Brilliant Malouda makes Chelsea tick

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Since joining from Lyon in 2007, Chelsea midfielder Florent Malouda has gone from being a mere squad member to key first team player in the space of three years. It is fair to say his Chelsea experience has been a bit of a rollercoaster thus far but there is no doubt that the sky is the limit at the moment.

Another routine win against Stoke continued the Blues’ great start to the season and ensures they sit pretty at the top going into the international break.

If Chelsea’s performance didn’t quite hit the lofty heights of the first two drubbings dished out to West Brom and Wigan respectively, Malouda’s performance certainly did. This Chelsea side is full of fluidity – sheer pace and movement courses through the side as they continue to bamboozle opposition defences. No-one quite typifies the team’s play and image more than the stocky Frenchman however.

Once again, Malouda was everywhere on Saturday, seemingly given the licensc to roam wherever he likes by Carlo Ancelotti. The midfielder drifted in between midfield and attack, causing havoc for Stoke City and opening the scoring with a well taken finish. If ever there was a player befitting the infamous ‘float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’ quote in this Chelsea side, it is Florent Malouda.

Chelsea have already notched a record 14 goals in the first three Premier League games. Malouda is the top scorer with four goals, along with Didier Drogba, for both the Blues and in the league overall - pretty impressive.

It’s not a surprise however, considering Malouda’s exploits last season where he bagged a record 15 goals and an incredible 16 assists on his way to being named Chelsea Players’ Player of the Year.

Things have not always been rosy for Chelsea’s number 15. Following his big money move, he failed to impress in his first season despite scoring on his debut in the Community Shield. Malouda was in and out of the team constantly and this continued well into the 08/09 campaign and even into Ancelotti’s first few months in charge last season as Malouda continued to struggle at the club.

Rather than get rid of the Frenchman in the January transfer window, Ancelotti decided to give Malouda the chance to prove himself post Christmas and Flo has never looked back, going on to become one of the first names on the team sheet to complete an amazing turnaround.

Malouda is playing with a radiant smile on his face at the moment and is now loving every minute at Stamford Bridge as he described in the recent match day programme.

He said: “You know, when we played against West Brom (opening day), I felt like I was in my back garden,” clearly expressing his enjoyment at playing in this wonderful team.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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Florent Malouda
Premier League

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