Premier League

Hoddle back Carlo with Blues

PREMIER LEAGUE
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Former Chelsea boss Glenn Hoddle believes the Blues would risk taking a backwards step by dismissing manager Carlo Ancelotti.

The Italian has overseen what is set to be Chelsea's worst season since Roman Abramovich bought the club.

While the London side will finish the Premier League campaign in second place, it is possible that not even last year's league and FA Cup double will be enough to prevent Ancelotti's exit.

Former England manager Hoddle has warned that such a move may be damaging to Chelsea in the long term and urged owner Abramovich to keep faith with Ancelotti.

"I think Chelsea have probably changed their management team too much in the last five, six, seven years," Hoddle said, speaking at a Football 40 event at Planet Hollywood, London.

"I think if they do it again there is a chance they will be stepping backwards rather than going forwards.

"He proved last year that he can be successful for Chelsea so I think he certainly needs one more year to prove that again."

Despite the fact Ancelotti remains at the helm, several bookmakers are already accepting bets on the next man to step into the breach at Stamford Bridge.

Former Chelsea managers Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink have been linked with the post, while Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp and Barcelona's Pep Guardiola also have short odds.

However, it is Porto boss Andre Villas-Boas who is favourite for the still-occupied Chelsea job after a season of unrivalled success in Portugal.

On Wednesday night, the 33-year-old's team added the Europa League to the Portuguese league and Super Cup crowns they had already achieved.

Such success has seen Villas-Boas linked with a host of top positions across Europe.

He has worked before at Chelsea, having a spell working alongside Mourinho.

Hoddle was the England team's youngest manager when he was appointed in 1996 at the age of 38.

And he does not believe age would prevent somebody with the talent of Villas-Boas succeeding at the top level.

"Sometimes being young you have a refreshing outlook, which you can bring to this side," added Hoddle, who is acting as technical director for Football 40.

"Too many people sometimes look at grey hair as a sign of experience. Well, you might be experienced at doing the wrong things and have grey hair.

"It doesn't mean it is the right experience, does it?

"Even a younger person can have better experience than some of the older guys.

"I think you have to learn quickly, learn from the many mistakes that you make.

"But do you know what? Even the most experienced managers make mistakes and all they are doing are repeating them."

Hoddle added: "Talent is talent. Whether it is a talented player or it is a talented manager or coach.

"Talent is talent and you have to fast-track it sometimes and someone has to take that step.

"If they see someone and that is how they want their club to be run or if they see something in a young player is more mature then they are going to take that chance with them.

"And long may that continue in football."

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