It is often said that pre-season friendlies are nothing but a money and fitness building exercise. If it is the case then, it has shown that Chelsea are not ready for the new season in any way, shape or form. This was the summer when the usual long trips to far away countries were not part of the package.
Common belief is that this would help matters on the field, but only the exact opposite has happened so far. Chelsea have played 4 friendlies so far
and have lost all but one. Ancelotti has now openly admitted that his Chelsea stars are just not fight enough and are in the worst possible condition to start the new season.
‘There are some players in good condition and others who need to have more time. After eight days of training, it is impossible to be fit. But it is not a disadvantage because, even if they are not fit, they still have a good presence on the pitch. ‘Frank Lampard, John Terry, they have good presence so it is not so important to be 100 per cent fit at the start of the season. They can still play well,’
said Ancelotti. Not exactly confidence inspiring is it?
It is quite obvious that the World Cup has disrupted pre-season plans for most of the clubs. But none are doing worse than the current English Champions.
The state of the much hyped young players also has not helped Ancelotti. Bruma and others have failed quite badly up until now and how they will fare in the actual Premier League season ahead is open to debate.
Ancelotti cannot do much either in the squad management. The new Premier League rules demand a minimum of eight home grown players in the squad, limits his options to just 21 players as opposed to the 28 or even 30 players in the past.
It is also unclear as to whether Ancelotti aims only for the Champions League this season because considering the present stages of fitness it can be assumed that the players will peak during March, the perfect time for doing well in the Champions League.
Chelsea do seem to have realized the obvious shortcomings though and hence the signing of Ramires is imminent after the club agreed a fee for the Brazilian. And with the big matches coming only later on in the season, it gives Ancelotti plenty of time to prepare his players in the fitness department.