I’M ALMOST loath to say anything as it may break the spell, but everything seems to be remarkably good in Chelsea world.
The press is full of lurid tales of infidelity yet they don’t involve one of ours; there are clubs on the precipice of financial ruin – and we aren’t one of them; there are managerial issues at a number of Premier League teams. We are more than happy with Ancelotti.
Add to that our great start to the season, a decent Champions League draw along with a settled squad. And you have in Chelsea a picture of content which must be enviable to some.
When the transfer window closed last week, I let out a huge sigh of relief that Mourinho (or indeed anyone else) had not poached Ashley Cole from us. Even this early on in the season he is demonstrating both at club and country level why he is the best left back in the world.
You non-Chelsea people hate the fact he is so good don’t you? Are you that bothered that he gets his jollies from sending pictures of himself posing in his under-crackers to various kiss-and-tell girls? Or is it the fact that he cheated on the nation’s sweetheart that has you all in a spin? Whatever the reasons behind the hate campaign he has showed again and again that name calling and hostile receptions do little to interrupt his invaluable contribution to England, but more so Chelsea.
When you question people on why they hate him, the answers never make you any the wiser. One individual said he was thick but I dispute that. He comes across well in post-match press conferences and I have met him on a couple of occasions and he has always been interesting to speak to with a good sense of humour.
It has to be, then, that he is a Chelsea player – he was never so universally loathed when he played for that north London mob was he? Really, how different is he from the majority of players in the Premier League, apart from being a markedly better player than most? I imagine I will receive a deluge of e-mails (the majority from bitter Gooners) detailing exactly why he is so abhorrent. I will await them with interest.
Frank Lampard made a good observation about the hypocrisy that surrounds the constant reference to an ageing Chelsea squad. He made the point about Paul Scholes having a great season – indeed, it seems everyone involved with football already has him crowned player of the year, but the Chelsea squad is apparently too old (although not too old to do the Double last season).
I’ve read the “fact” so often in the last three years that I was starting to believe it! Luckily, Ancelotti did not fall for it and used the experience in the team for that final push.
I’ve taken to Ancelotti, which surprises me as I have always followed the blue side of Milan. Yet his work ethic, personality and jovial demeanour have won me over.
He can no doubt offer much advice to Cole on how to deal with taunts from the terraces having had to endure some in his time at Juventus where the Tifosi used to graffiti the city with images of him as a cartoon porker. Rather than rise to it, he declared himself honoured to be compared to such a noble animal – Ancelotti is from a farming family and did not consider the comparison an insult.
It is typical of a man who seems to be riled by very little. He works hard managing and coaching a high profile team; dealing with the media; undergoing hours of English lessons every week and also frequently flying home to visit his sick father. This must all take its toll yet he never speaks of any difficulty or stress he has encountered.
England must think they hired the wrong Italian.
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