Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti insisted Monday that he is happy
at the club and wants to stay at Stamford Bridge ”for a long
time,” denying reports that he was on the verge of quitting.
The Italian disputed the widespread speculation in the British
media that he was considering leaving the reigning English
champions in a dispute over control of the team.
”These rumors are totally untrue. I don’t know why they came
out in the papers,” Ancelotti said. ”I’ve said a lot of times I
like to stay here. I love this club. I have a lot of confidence in
these players and this squad.”
””My aim is to stay here at this club for a long time,” he
added. ”It depends on me. The last year I did a good job and I
want to do the same. My aim is to stay here.”
Ancelotti, who came to Chelsea 18 months ago from AC Milan, also
said reports he had consulted the League Managers’ Association
about his position at Stamford Bridge were wrong.
”I didn’t call the LMA. They called me last night when I was
relaxing at home, just to find out what was going on,” he
Chelsea has lost three of its last four matches in the Premier
League but remains top of the table – level on points with
Ancelotti acknowledged he is under pressure after his team’s
recent bad run but is fully committed to the club.
”When the teams don’t reach the right result, the team is under
pressure. Obviously I am under pressure,” Ancelotti said. ”But I
am focused on my job and want my team to play better than they are
doing at this moment.”
Events off the pitch have also sparked fears about Ancelotti’s
The club’s board made the decision last week to dismiss
assistant coach Ray Wilkins, who was close to Ancelotti, and
replace him with Michael Emenalo on the instigation of Russian
owner Roman Abramovich.
Ancelotti said Wilkins’ departure had not affected his position
”I am sad because the team doesn’t win – the club decided to
change and I have to stay focused on the job,” he said. ”This is
not the reason the team is losing at the moment. I maintain the
same relationship with Ray.”
Ancelotti won the league and FA Cup last season in his first
year in English football. His team started this season well, too,
by qualifying for the knockout stage of the Champions League with
two games to spare and storming to the top of the Premier League,
where it has remained all season.
The Blues, however, have struggled in recent weeks, losing to
Liverpool, Sunderland and Birmingham in the space of 14 days. They
also have injury problems, with key players John Terry and Frank
Lampard currently sidelined with injuries.