English football 'more sporting' than Italian says Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti
09 October 2009 07:27
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The Chelsea manager spent 33 years playing and managing in Serie A before his arrival this summer at Stamford Bridge and is clearly taken both with the English attitude to football and the quality of the facilities.
"The first thing is the stadiums," he said. "Here in England they're attractive, comfortable, suited to the show. In Italy, they're not. And then there's the fans, who here go to a game to be entertained and not to get angry with the referee or the opponents. Here there's more of a sporting culture."
Ancelotti, whose Chelsea team are leading the Premier League table with seven wins in eight matches, also admitted that one of the biggest challenges has been to learn a new language.
"At 50 it's never easy to start," he said. "Ray Wilkins helps me out, although by now everyone understands me. If I get angry I shout in Italian but that's basic phrases that everyone understands.
"It's improving. It's difficult but I'm trying hard. I can't tell you how many times people have asked me, 'Why didn't you study English at school?' "
Ancelotti also acknowledged the lasting popularity at Chelsea of Jose Mourinho, now the manager of Inter Milan and a man with whom he had a mixed relationship last season in Italy.
"Everyone here has a lot of affection for him," he said.