The new Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti seemed to be quite pleased with his new squad after seeing them beat Seattle Sounders 2-0 in his first game in charge.
Here are a few of his comments to chelsea.com: “From this match, I learned that I have in my hands a very good team, very good professionals that work very well and are very strong always. All the time the players were concentrated and worked.”
“‘I like this. Normally for the first game [there are] some mistakes we can do, but it is important to work hard and also to improve. We want to improve and will improve the next game. From the first game I am happy because sometimes the team did what we had the quality to do.”
Is Sturridge likely to be a new star of the team?: “Sturridge now is not a star. He is a very good player, he has to improve with the work and he started well,’ he assessed.
“For a young player these are good things, and I like his game because he scored one goal and worked for the team.”
As usual, he was asked about JT! He replied simply: ‘Mark Hughes has to stay calm, because John Terry is a player of Chelsea and will remain a player and a symbol of Chelsea,’ Ancelotti said.
“I think there is not a question for Chelsea, maybe for other people. I am not interested in this.”
And what did he think of the atmosphere at the match?: “The atmosphere was fantastic; it was a pleasure to play this game in these facilities with these people,”
“People are enthusiastic to see the game. For the players and staff it is a pleasure to stay here in this moment.
‘”Soccer in the USA is improving very quickly and there are players with good quality.”
So, not a bad start, but with Inter Milan and AC Milan to come, we may get a better idea of how the team is progressing. And, of course, we still have Essien, Drogba and Kalou to join up with the squad.
Last pre-season Chelsea looked like world-beaters which we then carried through to the beginning of the season. Can Ancelotti also instil that winning confidence?