Nicolas Anelka is famed for being an awkward character. The French striker has been given the nickname of Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Le SulkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢.
Obviously, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know the man and I would therefore be more than happy to give him the benefit of any doubt.
The evidence for Anelka being a moody, difficult person is quite overwhelming. Many players who have played alongside him have been less than generous in their appraisal of his personality. The fact that the twenty-nine year old striker is currently at his ninth club probably also speaks volumes.
It would seem that it may not be too long before, in my opinion, the vastly overrated striker, is looking for club number ten. At least, he should be.
After missing the crucial penalty to cost Chelsea the Champions League final on Wednesday he has spoken out about his time at the club. He has voiced his frustration at being asked to play out of position for Chelsea.
Anelka has not been a regular starter since moving to Stamford Bridge from Bolton in the January transfer window and he has often had to play on the wing rather than in his preferred front role. The Frenchman claims that he was led to believe he would start alongside Didier Drogba in most games, but Avram Grant has been reluctant to change his formation.
He is unhappy with his role and has demanded to be used as a striker when the new season gets underway. After all, what right has the manager got to ask him to play anywhere else? He only paid fifteen million for him for goodness sake.
“Since I have joined the club, I never played in my right position, as second centre-forward,” Anelka has said. “I have always played on the left or the right. I have never said anything so far. I was a new man in the team, coming from Bolton. But next season it will be different, I won’t be a new man anymore, I will be a Chelsea player.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Anelka went on to say, “When I came here, I was told I will play in a 4-4-2 system. I didn’t come to play on the right or left. I don’t have to prove my value in the centre. We could have played together with Didier Drogba. But we never even worked on our partnership during training sessions.”
He says he has nothing to prove in the centre, but since leaving Arsenal, he has managed just ninety league goals in various leagues in two hundred and seventy three games for various teams. Less than one goal in three is not prolific for a fifteen million pound striker.
More amazingly Anelka has also remarkably talked about his penalty miss. No apology to the fans or determination to make up for it in the future. Oh no, just more moaning. He has also admitted that he refused to take one of the first five penalties in the UEFA Champions League final. He almost seems proud of the fact.
Anelka came on in extra-time in the Champions League final before his sudden death penalty was saved by Edwin Van Der Sar to give victory to Manchester United.
He says it was difficult to play a part in the shoot-out after coming on so late, adding: “I never thought I would come onto the pitch. I stayed sitting on the bench for 110 minutes, and then I have been asked to play after just one minute of warm-up. I don’t know if it has ever happened in a Champions League final, with such an intensity, to play without a warm-up.Ã¢â‚¬Â
So, sorry Nicolas, are you moaning about being on the bench, being put on, not having enough warm up time or going on at all? It makes me sick when players moan about playing in the Champions League final. If you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like it Nicolas, go and work in a factory!
In relation to the Penalty shoot-out, I am almost completely speechless about what Anelka had to say about that.
“I was asked to be among the five penalty kickers. I said ‘out of the question. I came in almost as right full-back and you want me to kick a penalty?’ Finally I had to go as number seven.”
Belletti for Chelsea and Anderson for United both took penalties. For both of them it was their first touch of the game. They took them without moaning because they are professional and they did what they were told for the good of the team.
In a tense situation like that, the manager turns to his fifteen million pound striker and says, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I want you to take one of the penalties.Ã¢â‚¬Â The striker, who has managed just one league goal for that fifteen million pounds investment, refuses to take one.
If I were Avram Grant, I would ensure that Anelka never kicked another football in a Chelsea shirt.
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