IM this article to a friend!

August 27, 2004

Carvalho Can Read The Signs

From:, UK - Aug 27, 2004

Portugal international Ricardo Carvalho is looking to the power of sign language to help cement a partnership with John Terry at the heart of Chelsea's defence.

Carvalho joined Chelsea this summer for a transfer fee of just under 20million as he linked up again with former Porto boss Jose Mourinho.

Indeed, Chelsea's Portuguese quartet of Mourinho, Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira and Tiago Mendes will not have to wait long for a return home after being drawn in the same Champions League group with Porto, CSKA Moscow and Paris St Germain.

However, Carvalho, who lifted the Champions League trophy with Porto last season, has some work to do if he is to become a regular in the side before the two meetings with his former club.

The 26-year-old centre-back started on the bench for the opening Premiership game of the season against Manchester United, coming into midfield as a late substitute to protect the slender lead.

He partnered Terry at the back against Birmingham in a 1-0 win, only to be replaced by William Gallas in the 2-0 midweek success at Crystal Palace.

Mourinho, whose side have yet to concede a goal in their three games this season, must evidently still decide between Carvalho and Gallas as his first-choice partner for England international Terry.

However, Carvalho believes that even his lack of fluent English should not count against him as he gets used to life in the Premiership.

"How do I communicate with John Terry? It's easy, not a problem. Sometimes it's only a question of getting a foot here or a head there, and making hand signals to one another," he told Chelsea TV through an interpreter.

"I'm learning how to play with him and how we can function effectively as a pair. I know a few swear words already, but they are the sort of thing that stays on the pitch between us!"

Chelsea's first meeting against Porto takes place at Stamford Bridge on September 29, with the return fixture in Porto in the final game on December 7.

Mourinho revealed: "It is always a good motivation to play against a big team. They'll be two great matches, with beautiful stadiums and beautiful crowds. Fantastic.

"But the group is really difficult, not just because we've got the European champions.

"It's always difficult to play at CSKA Moscow. They always have a style of play which is never easy to face and they beat Glasgow Rangers. Now they have the economic power to get players from the rest of Europe and from South America.

"Paris St Germain also had a great season last year. They have spent some money on fantastic players and they will be fighting for one of the two qualifying places. It's a really strong group."

As for Saturday's game at home to Southampton, Mourinho is still without Arjen Robben, who is set to return to full training in a fortnight after breaking a bone in his foot on the pre-season tour of America.

Damien Duff may have played for the Republic of Ireland last week but, as he continues his rehabilitation from a disclocated shoulder, has yet to feature for Chelsea this season.

Mourinho must also check on Wayne Bridge, who missed the game at Palace due to a knock, while Eidur Gudjohnsen, Geremi and Alexei Smertin are - just like Carvalho - hoping for recalls.

© 2004, UK