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Chelsea v Manchester United: Carlo Ancelotti happy with blend of old and young
Published : 07 Aug 2010 02:17:18
In pairing the FA Cup with the Premier League title he eclipsed the great Jose, who began his reign at Stamford Bridge with the lesser domestic double of championship and Carling Cup. Ancelotti's second season at Chelsea commences like his first, with a Community Shield knockabout with Manchester United at Wembley on Saturday and a handshake from Sir Alex Ferguson; a kind man, according to the Italian. Related ArticlesChelsea v Manchester United: match previewAshley Cole 'to stay at Chelsea'Fabregas finally commits to ArsenalWilshere to carry the burdenRooney to share burdenJames believes in Bristol"He said 'welcome to English football'. We have a very good relationship. "Above all, when we won the Premier League he sent to me congratulations. He was very kind." Mourinho, too, enjoyed a fairly temperate relationship with Ferguson, but when he left Stamford Bridge three months into his fourth year, he was to some extent ushered out of the door on the end of the Scotsman's boot straps. It took Ferguson three seasons to fashion a response to His Speciality. In this new era of accountability at Stamford Bridge, with the Roman empire less inclined to throw millions at the business of winning football matches, Ancelotti must rely on his wits, not wallet to emulate Mourinho by retaining the title and repelling Ferguson in year two. Chelsea let go Michael Ballack and Joe Cole rather than pay wages they considered excessive. Juliano Belletti has also gone. A deal to bring Benfica's Brazilian, Ramires, to Stamford Bridge would double Ancelotti's summer spree following the signing of Yossi Benayoun for £5 million from Liverpool. Mourinho would not have hired him to clean the windows at the club's Cobham training base. Ancelotti was fully on message in his Surrey bunker on Friday, proclaiming the virtues of youth over the purchase of articles that finish, such as Fernando Torres. It could be that he is getting his excuses in first. Or maybe he does not see in Chelsea's principal adversaries, United and Arsenal, any great improvement. United's hopes appear to rest on a little pea from Mexico and Arsenal's on Cesc Fabregas for another season of reluctant service. "I don't want to speak about Manchester United's behaviour in the market. That's not my issue. "For us, after a fantastic season we felt we could do the same with this squad. It was very difficult to change this squad and we were totally agreed to maintain by putting in players from the academy. "That is the philosophy of the club, and I'm involved in this. For me it's good to work with young players because I can teach a lot of things. If you agree with the philosophy, everybody has to support the young players." With Ancelotti in place, Chelsea function according to the European model. As coach he is expected to work with what he is given. He had no role in the failed contract negotiations that led to Joe Cole departing and could not recall how long the remaining Cole, Ashley, had left on his contract. Ferguson, by contrast, is the last of the great empire builders, a figure around whom all aspects of the club revolve, although even he is working in reduced circumstances. "Value in the market" was never part of Ferguson's pre-Glazer vocabulary and reveals the extent to which United are compromised by the debt burden at Old Trafford. Chelsea's pursuit of Torres demonstrated the capacity of Abramovich to set aside the protocols of thrift when it suits. With their rivals unwilling to make any moves in the market Ancelotti can be faithful to the Drogba, Terry, Lampard generation. "We can take this risk [on academy players]. You have to pay attention to the players over 30. But the names you mention, Lampard, Drogba, they're very professional. "Also, physically, they're very good again. But [we] have to check them during the season. "Controlling rest is very important, to control the load of the training. I don't think we have more problems because they're a year older. Like me they are more experienced." The dirty sweep of pre-season defeats in Germany barely registered. Ancelotti's decision to start with the team who began against Hamburg on Wednesday demonstrates his willingness to take another hit if it means he gets it right against West Bromwich Albion next weekend and when the Champions League campaign begins in September. Europe, despite his insistence that the Premier League carries equal weight, is where he must make his mark if he is to retain his post longer than Mourinho. Defeat in the last 16 by Mourinho's Inter Milan in March resulted in a nuclear reaction at Cobham during which Abramovich reminded Ancelotti and his players of the rules of engagement. The season ultimately hinged on a bad week at Old Trafford when Wayne Rooney turned an ankle in Munich and United put in their worst 45 minutes of the season at home to Chelsea. Chelsea ultimately won the title by a point, an experience Ancelotti believes enhances his prospects this time around. "I'm older. Surely I had more doubt last year, when I started. Now I have more knowledge about team and club. "I think we start this season in a different situation. I have more knowledge about the players, the club, the atmosphere in England and the teams here."