FROM THE EDI­TOR

World Soccer - - The World - Gavin Hamil­ton, Edi­tor

Bay­ern Mu­nich’s sack­ing of Carlo Ancelotti ( page 13) took many by sur­prise, though it was the style of his team’s per­for­mances rather than the sub­stance of their re­sults that ul­ti­mately cost him his job af­ter 15 months.

Iron­i­cally, Ancelotti has a rep­u­ta­tion as a coach who is com­fort­able man­ag­ing the egos of highly paid mod­ern­day su­per­stars. Yet else­where in Europe, player power seems on the wane. Ar­se­nal and Liver­pool were able to re­sist the trans­fer de­sires of Alexis Sanchez and Philippe Coutinho re­spec­tively, while Borus­sia Dortmund ( page 46) were pre­pared to side­line Ous­mane Dem­bele un­til an ir­re­sistible, over­the-odds of­fer from Barcelona.

At the con­ti­nent’s top clubs things are dif­fer­ent. At PSG, Ney­mar’s re­cent penalty tus­sle with Edinson Cavani ( page 20) is a sideshow that could yet un­der­mine the dy­nam­ics of a team with se­ri­ous Cham­pi­ons League am­bi­tions. Sim­i­larly at Barcelona ( page 26), Lionel Messi’s un­signed con­tract is the great un­known fac­tor.

We have fo­cused on club is­sues this month be­cause dead­lines pre­vented us from cov­er­ing the lat­est World Cup games. Next month, we will have a much clearer idea of the qual­i­fiers and play-off con­tenders.

See you then.

Ancelotti has a rep­u­ta­tion as a coach who is com­fort­able man­ag­ing the egos of highly paid mod­ern­day su­per­stars

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