The Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins has been talking about how Carlo Ancelotti has brought a new regime of calmness and humour to the Chelsea dressing room, and also says that he can’t wait to get his first trophy with Chelsea, which means winning the Carling Cup which is the first major Final of the season.
“It is important for a manager to get that first trophy under his belt,” said Wilkins. “Carlo seems quite determined to win the Carling Cup, so the team he puts out at Blackburn will have a lot of strong quality.”
He went on to describe the respect that the players have for Ancelotti, and the qualities he has brought with him from Milan.
“I’ve been extremely impressed from a personal point of view,” said Wilkins. “As a bloke, he’s a really funny guy, always joke telling. I have to translate, unfortunately, if he wants to crack into something quite humorous. But he tells the players jokes and seems to enjoy their company.
“He’s dealt with the players in fantastic fashion on a personal basis, and we’re seeing the rewards of that out on the pitch. That humour could well be one of the reasons he’s been so successful as a manager in the game.
“He knows the time and the place for it. In the dressing room, in team talks and tactics, it’s business time. But you can tell he’s dealt with top quality footballers.
“A lot passed through his hands at Milan over those eight years, and he’s walked into a similar situation here. Albeit with the language barrier to cope with, too. But he’s treated our guys the same as he treated his players at Milan.
“Back in pre-season, we were on tour with Milan in the United States and you could see the respect, to a player, the Milan guys all had for him. That’s continued here. The way he treats guys on a personal level, I’m sure he’s got the utmost respect from every one of them.”
Whatever he’s doing, it certainly seems to be working so far. But it is worth remembering that at this time last year Chelsea were also at the top of the Premiership, but then the slippery slope appeared which led to the sacking of Felipe Scolari.
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