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My Inspiration: What Would Carlo Do?

Check out this great story by THE COACHES' VOICE on former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti.

THE COACHES' VOICE are a new contributing partner of Chelsea in America

Paul Clement

Swansea, 2017

The room fell silent.

Every player suddenly rendered mute by a question they’d never had to answer before.

I stood at the front door with marker pen in hand and a flip chart beside me, ready to write. A few feet away stood the Chelsea manager and my boss, Carlo Ancelotti. The two of us waiting. Expectant.

It was the night before the 2010 FA Cup final, when Avram Grant’s Portsmouth side were set to provide the last remaining obstacle to Chelsea winning a first Premier League and FA Cup double in the club’s history.

Less than a week earlier, Carlo and I had celebrated in the dugout as these now muted players secured the league title with an 8-0 thrashing of Wigan on the final day of the season. But, in the back of our minds, we were already thinking about Wembley.

“This is the last game of the season. We know what we’re able to do and we know the opposition. What do you think the tactics should be?”

Carlo’s question silenced a group of players not renowned for being shy. They weren’t used to being asked for their thoughts. Their ideas. But, gradually, baffled expressions turned into ones of contemplation. And then the hands went up.

I started writing.

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