Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Carlo Ancelotti: Italian job too much for Chelsea and Arsenal


Carlo Ancelotti
Wave goodbye: Carlo Ancelotti says Napoli and Milan are just too strong

CARLO ANCELOTTI believes Chelsea and Arsenal have little chance of winning the Champions League after being drawn against Italian opposition in the last 16.
The former Chelsea boss feels both London clubs have good reason to be worried after being paired against Napoli and AC Milan last Friday.
Napoli have already proved too good for English opposition in the competition this season, having finished above Premier League leaders Manchester City in the group stage, beating them 2-1 at home along the way.
Chelsea, who failed to get beyond the quarter-finals during Ancelotti's two years in charge, have struggled under his replacement Andre Villas-Boas.
Ancelotti feels Napoli will prove too strong for them, just as they were against Manchester City, and said: "Italian football has made steps forward and the English game is not in great shape, what with Manchester City's and Manchester United's elimination.
"Napoli already achieved something remarkable by beating a City side that is dominating the Premier League, so I don't see why they can't repeat it[against Chelsea].
"Of course, it requires a great performance, but Walter Mazzarri's team can improve a lot from now to February. Chelsea try to make possession their main strength, while Napoli are very dangerous when they win the ball back and go on the counter.
"If that's the situation, then Chelsea have to be very wary of the pace shown by Marek Hamsik, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Edinson Cavani, Christian Maggio and the rest. They are absolutely deadly on the counter-attack." The 52-year-old is even more damning of Arsenal's chances against his former club, AC Milan, who have won the European Cup seven times.
Ancelotti feels AC Milan just have better players at their disposal and added: "I am a Milanista through and through, so when I am cheering on my team, I find it difficult to be rational.
"In any case, I think Milan are superior to Arsenal. Massimiliano Allegri has great champions, and Arsenal don't have anyone like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, [Alexandre] Pato or Robinho."
"They do have Robin Van Persie, that is true, but we also have Alessandro Nesta and Thiago Silva. Milan are the favourites, but I won't forget Arsenal knocked us out of the Champions League in 2008.
Simon Johnson, London Evening Standard

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