Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Has Anelka Ever Been Worth It?
Nicolas Anelka rejoined Chelsea this week after a 3 week absence. The question to me is, does it even matter? Do Chelsea even need him? Not only does it even matter, but has Anelka ever been worth his transfer fee or salary when all things are considered?
I'll answer the first question right now. Chelsea's 3-1 victory over Liverpool in the Champions League proved to me that Chelsea does not need Anelka to be successful. Didier Drogba is obviously a superstar up front, and the rest of the Chelsea midfield with Lampard, Ballack, Deco, Essien and the bunch provide the goals to win. Even substitute defenders can score for them. The second question however is a bit trickier.
For those of you that don't know, the Frenchman Anelka has played for 8 teams in his career including two stints with PSG. His recent move to Chelsea worth 15 million pounds made him officially the most paid for player in the history of football, with the transfer fee's in his career amassing a total of 87 million pounds. All this money has been paid for Anelka, and he's only scored more than 20 goals in a season two times. Let me repeat, the most paid for player in the history of the game has only scored more than 20 goals in a season twice, not to mention has been a distraction on almost every team he's played on.
When Anelka was at Arsenal in 1998 he had a great season and immediately wanted a raise in his salary. Anelka then did not try on the field causing fans to name him "Le Sulk." This prompted a record setting move to Real Madrid where he was later suspended for 45 days for refusing to train. Does this sound like the guy you want starting up front for your favorite team?
Even on the international level he's been less than spectacular. Anelka has always been overshadowed by Thierry Henry, and when given his chance to play at the Euro 08 tournament he played an uninspired game against Romania, was substituted out, and didn't play for the rest of the tournament.
Also, not to rub it in, but it was his penalty kick that was saved that gave Manchester United the Champions League title last season.
To be fair, Anelka is obviously a talented player but I honestly feel that to be seemingly the most sought after player in the history of the game, he needs to show more on the field. I will be eagerly watching on Wednesday to see which Nicolas Anelka shows up.