Carlo Ancelotti has spoken about what drives him on as a football manager and the desire for victory within the Chelsea squad, a group of players whom he is happy to thank for their commitment over the season.
As the team take to the pitch for the final time this season, one place short of the desired finishing position in the league, it will not be due to lack of effort that they end the season without silverware.
‘I have to say thanks to every one of my players because more or less they do their best every time, they were in focus,’ reports Ancelotti.
‘The atmosphere around the training session every time was good, it was correct. Even if they did not reach their best, I have to shake their hands and say thank you.
‘Petr Cech has had a fantastic season but other players also have – John Terry,Ashley Cole.
‘I didn’t know so well John Terry [before I came to Chelsea]. I didn’t know so well Ashley Cole, or Didier Drogba. For me they were new players. I understood their characteristics, their ability, their skill, their professionalism, so it has been a fantastic experience for me.’
The same will-to-win the players have every time they take to the pitch is similar to Ancelotti’s own approach to the game. He simply loves to manage football teams to victory and would continue to do so for years to come, even if a big club job was not available.
‘Why not? I have a respect for all the teams, for all the jobs of my colleagues,’ the Italian says.
‘It doesn’t matter if you manage the top team or a smaller team, it is your job, it is the same.
‘I started to train in the second division in Italy and I was happy training in the second division.
‘For me it is important to work and if, one time, I have a possibility to manage another division team, I would.
‘I have seen a lot of games from the Championship in England on TV and the atmosphere is fantastic. If you watch a second division game in Italy, maybe there will be 2,000 in the stadium. It’s totally different.
‘The difference [from then Premier League] is the money but when you train or manage, you don’t think about earning the money, you think about working with passion.
‘The money has never been a motivation for me, nor for the players. The motivation is to play, to win, to be the best, to stay at the top as a player and a manager. The motivation is to give yourself a good image.’
REACTION: A GOOD RELATIONSHIP
Carlo Ancelotti thanked the Chelsea fans at Goodison Park following his last match in charge as manager.
The Italian, who parted company with the club after the game, which ended in a 1-0 defeat, heard his name being sung by the travelling support, and showed his gratitude.
‘I was happy for this reason. We have a very good relationship, they support us, they support me all the time. For this reason I am really happy,’ said Ancelotti.
‘We would like to finish the season differently but unfortunately we needed a strong motivation today,’ he said. ‘Even though we had one more player in the second half, we didn’t play well, it was disappointing.
‘It was difficult to find the right motivation. Obviously we wanted to play differently, to finish the season differently but this is normal at the end of the season when you have worked really hard but lost the fight for the title with Manchester United. To maintain motivation is not easy.
‘We cannot say we are happy to reach second place, Chelsea has to fight for the title all the time. Sometimes there are problems and you are not able to win, this was this year for us.’
Chelsea went a goal down after a Jermaine Beckford run which saw the Everton striker break down the pitch before a lucky bounce enabled him to pass John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic before finding the net.
Everton manager David Moyes felt the goal summed up his side’s performance.
‘We were down to 10 men and it was a really good goal, it really epitomised Everton today.
‘I thought we played well with 11, I thought we played well with 10 and I thought it was a good game. We had the best chances today. I was pleased with how the players played.’