The appointment of Mircea Lucescu to Dynamo Kiev justified itself one hundred percent. In the first year of work of the Romanian specialist, "White-Blues" managed to win the long-awaited gold medals of the Ukrainian championship for the first time since 2016. On this occasion, we decided to recall similar situations in the European Big Five leagues in the past decade, of which a sufficient number has accumulated.
English Premier League
**Carlo Ancelotti (Chelsea) 2009/10 season **
In the summer of 2009, Carlo's dad, who left the camp of his native Milan, decided to open a new page in his coaching career by accepting Chelsea's offer. The Londoners, who had previously finished in third place behind Liverpool and Manchester United for a season, in particular were nine points behind the Mancunians, in the first season under the leadership of the Italian managed not only to win the title of champion of England, but also to add gold medals for victory in the country's Cup (in the final, Portsmouth was minimally defeated thanks to Didier Drogba's only goal in the 59th minute).
“Pensioners” were in the lead most of the distance, but in the 31st round they unexpectedly painted a draw with Blackburn, which allowed Manchester United, who gained three points in a principled match with Liverpool (2: 1), to climb to the first line. The fate of the championship was largely decided in the face-to-face confrontation between the teams, which took place in the 33rd round. Chelsea managed to defeat the “devils” at Old Trafford, and until the end of the tournament no longer gave up the lead in the table.
The Blues celebrated their triumph in the last matchday, blowing Wigan to smithereens in front of their own audience 8: 0. The attack of the London club was really sweeping, shooting 103 goals in the Premier League 2009/10, but the defense did not forget to keep the mark 32 conceded, the fewest in the league. In a word, Ancelotti had a rather impressive approach to Foggy Albion, even if this idyll did not last long, and a year later the Italian was asked to leave. However, this is a completely different story.
Manuel Pellegrini (Manchester City) 2013/14 season
The Chilean "engineer", who is a very underestimated specialist, in 2013 got a chance to work at the helm of a top European team, and, I must say, took full advantage of it.
In the first season, under the leadership of Pellegrini, the “townspeople” were able not only to win the League Cup, but also for the first time in their history to overcome the barrier of the group stage of the Champions League, but also to regain the Premier League championship medals lost earlier this season.
City practically repeated the figures we described above in the fragment about Chelsea Carlo Ancelotti 102 goals scored (the first in the league) and 37 conceded (the second after Chelsea in the league). The team played bright and eye-catching attacking football, and also managed to take advantage of Liverpool's misfires at the end of that campaign, thereby bringing a spectacular point under the first year of the Chilean at the helm of the Manchester grandee.
Claudio Ranieri (Leicester) 2015/16 season
The most sensational and romantic championship in our selection. Still, not every year one of the strongest and most competitive championships on the planet is won by a team that does not have a budget and a roster of world giants.
From Claudio Ranieri, shortly before his appointment to Leicester, dismissed from the Greek national team in disgrace (in the last match with the Italian, the Hellenes managed to burn out the Faroe Islands in the selection for Euro 2016), they were considered as an experienced mentor who could allow the Foxes to gain a foothold in the Premier League, however, no one came close to imagining that the recent championship underdog would unexpectedly win gold medals.
For a long time, many expected a decline in Ranieri's wards, but they managed to go exactly the entire distance, having suffered only three defeats in the season, in the final table ten points ahead of their main pursuer - London Arsenal, which, by the way, lost in both matches during that campaigns. In the second round, Leicester started churning out “typical” minimal Italian results - five wins at once with a score of 1: 0, once - 2: 0.
Despite such an epoch-making success, the next season for the “Foxes” frankly did not work out - 12th place in the Premier League, and after the defeat in the first match of the 1/8 finals of the Champions League from Sevilla (1: 2), the management decided to dismiss the coach. Is it fair? Controversial issue.
Antonio Conte (Chelsea) 2016/17 season
Another Italian coach on our list, and the second to achieve such success at the helm of Chelsea.
After a very successful period in the Italian national team, Antonio Conte decided to try his hand at the Premier League, and this decision of Roman Abramovich and the club's management turned out to be in the top ten.
“Pensioners” started the season 2016/17 unevenly, but after that most successful tactical decision of Antonio - the transition to the 3-4-3 scheme, the Londoners were unstoppable! Officially, Conte's team secured the championship title in the 36th round, defeating Middlesbrough (3: 0), but in fact this happened already towards the equator of that campaign.
French Ligue 1
Didier Deschamps (Marseille) 2009/10 season
In May 2009, the current head coach of the reigning world champions signed an agreement with Marseille, managing to return the title of the best team in the country to the Provençal club museum in the first season.
That was the most unpredictable period in French club football in the 21st century, when after the end of Lyon's hegemony, Bordeaux, in fact, Marseille, Lille, Montpellier, and then the wealthy PSG, took the trophy in turn.
In the 2009/10 season, in addition to the coveted championship cup, the League Cup and the French Super Cup also dropped into the collection of Olympic achievements. All in all, the present moment of the triumph of Deschamps and his guys.
Laurent Blanc (PSG), season 2013/14
Starting with the 2012/13 campaign, the era of Paris Saint-Germain began in the land of croissants and haute couture, only once diluted by Leonard Jardim, who ascended to the top of Monaco in 2016/17.
Another iconic person for the French national team of the late 90s / early 2000s had previously won the championship with Bordeaux. In the 2008/09 season, the Girondins overtook Lyon by three points, thereby breaking the hegemony of the “weavers” in Ligue 1, which had lasted for seven years in a row.
In Paris, Laurent Blanc managed to take gold medals three times, including in his first year at the helm of PSG. Could it be otherwise with such and such a squad, which was full of world football stars like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and others?
Thomas Tuchel (PSG), season 2018/19
The first season of the ex-mentor of Mainz and Borussia Dortmund at the helm of the Parisian monster came out very controversial. PSG once again ingloriously left the Champions League, having managed to lose the guest handicap in the return meeting with Manchester United in the 1/8 finals, and were eliminated from both national cups, but there was no intrigue in Ligue 1.
Despite the encroachments of the strong Lille, led by the magnificent Nicolas Pepe, the capital's team brought the opponent 16 points of separation at the finish, and if it had not spent the ending of that championship in half, it could well have broken through a hundred points in the tournament.
A similar story is happening now - the reigning champion is again actively pursued by the “mastiffs”, and a new mentor, Mauricio Pochettino, is at the helm of the team for the first season. We've already seen this somewhere.
Tito Vilanova (Barcelona), season 2012/13
The 12/13 campaign was a transitional one for the Catalan grandee. In the summer of 2012, the team was left by the author of the epoch-making successes of the “blue garnet” - Josep Guardiola, whose mission was taken over by his assistant Tito Vilanova.
For most of that season, the mentor was forced to convey his instructions to the players through assistants, in particular Jordi Rouhr, constantly waging a war with a fatal illness, which, unfortunately, still prevailed over Tito. Nevertheless, the championship title was won in a fantastic style. Barcelona was 15 points ahead of Real Madrid (including having scored a hundred points), shot an impressive 115 goals in Example (thanks in large part to the luxurious Leo Messi, who scored 58 points on the goal + pass system), and also experienced the bitterness of defeat only twice during that season.