Carvalho upset with axe

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Ricardo Carvalho admits he is puzzled as to why Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho preferred William Gallas in central defence for the Premiership opener at Wigan.

The Portuguese defender is upset with his fellow countryman for bracketing him in the group of players who are not starters and need to convince the Blues boss they should get in the starting XI.

After an accomplished first season in England, Carvalho did not expect to be ousted from the side as Mourinho tries manfully to juggle the embarrassment of riches at his disposal.

"I want to know why I didn't play," he told A Bola.

"How can I explain when I don't understand it?

"Sincerely, I gave a lot of thought and time to myself but cannot find a valid explanation.

"It's totally incomprehensible.

"I don't understand why Mourinho said I have to wait for another opportunity to play this season. I don't understand the reason he put me in a group including Robert Huth, Joe Cole and Tiago.

"Sincerely, I don't understand why he told me what he told me. I don't believe I'm going to be third choice.

"The Premiership has begun and I will play many games, I have no doubt.

"It's incomprehensible that I will become third choice.

"At FC Porto, I didn't have an easy life with Mourinho, especially in the year he arrived. But, in time, I recovered my confidence and finished in a big way.

"I don't want an identical situation at Chelsea."

Carvalho's message that there is no way he will allow himself to slip down the pecking order, and that he cannot fathom why he has been left out, might actually be encouraging to Mourinho as the Blues manager looks for hunger from his players.