English are more sporting than Italians: Ancelotti

ROME: Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti hit out at his countryman in an interview in La Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday, claiming they are not as sporting as the English.

Ancelotti began his first job outside of his homeland this season when he took over the reigns at the west London club following eight years with AC Milan and previous spells at Juventus, Parma and Reggiana.

And already he has noticed several differences between the football culture in his adopted home and his motherland.

"The first thing is the stadiums. Here in England they're attractive, comfortable, suited to the show," he said.

"In Italy, they're not. And then there's the fans who here go to a game to be entertained and not to get angry with the referee or the opponents.

"It's more sporting, it's a different culture. Here there's more of a sporting culture."

He admitted the toughest thing so far about his switch is adapting to a new language.

"It's improving. It's difficult but I'm trying hard. I can't tell you how many times people have asked me 'why didn't you study English at school'.

"At 50 it's never easy to start learning a new language.

"(Ray) Wilkins helps me out, although by now everyone understands me. If I get angry I shout in Italian but that's basic phrases that everyone understands."

Since Ancelotti left Milan his former charges have struggled, winning only two of their first seven league matches and losing at home to FC Zurich in the Champions League.

But Ancelotti insists his successor Leonardo just needs a bit of time to get things right.

"Let's not turn this into a drama. They're going through a difficult period due to the sale of Kaka but they have what it takes to turn things around, this is just a settling down period," he said.

"Leonardo has a difficult task but around him there's a great structure and the club has faith in him and you'll soon see that he'll manage to get his ideas across."

Ancelotti also revealed that he's been keeping in touch with the antics of Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho via Italian satellite TV as the Portuguese boss continues to create polemics seemingly every other week due to a fractious relationship with the Italian press.

But Ancelotti said the former Chelsea manager is still much loved at Stamford Bridge.

"Everyone here has a lot of affection for him. He did a great job here and everyone, even the players, are bound to him. That's very satisfying for a coach."