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Great Gael Kakuta passes debut test as Chelsea start to dream of future glory

He has been one of the most talked-about young players in world football, for all the wrong reasons. But after an impressive 30-minute debut at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, Gael Kakuta underlined exactly why Chelsea had sailed so close to the wind in order to obtain his signature…

We're flying: Kakuta soared at Stamford Bridge under intense pressure

No one can say they weren’t warned.

If anyone had missed the furore surrounding Gael Kakuta that overshadowed the early part Chelsea’s season, Carlo Ancelotti’s comments ahead of yesterday’s game against Wolverhampton Wanderers added another reason why the Frenchman has become one of the most talked about young players in world football.

“He (Kakuta) is a very good talent. He is very young and he can be a player in the future of Chelsea with his quality,” Ancelotti said.

“His character is good, he is a quiet boy, and at that age I have never seen a player with this talent,” he revealed.

Coming from Ancelotti, that is some statement. The Italian has observed some fabulous players in his 30-year career in football.

The fact that Kakuta is the best 18-year-old he has ever seen — just last year he was working with another fabulous teenager, AC Milan’s Alexandre Pato — will only increase the expectation around the young winger.

But the France U19 international has already become used to that.

After all, in September he went from being just a highly regarded member of Chelsea’s reserve team to one of the most notorious players in the world.

With FIFA judging out of the blue that Chelsea had broken the rules in luring Kakuta from French club RC Lens as a 16-year-old, the west London club found themselves forbidden from making signings for two consecutive transfer windows.

Kakuta, portrayed in many places as one of the villains of the piece, was banned from competitive football for four months.

Mentally weaker players would have crumbled under the increased scrutiny. But after a brief period of panic, the club’s 2008 Scholar of the Year soon composed himself.

“I think Kakuta suffered for one or two weeks about the situation and then after that he was better,” Ancelotti said.

“He returned to being quiet and calm and stayed with us to train. Still now he is well.

“It was not so important to speak with him, it was important to train with him and he stayed with the first team in this period.” Continue reading

November 23, 2009 Posted by | Comment, Uncategorized, World Football | , , , | 1 Comment

Ancelotti Right to Dump Chelsea’s 4-3-3 for Diamond Formation that Could Bring Richer Rewards

BLOG EXCLUSIVE: (Crikey, that sounds a bit pretentious, doesn’t it?) Ancelotti has arrived at Chelsea to quite a fanfare, and has wasted no time in stamping his authority on the club. The 4-3-3 tactic is out, replaced by Ancelotti’s preferred diamond formation. Will this be the change Chelsea need to get back to football’s summit?

Ancelotti: Comfortable enough in his own ability to make big decisions, even early in his Chelsea career...

Ancelotti: Comfortable enough in his own ability to make big decisions, even early in his Chelsea career...

Chelsea’s friendly with Inter Milan last Wednesday, in the unfamiliar surroundings of California’s Rose Bowl stadium, represented the second opportunity for new manager Carlo Ancelotti to assess the quality of the squad at his disposal. For the interested onlookers, it was also a second opportunity to see how the Italian might chance things tactically for the Blues.

While Ancelotti’s four predecessors have all tended to stick with variations on a 4-3-3 formation that took Chelsea to the semi-finals of the Champions League five times in the last six years, the signs so far suggest the former AC Milan boss will buck the trend and introduce the 4-4-2 ‘diamond’ formation that lead the Italian to two Champions League titles at the San Siro.

Ancelotti first unveiled his ‘Blue diamond’ formation as Chelsea took on the Seattle Sounders the previous Saturday, and saw his side grab a fairly comfortable 2-0 win, one that was repeated four days later against the slighter sterner test of Inter.

Even at this early stage of the season, it seems the new formation might be agreeable to the type of players at Chelsea’s disposal, and could just enable Chelsea to become even more successful than they have managed in recent years.

Ancelotti’s diamond sees one midfielder in a deep-lying role, tasked with winning and distributing possession. With Milan, this role was generally filled by Andrea Pirlo. Against Seattle, Ancelotti employed Deco in the position — an intriguing prospect ahead of the new season. Against Inter, it was John Obi Mikel who performed the role, a player Ancelotti has already praised for his all-round abilities. The Nigerian looks likely to start the new season in the role, but many fans will want to see how Deco’s vision and skill might impact on the position. Continue reading

July 28, 2009 Posted by | Sport, World Football | , | 1 Comment