People have been talking a lot
about the language barrier being a problem for new Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, but I don't
Ancelotti's English is not yet
perfect, but if you take a long-term view and are looking to employ a manager
for five years or more, it doesn't matter if it takes him a few months to
master the language.
In any case, he is taking over a
team where the majority of players are foreign and have played all over the
world. This isn't the 1980s any more - everybody is used to communicating with
people from different countries.
When Chelsea sacked Luiz Felipe Scolari, people said his flimsy grasp of English was to blame, but I think that
was just an excuse. There were deeper problems at the club.
A good manager will find a way to
get his point across - you only have to look at England's progress under Fabio
Capello to see that.
The main things Ancelotti needs are
time and money. He is Chelsea's
fifth manager in two years, and I fear that any boss who fails to deliver
instant success could find his stay there cut short.
One trophyless season will almost
certainly see him sacked, and it is no good for a team's stability if the
manager knows he must focus on the short term or face dismissal.
He needs the chance to make
changes and rejuvenate the squad. They need some younger players and some fresh
People are already saying he has to get senior players like John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba onside, but he has got to wherehe is today by being his own man.
All he needs to do is decide whether or not these players are part of his plans. If Drogba wants to pick and choose who he is going to play for he would be better off back in the playground.
Chelsea have tremendous strength,
stamina and organisation, but are probably the least good side technically in
the top four.
Their strength is pacy,
counter-attacking play, but they need something different to give them more
options going forward.
I'm not sure what players he has
in mind and it is wrong simply to assume he want to sign the likes of Kaka and
Pato from Milan.
This is a fresh start for him and
he might want to go after players he had his eye on at Milan but did not have the resources to sign.
If Roman Abramovich gives him
financial backing, Ancelotti should have more clout in the transfer market. I
certainly don't think he'll be signing David Beckham again!
You can ask questions about
Ancelotti's record at Milan.
One league title in eight years at arguably the most prestigious club in Italy
is not great.
Although he won two Champions
Leagues, it is in domestic competitions where teams prove their consistency. His
last three league finishes were fourth, fifth and third, and he did not get a
good send-off from Milan.
I'm not sure Chelsea fans are unanimously in favour of the
Italian and they would have loved it if Guus Hiddink had stayed.
Only time will tell whether
Ancelotti is the right appointment. I just hope he gets enough of it.