Carlo Ancelotti has lavished praise on his players, describing Frank Lampard as among football’s elite performers and Ashley Cole as the best left-back in the world.
The Chelsea boss has enjoyed a perfect start to his Stamford Bridge tenure having recorded six victories from as many Premier League games.
Ancelotti paid special tribute to Lampard, a player who he believes can be mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Kaka, Franck Ribery and even Diego Maradona.
“He’s versatile,” Ancelotti said in the Daily Telegraph.
“He has a different quality to Kaka, Ribery or Maradona but has the same importance for the team.
“He is fantastic when he arrives in the box at the right time, scoring a lot of goals.”
A feature of Ancelotti’s Chelsea has been the adventurous performances of the full-backs Jose Bosingwa and Ashley Cole.
“With the diamond we play, the full-backs are very important to run forward,” he added.
“Cole and Bosingwa are doing a fantastic job. Cole is the best left-back in the world.
“(Patrice) Evra is a very good runner but he has a little bit of difficulty to defend.”
Key to the Italian’s success thus far is the respect he has been granted from his players and it would appear the admiration works both ways.
“I found a lot of respect for me. But when I first came here there was too much distance between me and the players.
“They considered me only a boss and I did not have the language to break through that.
“Only one time have they upset me, in a friendly against Reading. We were losing 2-0 at half-time and I wanted to be angry, but I didn’t have the words to convey the emotion.
“Ray (Wilkins) said I should use Italian and then they can see by the look on my face that I am upset.
“When I am angry I have to speak in Italian.”