Captain John Terry and Didier Drogba are said to have had a heatedexchange after the recent humiliating 3-1 defeat at Arsenal, pointingout each other's shortcomings in the game, according to sources closeto the team.
Though both players have since been reconciled and the emotionaloutburst is not untypical after such a crushing defeat, it is fearedthe team may develop factions around Drogba and Terry, orFrench-speaking and English players, if the run of form continues.
Showdown: Carlo Ancelotti
Showdown: Roman Abramovich
Ancelotti has managed to re-unite the team behind him at present, though all at the club are aware that a defeat in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge today by managerless Ipswich is likely to bring the sack.
The owner is expected back at the club when the Russian holiday ends on Tuesday, although he may delay his return until after the Orthodox New Year on Friday.
Abramovich spoke to Ancelotti last week, so the manager feels he has a mandate to continue.
Chelsea's ideal replacement, Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, has agreed a new deal which he is likely to sign in the next fortnight, ruling him out of the Stamford Bridge post, and Ancelotti insisted: 'The owner supports me in my job and I feel this because I speak with him.' Club-by-club guide to every Premier League transfer deal during JanuaryOnly one banner? Ancelotti plays down fans protest backing Blues to improveThe £10m cost of axing of Ancelotti means Chelsea boss will get timeAll the latest Chelsea news, features and opinion
Explore more:People: John Terry, Roman Abramovich, Pep Guardiola, Didier Drogba, Carlo Ancelotti Places: Barcelona