Momentum with Ancelotti as 'perfect 10' spurs Chelsea on
Saturday 19 September 2009
Chelsea's record of five successive wins in the Premier League prompted their manager, Carlo Ancelotti, yesterday to suggest that teams soon might start to fear his side.
"I hope so but I don't think so, yet," a cautious Ancelotti said. Yet a glance back to the end of last season, when Guus Hiddink was in charge, and the evidence becomes far more convincing. The Blues finished the season with five league wins, giving them a perfect 10 – four short of Arsenal's Premier League record of 14 set in 2002.
In fact, in the 18 league games since Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked in February, Chelsea under Hiddink and Ancelotti have taken 49 points out of a possible 54. As an indication of just how impressive that is, over a whole season it would equate to 103 points, which is eight more than the record 95 set by Chelsea five seasons ago.
It is a phenomenal run of form, the only reverse being a 1-0 defeat to tomorrow's opponents Tottenham back in March. Ancelotti said he had expected his Chelsea team to start the season well, but admitted they are far from unbeatable.
"I've never seen an unbeatable team. Chelsea are not unbeatable," he said. "We are doing well. I'm not surprised because I had one month before the start to know the players and their mental attitude and quality."
Ancelotti has instead been surprised, however, by Tottenham, who surrendered their perfect start to the season to Manchester United last weekend. The Italian said: "For me, it was a surprise they started so well. We know the quality of [Peter] Crouch, [Jermain] Defoe, [Aaron] Lennon. They can be dangerous because they are very quick. We mustn't leave the possibility of them to counter-attack against us."
Ancelotti then singled out the in-form Defoe as the man Chelsea must stop. "He's very dangerous. When a striker scores every game like Defoe we have to pay particular attention," Ancelotti said. "For him it's a very good moment. We have to pay good attention. We will do a very good job on him."
The English players at Chelsea have made Ancelotti well aware of the particular rivalry the club's supporters feel with Tottenham. "When I arrived I asked, because I don't know which is the real derby, because there are a lot of teams in London," he said. "All the English players told me Tottenham was the real derby. So we want to prepare this like a derby.
"It is important for our supporters, and also it is important for us because we want to stay at the top of the table. We want to maintain this position and if possible to improve the distance between us and second place."
Latest in Sport
How Liverpool can catch Manchester United and secure Champions League football next season
Arsenal transfer news: 'We are not close to signing anybody. We need to lose some players,' says Arsene Wenger
Danny Jones: Keighley Cougars half-back dies after cardiac arrest during league game
Chelsea season player ratings: Grading the entire squad of the new Premier League champions
Floyd Mayweather beats Manny Pacquiao by a unanimous points decision - but Pacquiao thinks he should have won, saying 'he did nothing'
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 The top 50 cities for young people to live in
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils