Football

Smells like team spirit for Kalou

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Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti at least has allies fighting his corner after Salomon Kalou confirmed the team are enjoying their football under the beleaguered Italian.

For only the third time since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003, Chelsea appear destined to end a season trophyless, and that has pushed Ancelotti into the spotlight and to the brink of being axed.

Following the 3-1 victory over West Brom, Kalou told Press Association Sport: "After our defeat to Manchester United on Tuesday (in the quarter final of the Champions League) this was a good response. We showed that we're fighting for ourselves, for the team, also for the manager. It would be easy to point to someone and say it's his fault."

On the two previous occasions Chelsea ended up without silverware, the managers concerned were sacked, and few are holding out much hope of Ancelotti avoiding such a fate.

Last season's Barclays Premier League and FA Cup double success, in addition to Chelsea becoming the first club to score over 100 goals in a league campaign since 1963, now counts for nothing. Potential successors to Ancelotti, and the list is plentiful and includes the likes of Guus Hiddink, Frank Rijkaard, Andre Villas Boas and Marcello Lippi, are already being talked about.

Yet as far as the players are concerned, if Abramovich were to pay any heed to their thoughts, there appears to be feeling for the 51-year-old. Although success and trophies are the name of the game, Ancelotti has his players playing a style of football they are ultimately happy with.

Kalou added: "The main concern is we are together as a team. We win as a team, we lose as a team, and in this game we showed good character, the real face of Chelsea.

"It is the Chelsea everyone wants to see, a team that goes out on the pitch and plays hard, that plays with each other. The game is about the squad, and everyone has to be concerned about that.

"Everyone has to be professional, and when they go on the pitch to enjoy playing and fighting hard for the club and for the fans who travel far to come and support us.

"It is very important we show them respect by playing hard and giving everything we can."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
West Bromwich Albion
European News
Football
Salomon Kalou
Chelsea
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
FA Cup

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