Is Anelka Clutching At Straws?

Posted: July 21, 2011 by GaryCRobertson in Andres Villas-Boas, Chelsea
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Chelsea’s current strikeforce consists of Drogba, Torres, Malouda, Kalou, Sturridge, Kakuta, Zhirkov and Anelka.  You’ll have noticed there are some midfielders in the list because they too must be considered as the strikeforce.  Anyway, my point is, it’s evident to see why Fabio Borini didn’t sign a new contract with us at the end of the season; there are plenty of options up front to choose from already.  Not to mention the potential arrival of a certain Lukaku from Anderlecht.

So, it comes as little surprise that Anelka has spoken out about how he ‘welcomes the competition for places’, mainly because he undoubtedly feels that his place in the team is under considerate threat:

“Every single member of this squad will have to fight to play and I am ready to fight.” 

Now at first glance, you’ll be thinking ” typical Anelka” but it’s clear to see that he has made this comment because he’s firmly aware of the likes of Mr Danny Sturridge, who’s back from his eye opening loan spell at Bolton.

Andre Villas-Boas, however, is giving most, if not all, players a chance to prove themselves in the pre-season so there’s no knowing who will/won’t still be at the club after the transfer window has closed. Villas-Boas has promised that he doesn’t wish to “revolutionise” Chelsea but to “evolve” them, which leads us to think there will be sufficient utilisation of some of the youth products; McEachran, Bertrand, perhaps even Chalobah to name a few.

Despite Anelka’s previous comment, he has issued some positives words on the Torres front:

“It’s difficult when you come into a club for a lot of money. I should know. You feel a lot of pressure. You have to play, you have to score and you have to play well.  He has scored already this summer and I think he will be better this season.”

This makes it even more difficult to depict what Anelka is truly thinking; is he indeed clutching at straws?  Quite a few players are willing to commit their futures to Chelsea until they retire but many fear this is due to their pay check rather than from the goodness of their heart.  Jumping on the “Torres for 30 goals next season” bandwagon may make Abramovich happy but it wouldn’t be too much of a shock if Anelka is merely trying to talk his way out of a move away (to the MLS in the United States).

This is in no way a ploy to exploit Anelka’s press comments but more an attempt to analyse what sort of message he is trying to get through to the Chelsea hierarchy; most importantly Andre Villas-Boas.

What do you think? Will we be seeing the back of Anelka soon? Or does he still have a key role to play within the team?

Leave your thoughts and comments below.


You can follow me on Twitter @GaryCRobertson

  1. I think he knows his time is up. He needs to make way for Sturridge or any other young striker coming in.

  2. I think he has a good chance of staying. European football correspondent Andy Brassell said that Villas-Boas likes his “wingers” in the 4-3-3 system to be dynamic and be able to come inside to score goals. The likes of Valera and Hulk at FC Porto were not out-and-out wingers who love to hug the sidelines. They are almost interchangeable with Falcao who led the attack in the middle. I think Anelka is that type (like Valera/Hulk) of player. And Villas-Boas might like that about him.

  3. natsirtdm says:

    I think he still has much to offer. For his age his speed is incredible and while I very much want to see Sturridge make his way into the team there will be opponents where experience will be highly valued, especially in CL. He has also had IMO the best link up play with Torres during the season (I expect Benayoun to surpass that this year) I think he will be happy to play out this year to get a better deal in MLS later on a free transfer and will still provide value if he can mentor some of the kids and honestly his sulking days are long past.

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