We take a look at the key news stories surrounding Chelsea from the day.
Carlo Ancelotti praises Antonio Conte
Carlo Ancelotti has heaped praise on compatriot Antonio Conte. Ancelotti managed Chelsea for two years himself, between 2009-11. The current Bayern Munich manager won 3 trophies with the Blues – The Premier League, FA Cup and FA Community Shield.
Ancelotti was unceremoniously sacked by Chelsea just hours after a 1-0 defeat to Everton, but clearly the Italian has no hard feelings towards the club or it’s current manager.
Antonio Conte has had a blistering start to his Chelsea reign, with the Blues currently on a hugely impressive 13-match winning streak. Despite a slightly shaky start – which included losses to Arsenal and Liverpool – Conte has turned things around very quickly and Carlo Ancelotti feels this is all down to his personality and character.
“What Conte is doing at Chelsea is extraordinary,” Ancelotti told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Antonio has determination, ideas, personality and experience. He’s mature as a coach now and I’m truly happy for him.
Zidane has won the World Club Cup after winning the Champions League, and there were people who thought he was not a coach. The truth is Conte and Zidane had quality on the field and they’ve taken that into their new jobs with them.”
Ake unsure of Chelsea future
Nathan Ake has established himself as an integral part of Eddie Howe’s plans at Bournemouth after joining them on loan, and has been impressive in defence for the Cherries. Ake was in the news recently after scoring the winner in an exciting 4-3 victory over Liverpool last month, and many feel that he might yet have a future at Chelsea.
However, Ake says that he feels at home at Bournemouth and is only concentrating on his performances for the Cherries. He has also admitted that it is too early to say if he will return to Chelsea or not, but says he will see where he stands at the end of the season.
“I just try to focus. You can overdo things, and here you get all the help you need,” he said, according to Sky Sports. “I am happy here. The loan deal is until the end of the season. I don’t look too far ahead. At the end of the season, we will see. It is too early to say [if he can make it at Chelsea]. There are still things to improve. Hopefully at the end of the season we will know more.”
Real Betis confirm Charly Musonda’s return to Chelsea
Real Betis have confirmed an agreement with Chelsea for Charly Musonda to return to the Blues. The 20-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan with Real Betis before joining them on loan yet again at the beginning of this season. After impressing last season, many expected the midfielder to grow further but things have not gone to plan.
The last few weeks has seen him nursing a knee injury that Betis feel needs to be assessed by Chelsea, and the Spanish club have decided to part company with the Belgian under-21 international.
He leaves the club having played in eight matches, totalling 275 minutes, in which he failed to score but managed to pick up one assist.
Betis confirmed the news on their official website, saying, “Real Betis and Chelsea FC have agreed to end the transfer of the player Charly Musonda to the team verdiblanco. Real Betis wishes the best to the Belgian footballer in his professional future.”
Harry Kane says Tottenham will not allow Chelsea to break record
Chelsea equalled Arsenal’s record for consecutive Premier League wins in a single season when they beat Stoke 4-2 on New Year’s Eve to make it 13 victories in a row. A win for Antonio Conte’s side at White Hart Lane will break that record, and Chelsea will become the first team to win 14 English top-flight games in a row within the same campaign.
And Harry Kane – who has been linked with a move to Manchester United – has revealed that Tottenham have no intention of allowing them to break that record, despite the record being held by their fierce rivals Arsenal. Spurs will still sorely remember the bad-tempered 2-2 draw with Chelsea that all but ended their title challenge last season, and Kane has admitted that there has been talk in the dressing room about stopping Chelsea’s charge.
“We definitely don’t want to be the team that lets Chelsea break that record,” said Kane, according to Sky Sports. “Of course, we know that’s in our mind, we were just talking about it there in the changing room. We don’t want to be that team they break the record against so we’re fully focused. It’s going to be a great game and we’re excited for it.”