New blue vision must be translated into success

Faltering English disguises new Chelsea manager's intentions, but having Kaka as a playmaker could be the key to his tenure

All Carlo Ancelotti has to do is integrate Kaka into the Chelsea team – provided he joins this summer – and win the Premier League and the Champions League. Simple really, but then no one ever said that working for Roman Abramovich was supposed to be easy.

The new Chelsea manager was appointed yesterday just 12 days short of the first anniversary of Luiz Felipe Scolari's doomed appointment at Chelsea. Like Scolari did last year, Ancelotti will take the reins on 1 July and his first game will be 18 days later on tour in America against the Seattle Sounders. By then, Chelsea hope to have reunited Ancelotti with the Milan playmaker Kaka and moved out some of the squad's fringe players.

Ancelotti's first ever English language interview on Chelsea TV last night could not be described as offering the most insightful glimpse into the new Chelsea manager's way of working, but he did suggest that he would be pragmatic in devising a way of playing. At Milan he nearly always played his trademark "Christmas tree" formation of 4-3-2-1. At Chelsea, he said he would assess the squad first: "First you have to know the characteristics of the players," he said, "and after you can put a system for the players."

There will also have to be a clear-out of players whose time at the club has naturally come to an end. The most senior of those is Ricardo Carvalho, who has lost his place in the team to Alex and would still represent a valuable asset in the transfer market. Deco has disappeared from view and is certain to leave, while Juliano Belletti, Paulo Ferreira and Mineiro are also obvious candidates. Andrei Shevchenko and Claudio Pizarro are on long-term loans and the club has no intention of bringing them back.

It will be intriguing to see whether Ancelotti tinkers with the basic principles of the 4-1-4-1 formation that was imposed on the club by his predecessor and bête noire Jose Mourinho. Even Guus Hiddink's 4-3-3 system was essentially just a variation on that way of playing with a single holding midfielder deployed to shield the back four and two wingers breaking forward to support Didier Drogba.

For all the great players that Ancelotti has managed, he still cites the best as being Zinedine Zidane, whom he coached during two years at Juventus. Yesterday the new Chelsea manager said that he was prepared to adapt the team to accommodate outstanding talent. "I don't change it every year, but I change it depending on the characteristic of the players," he said "For example at Juventus there was Zidane, he was an offensive midfielder and I built the team around Zidane."

Should Abramovich be successful in signing Kaka, it is tempting to imagine just how Ancelotti would play the Brazilian within his team. Chelsea's style, as demonstrated on Saturday in the FA Cup final at Everton, has varied little over the last five years. They get the ball forward quickly, either to Drogba or their wingers, and they attack with power and pace. In contrast, in Ancelotti's 4-3-2-1 Milan formation, Kaka operated as one of two players behind a central striker, similar to the role that Wayne Rooney plays for England alongside Steven Gerrard behind either Emile Heskey or Peter Crouch.

Kaka has played as one of a pair with Clarence Seedorf, in the 2007-08 season or alongside Ronaldinho in the season just finished. That system would require a major change of emphasis at Chelsea although, at Juventus, Ancelotti played a simple 4-4-2 system.

As usual, the players upon whom Ancelotti will have to rely will be those who were crucial to his predecessors too: Frank Lampard, John Terry, Petr Cech and Drogba. That never seems to change at Chelsea. However, as well as attempting to sign Kaka, Abramovich also wants to add to the squad's base of English players by securing Glen Johnson from Portsmouth and goalkeeper Ross Turnbull from Middlesbrough. The latter is not an obvious choice for Chelsea, but has been scouted by the club for some time.

Abramovich's new-found faith in English talent is practical as well – the creeping acceptance in the Premier League that quotas on home-grown players will eventually be introduced in some form dictates that he needs to respond. Last season, Chelsea were unable to name a full squad of 25 A-list players in the Champions League because they did not have enough to meet the "4+4" quota of four players developed by the club and four developed within other English clubs.

Ancelotti's English is halting at best and you could not help but agree with him when he said that he found it hard speaking about his "philosophy" in English. "I like to be close with the players, close with the company [the club]. I like to speak with people. I believe in teamwork. It's the most important thing to create a group that work together to build a dream. For me this is the most important thing.

"The players and the company need to have strong organisation, very strong discipline, to have the right motivation. I hope to do this together because this is the right way to achieve success. For me the Champions League is a beautiful sensation [sic] because when I played I won it two times in 1989 and 1990. It was a fantastic moment. The same as when I was a coach in Milan in 2003 and 2007. The Champions League is the best competition in the world and everyone wants to win it. Chelsea has a great record, five semi-finals in six years is a beautiful score, so great, but now we need to win, and I hope this will happen."

Fortunately for him, his assistant in waiting Filippo Galli speaks impeccable English and Ray Wilkins has been refreshing the Italian that he learnt in that country as a player. Every major Chelsea managerial appointment by Abramovich – Mourinho, Scolari and now Ancelotti – has been epochal but only one has actually worked out. Ancelotti starts with the worst grasp of English of all three, but if he can sign Kaka that would be a long way to making the difference between success and failure.

Two who could move to the Bridge...

Glen Johnson (Portsmouth)

Age 24 Position Right-back Value £10m

Enjoyed a fine season, adding to his 13 England caps. Was Abramovich's first signing at Chelsea in 2003 before a £4m move to Portsmouth two summers ago.

Ross Turnbull (Middlesbrough)

Age 24 Position Goalkeeper

Value Free, contract expires this summer

Signed professional contract at Boro in 2002 but has gone out on loan six times.

Played 29 games for the Riverside club.

... and four on their way out

DECO Midfielder disappeared from view

RICARDO CARVALHO Has lost place

PAULO FERREIRA Peripheral figure

JULIANO BELLETTI Failed to settle

News
Jennifer Lawrence was among the stars allegedly hacked
peopleActress and 100 others on 'master list' after massive hack
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor