London: Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has taunted the Blues’ next generation in a summit meeting at Stamford Bridge by telling Chelsea they aren’t as good as Real Madrid.
Roberto Di Matteo’s side have set an ominous pace at the top of the league but Ferguson contends they cannot match the “ruthlessness” of the Mourinho-led Chelsea that won the title in 2005 and 2006, forcing the Scot to raise his own game at Old Trafford.
“I wouldn’t say this is the strongest Chelsea team. I think if you go back to Mourinho’s, they were formidable, and really difficult to play against,” the Daily Mirror quoted Ferguson, as saying.
“That period of Didier Drogba, a younger John Terry and Frank Lampard, who one year got 30 goals from midfield they’ll never get that again. They were a really powerful team, hard to beat and ruthless,” he added.
Ferguson admits that the impact of Di Matteo’s ambitious strategy – operating with Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard has taken him by surprise.
“They gained confidence from winning the Champions League, but Roberto has shown he’s bold and you’ve got to give the lad credit. It’s very positive. I thought it was a risk to have those three players in the same team. Attacking-wise he’s got great options. But if you can contain them you have a chance,” Ferguson said.