Chelsea FC Soars To Century Mark

Bill HareCorrespondent IMay 12, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 09:  Carlo Ancelotti manager of Chelsea looks on as they win the title after the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Wigan Athletic at Stamford Bridge on May 9, 2010 in London, England. Chelsea won 8-0 to win the championship.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

The borough of Kensington-Chelsea conveys a leafy rural pleasantry, while affording all the amenities one would expect from a Southwest London locale.

There are plenty of shops, restaurants, and pubs along King Road, which border the Sloane Square area where Princess Diana grew up.

The talk there, as well as elsewhere in London, is about the brilliant play of Chelsea Football Club, which just ended Manchester United’s three year championship run in Barclay English Premier League play.

It involved much more than a championship for the warriors in blue.  This was about style as much as substance and the capacity of the Stamford Bridge brigade to score goals was amazing.

Chelsea set a record for goals scored with 103.  It was the first time that any team had reached the staggering century mark since a red hot Tottenham Hotspur did so in 1963.

In addition to the celebrated team record Chelsea also boasts the Golden Boot winner in Ivory Coast product Didier Drogba with 29, edging out runner-up Wayne Rooney of Manchester United with 26.

Drogba’s seasonal figure of 29 was well up from his previous team high of 20 recorded in the 2006-2007 campaign.

It was befitting that such a productive goal scoring team would secure its title with a prolific effort.  This occurred May 9 with the men in blue shutting out Wigan by an 8-0 score.

Chelsea’s century club was due in large measure to the arrival of Italian Manager Ancelotti who was no stranger to finding the net on both the competitive and coaching levels.

Prior to moving to Chelsea this season, Ancelotti as a manager won two Champions League trophies at AC Milan.  Previously he had been on two winning Milan championship teams.

The success of Ancelotti this season with Chelsea suggests an analogy to the American National Football League Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh, who took the San Francisco Forty-Niners from a team mired in the doldrums to a Super Bowl dynasty winner.

Walsh, like Ancelotti, was known for his wide open style.  His sophisticated passing scheme featuring former Notre Dame All-American quarterback Joe Montana was called the West Coast Offense.  The system has been used frequently and discussed even more.

Walsh’s high scoring passing offense was enjoyable to watch.  The same can be said for Ancelotti’s speedy and prolific Chelsea scoring machine.  Playing exciting football at the world or American levels means filling stadiums with fans enjoying the wide open style of attack.

Just as Bill Walsh has had many study and emulate his West Coast Offense, will the Ancelotti style also be closely analyzed by coaches and teams throughout the world?