Chelsea may have dropped their first points of the Premier League season at the weekend, but the result will have taken little away from a supremely impressive start to their defence of the Premier League.
One man who has been crucial to Carlo Ancelotti’s sides start has been Florent Malouda whose individual performances have very much mirrored Chelsea’s improvement under the Italian.
After arriving from Lyon in the summer of 2007 big things were expected from the winger. But unfortunately for Malouda he was expected to be the man to replace Arjen Robben, a task which was never going to be easy.
It didn’t help one bit that Jose Mourinho, the manager who brought him to the club, left soon after Malouda’s arrival. The Frenchman struggled to adapt to the demands of the Premier League, and looked set to be another expensive flop at Stamford Bridge.
But over time Malouda would gradually settle in and ever since the arrival of Ancelotti, he looks a snip at £13 million. He scored 12 times last season as Chelsea regained the title, and has started this season in an even more prolific manor, scoring 6 times already.
Malouda himself feels that the arrival of Ancelotti has helped his game: “Every single player at the club is having a lot of fun playing under him. I think our manager is one of the most proven managers there is.”
Personally I feel that Malouda’s emergence in to one of the world’s best wingers sums up the success Ancelotti has had at Chelsea. He has got players playing with confidence and freedom, none more so then Malouda, and the results have been nothing short of sensational.
Malouda has come a long way from the winger we first saw arrive in England, and his progression reflects a real reward for him sticking with English football after tough start. He is currently the Premier League’s joint top scorer, and if he can continue his excellent form, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him picking up a golden boot come May. Even if he doesn’t he has certainly replaced Robben now and easily surpassed him.