Ancelotti dismisses 'untrue' speculation
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti at team training in Cobham, south London. Chelsea are due to play MSK Zilina in a Champions League tomorrow (Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters)
Soccer:Carlo Ancelotti has firmly denied that he ever considered quitting as Chelsea coach over the weekend. The Italian was rumoured to have spoken to the League Managers Association on Sunday night and consulted them about his position within the Stamford Bridge hierarchy.
But despite Chelsea crashing to their third defeat in four games with a 1-0 reverse at Birmingham on Saturday, Ancelotti made it plain today that he was here to stay ahead of their Champions League game against Group F whipping boys MSK Zilina tomorrow night.
“I don’t know if it’s enough to clarify my position today to close these rumours and speculation,” said Ancelotti. “These rumours are totally untrue. I don’t know why they came out. I didn’t speak with the LMA.
“They called me last night when I was at home, quiet, to find out what was happening. These rumours are totally untrue. I have my contract until 2012, here, in this club. I’ve said a lot of times that I’d like to stay here.
“I love not just this club, but these players. I have a lot of confidence in these players, in this squad, so there’s no reason to change my ideas. I don’t know if this is enough to speak about all this. I think that when the team don’t reach the right results, obviously the coach is under pressure.
“Obviously I am under pressure because I’d like Chelsea to win every game. I am focused on my job to make us play better than we are at this moment. There was, last night, an LMA dinner with the coaches and they wanted to know about these rumours. I said to them that they were totally untrue. I read in the papers today that I called them. That’s untrue. I didn’t call anybody.”
He underlined that at no stage over the weekend had he ever considered his position at Chelsea.
“There is no reason to think about this, my position. My position in the club is very clear,” he declared. “I am the coach and I have to train my players to maintain the team, the club, at the best level. Now, this moment is not so good on the pitch and we have to do better there.
“Obviously I understand very well because I have had a lot of occasions like this in my career. The coach is in trouble when the team doesn’t produce results, but this is my life. I like my life.
“I’m not disappointed about this. I’m disappointed because Chelsea have lost three in four games, and this is not good — for me, the players, the club, for my job. We want to do better.”
Ancelotti also stamped on suggestions that he was unhappy with the recent removal of former assistant coach Ray Wilkins and the appointment of Michael Emenalo as his successor.
“I’m sad because the team doesn’t win,” added Ancelotti. “I maintain the same relationship with Ray, even if we can’t work together. Nothing has changed in my personal behaviour with Ray. The club decided to change and I have to stay focused on my job with another assistant. This is not a problem for me. That’s not the reason why the team are losing at this moment.
“We have to clarify the position of Emenalo. Emenalo is doing the same job that he did when I came here. He was on the training ground on the first day. He is on the training ground again. He’s not ‘involved’ because he has no licences. He was involved in the tactical meetings and decisions when I arrived here. That position was the same when Ray was here. Nothing has changed.
“I’m not able to speak about financial things, administrative things, or contracts. I can just speak about my contract, not others. I prefer to stay in my position and control technical matters. I said also, before, that my aim is to stay here at this club, this country, in this atmosphere, for a long time. It depends on me.
“I did a good job last year and I’d like to do the same this year. My aim is to stay here. I don’t want to stay like Alex Ferguson because I think that’s impossible, but my aim is to stay here.”
Chelsea will rest a number of players against Zilina tomorrow. Midfielder Josh McEachran will be given his first start with Petr Cech, Nicolas Anelka and Ashley Cole all afforded a break.
Defender Alex is out and Jeffrey Bruma will play alongside Branislav Ivanovic in defence as Chelsea look for the point that will guarantee them first place in the group.