Tuesday, January 17, 2017

End of Anelka saga boosts West Brom, says Mel

SoccerNews in English Premier League 17 Mar 2014

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West Brom head coach Pepe Mel believes Nicolas Anelka’s departure from The Hawthorns will benefit the club going forward.

Anelka was sacked by Albion on Friday for “gross misconduct” after it was confirmed the Frenchman would accept a five-match ban for his controversial quenelle celebration.

The 35-year-old initially claimed he had freed himself from his contract on social media site Twitter, though that was later contradicted by West Brom.

Anelka was given the ban and an £80,000 fine after an independent commission ruled his gesture following a goal at West Ham in December was anti-semitic, which the former France striker denied.

West Brom’s fortunes improved as Mel collected his first three points since being appointed as head coach in a 2-1 triumph at Swansea City on Saturday.

And the Spaniard believes the conclusion of the long-running Anelka saga is the best outcome for everyone involved.

“My relationship with Nicolas Anelka was good and he helped me but I hope now the situation is resolved in the best way possible for all parties,” he said.

“The club needs all of its forces and energy to move forward. We are professionals and not keeping West Bromwich Albion up would be a failure for everyone.”

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