti is still haunted by the low point of his second season in charge and wants to completely banish the memories of the 2014/15 season in which he was sacked.
“Once I can get it wrong, twice it’s difficult,” Ancelotti said last season when asked if he feared he might lose the team by not rotating.