Despite spending £111 million on new players this season, Ancelotti now appears frustrated at his players’ lack of ability. Last summer, arrivals such as Ramires and Yossi Benayoun were supposed to add depth to the squad, replacing the ageing Michael Ballack and Deco. However, as the injury crises unfolded, Ancelotti believes his squad did not step up to the mark.
Chelsea are in danger of finishing the season empty handed, and Blues’ boss Ancelotti feels player injury and lack of depth are to blame, stating: “I don’t think the squad was good enough this year.
“At the start of the season, we couldn’t have envisaged having very important players out at the same time.
“We struggled to manage this – without Lampard, Drogba, Essien, Terry, Alex. It was very difficult.
“At a certain point in the season, we needed to put (Paulo) Ferreira in at centre-back because we’d lost all our other centre-backs.
“You cannot think at the beginning of the season that you would have all these players out. In the bad moments, it was difficult for us to move on without these players and I think it cost us quite a few points.”
Before the crises struck Chelsea were tipped by many to win the League for a successive season as they produced brilliant performances early on. Convincing wins saw Chelsea top the table for fourteen weeks and prompted many to disregard the criticisms surrounding the age of key players such as John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, all of whom suffered injuries.
Now, with nearly all of the squad back to full health, the Blues’ have only lost two in ten games and are tipped to finish the season strongly. January signings David Luiz and Fernando Torres could be all important in challenging for the title this season and next.
For the time being, Ancelotti seems content with his current squad stating:
“I don’t think there will be a lot of changes during the summer because we bought very important players in January in David Luiz and Fernando Torres. I don’t think we need to make more changes in the summer.”
Although Ancelotti may seem content, a lot will depend on owner Roman Abramovich, who could take matters into his own hands. A new manager could also mean a change of intent and should Ancelotti not keep his place, a turnover of players could become a possibility, with wingers Florent Malouda, Salomon Kalou and striker Didier Drogba likely to leave.
As we have witnessed many times before, the fate of Chelsea will depend highly on Abramovich’s intentions. A new manager could spell success next season. However many will be sad to see Ancelotti leave; a manager who led Chelsea to a Premiership, FA Cup and Community Shield triple during his first season in charge.