Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Chelsea plan no big changes to squad

Carlo Ancelotti does not believe Chelsea's squad requires major surgery after they clinched the Barclays Premier League title with an 8-0 hammering of Wigan.

A hat-trick from Didier Drogba, a double from Nicolas Anelka and other goals from Salomon Kalou, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole earned the Blues their first title since 2006.

It also set them up for an historic league and FA Cup double that will be achieved with victory over relegated Portsmouth at Wembley next week.

Chelsea's squad now has numerous players over the age of 30 but Ancelotti insists there are no plans to dismantle the champions in the summer.

"For now, we have time to think about this," said Ancelotti. "We will take decisions about the future together, how we did this season.

"I think this team doesn't need to change a lot of things. Every player did a fantastic job this season. Everyone has to say thanks to these players."

One of those expected to leave is Germany captain Michael Ballack. At 33, the club are reluctant to offer him the two-year deal he wants.

His deal expires in the summer and the German is likely to reject a one-year offer and return to his homeland.

Ballack was substituted in the second half of their 8-0 success in a move that was largely seen as the club giving fans a chance to say an appreciative farewell to the midfielder.

Captain John Terry will be 30 in December and although he has suffered a difficult season off the field, Ancelotti continued to praise his efforts as a player.

Terry, stripped of the England captaincy by coach Fabio Capello following lurid headlines over his relationship with the ex-girlfriend of his one-time Stamford Bridge team-mate Wayne Bridge, lifted the Premier League crown for the third time.

"I think that John had some difficult moments, but he kept those personal issues outside the training ground," said Ancelotti.

"He did a fantastic season. A lot of times, he was the most important player on the pitch and showed good character. It's not difficult for me to say he was the leader on the pitch, but a lot of my players showed fantastic character today."

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