Malouda wary of competition
Florent Malouda knows that he faces intense competition to retain a place in Chelsea's first team.
Last Updated: 25/09/09 11:10am
Florent Malouda is aware that he faces intense competition to retain a place in Chelsea's first team, but the winger believes he is close to his best form.
The Frenchman began to show evidence at the end of last season that he had finally settled in England following a £13.5million move from Lyon in 2007.
Malouda has carried those good performances into the current campaign as Chelsea have made a 100 per cent start to the 2009/10 Premier League.
But ahead of Saturday's trip to Wigan, the 30-year-old acknowledges that a place in Carlo Ancelotti's first XI is not guaranteed.
"Every player who joins Chelsea knows there will be competition," Malouda said in the Evening Standard.
"When you have ambitions to go far in every competition you must have a strong squad so there is naturally competition and everybody is ready for that.
"That's our job and we train hard to prove to the manager we deserve to play and to make sure we stay in the team."
Malouda faces direct competition from £18m summer signing Yuri Zhirkov, who impressed on his debut against Queens Park Rangers in the Carling Cup in midweek.
But the 44-time France international is confident that he can maintain his high levels of performance, claiming he is close to the form of his life.
He added: "Last season I was performing really well. I had a stronger season so I'm still progressing and I'm close to my highest level."
Malouda has also praised the work of team-mates Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, who have formed a lethal attacking partnership since Ancelotti's arrival.
He said: "I would say if you are an opponent and you see Didier and Nicolas are playing against you, you won't feel comfortable.
"When they are confident, there is danger all the time for the opposition."