“There was a silence. The players hadn’t had that kind of question asked before”
Carlo Ancelotti arrived at Chelsea in the summer of 2009, during an era when – in John Terry, Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack, Didier Drogba and Petr Cech, among others – their dressing room was famously dominated by several big personalities, and when suggestions were abound that player power was rife. The decorated Italian quickly made an impression at his new club, leading them to the Premier League title in 2010 after Manchester United had won three in succession, and immediately after that the FA Cup.
It was before that FA Cup final, against Portsmouth, that he then challenged those players to determine the tactics they would use. What followed, according to his then-assistant manager Paul Clement, was those players, some of whom have since become respected coaches, contributing numerous ideas – and with them victory at Wembley. Speaking exclusively to The Coaches’ Voice, Clement revisits that occasion, and the positives involved in giving Chelsea’s players such responsibility.