Deco enjoying new Chelsea role
CHELSEA midfielder Deco is relishing his renaissance under new coach Carlo Ancelotti and his diamond formation.
The Portugal inter national failed to shine in his first season in English football after joining from Barcelona for £7.9 million (R103.4m) last summer.
He also failed to settle in southwest London and looked destined for a summer move to Inter Milan.
But the Italian club could not meet Chelsea’s asking price and Deco has been brought back into the fold under Ancelotti.
He was handed the pivotal role behind the two strikers in this week’s impressive 3-1 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light and Deco’s class shone through long before he notched the third goal.
Now Chelsea’s forgotten man is ready to seize the chance to polish his reputation in Ancelotti’s system.
“The system is good because we have more possession and have the ball all the time,” said Deco. “We have four in midfield and we can play better than when we had the three. When we defend it’s more difficult because we have to go both sides, but to play in it is fantastic.
“I know, if I am fit and well, I can play. I just want to help the team and I think the coach trusts and believes in me. I am enjoying playing under him.”
It is an important season for Deco, with next year’s World Cup in South Africa upper most in his thoughts.
Ancelotti insists the Portuguese star is motivated sufficiently to ensure he plays himself into the national squad for the finals after ending his spell in the Chelsea wilderness. The Italian coach also made it clear Deco was staying at Stamford Bridge, saying: “Deco does not want to go, and we do not want him to. He is working very well now, he is very motivated to play and this is a very important season for him before the World Cup, and he played very well, both for him and for the team.
“The motivation for everyone arrived because we want to do the best, not only for me, but it’s the same for the players and the club. We want to do the best work, improve and be the best.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea are not banking on the return of any of their injured squad members before tomorrow’s west London derby with Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Brazilian defender Alex (groin), new signing Yuri Zhirkov (knee) and full-back Juliano Belletti (Achilles) have all missed the start of the new season, along with Paulo Ferreira and Joe Cole (both knee).
But Ancelotti hopes they will return to action in time to be considered for the club’s next home game against Burnley on August 29.
“We hope to recover them for the next match at home,” added Ancelotti. – London Evening Standard