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
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 4 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests