The French international Florent Malouda is very happy that he has finally earned the respect of the club and the fans at Chelsea, and, having signed a new contract, is looking forward to winning more trophies with the team this season.
He is really happy that he was offered a new contract and now feels valued by the club.
“Of course I am very happy because I think that the club wanted me to sign, and for me it is the same so there is a big trust,” he said.
“From the first year here when we changed the manager the speculation [about my future] started. All I can say is in two years now I played almost 90 games with Chelsea so that means I have something to do here in this club, that’s the reason I signed my contract.”
“People talk about the last six months last year but I played nearly 50 games and started the season really well with Felipe Scolari too,”
“I was playing a different role when Guus Hiddink arrived, because I was more in the offensive positions and I was in better positions to score goals. Before maybe I was useful for the team but it is not something you can see if you don’t score or make an assist.”
He made a great impact at the end of the season, and was especially feted for his performances in the FA Cup semi-final and Final, and really enjoyed the experience.
“That’s the reason why I came to Chelsea – to play in those kind of games,” he said.
“The end of May is a massive moment in the season, it’s when you can collect the trophies and this first one means a lot to me. It was really important to win that trophy and finish the season well, and start this one well.”
He then went on to describe his new role at the left of the diamond formation, and how him and Ashley Cole have to work together and take turns at attacking down the left.
“It’s a different position, I have played there in the national team and you have to work. You have an important role in the balance of the team,”
“Ash is a really offensive full-back and likes to go forward so I have to free the space for him, most important is to get a maximum of movement because you have to do it at the right time, which only comes with communication and experience.”
“Most important is to win every game at home, to be unbeatable at home and take every point because that’s where you make the difference. I think of course we have to improve against the big teams in the big games, but we have to be at our best level when we play the little teams,’ he said.
Of course Malouda will have extra competition this season from the new £18m signing Yuri Zhirkov, but as the Russian prefers to play left-back than on the wing, it may happen that both Malouda and Zhirkov may play together at the expense of Ashley Cole.
If he carries on playing at his present level it will certainly be difficult to leave him out of the team.