Deco en­joy­ing new Chelsea role

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FOOTBALL -

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

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