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Anelka Then and Now


heckel

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It is interesting to look at Anelka's goals from his Arsenal days when he was at his peak:

What I find remarkable if that 10 years later he is pretty much the same striker that he was then (most remarkable is that, unlike say owen, he has kept his pace). Most of his goals come from his pace running in behind the defence from midfield passes, as well as opportunistic goals in the box. One thing he seems to have lost is his ability to score from the edge of the box, though this may come back with confidence (he was scoring longer range goals with Bolton before his move to us).

For this reason I think he will continue to thrive under Scolari, whose system of two touch movement is not exactly the same as Wenger's (which relies more on counter-attacking than possession and build up), but is much closer to it than the system Grant inherited from Mourinho which stifled Anelka.

For this reason I think we should stick with Anelka and the system of the last few weeks for the moment and keep Drogba on the bench. If the opposition takes a completely defensive approach and closes the gap between their defence and midfield starving Anelka of space, then we can bring Drogba on to use his physical presence and capacity in the air.

ps: he's still as awkward/shy now as we was then, but at least he's stop trying to put his shirt over his head when he scores!

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Keeping Drogba on the bench won't give us some cash when selling him. Who wants so spend some millions on a striker who's taken place on the bench for half a season?

Not that I'd wish to see Drogba's exit but as Kenyon has voiced so many many many times Scolari needs to cut the squad before he can buy already, it seems that someone has to go. And Drogba having voiced times he could be on the edge of leaving is just another good candidate, among some others.

I have serious doubts that we could land in a capable striker (and not one like Di Santo who is promising but needs experience) without first selling

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Before I start, I'll say that I actually don't rate Anelka that much, and that I believe Drogba is still the best striker in the world on his day, defenders must be absolutely terrified playing against him - so quick, so strong and great technical ability make him imo almost the perfect striker.

But, there's just a small problem - he's not always up for it, not at all. Anelka has proved himself so far this season with an incredible goal record and he really suits our style of play. So for that reason alone I'd like to see his run continue in the team.

There's no point in changing our current system that's working so well, I know Scolari always says about plan B vs teams like Tottenham and Liverpool that'll throw all of their players behind but the ball, but you know what? Drogba is just about the best damn plan B in the world, and that should be that, if we're playing well then Anelka can get his goals, if we're struggling to break a team down then Drogba is the perfect solution.

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If the opposition takes a completely defensive approach and closes the gap between their defence and midfield starving Anelka of space, then we can bring Drogba on to use his physical presence and capacity in the air.

There is your answer.

For as well as Anelka is doing at the moment I still can’t see him scoring against or causing problems to Liverpool, Arsenal and Man U centre backs or the centre backs of the top CL teams. In tight spaces with his back to goal he is easily controlled, and let’s face it the crucial games will be played in that manner. You can get away with not beating the other top teams in the league and still win it but you won’t get away with it in knock out competitions.

As for Drogba on the bench, if you start with him on the bench you’ll find out who the real Le Sulk is.

PS What’s starting to worry me is this thought at the back of my mind that Drogba is finished. It’s the same feeling I had when we signed Shevchenco and I was right there. I can’t be right twice, can I? Hopefully not.

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But, there's just a small problem - he's not always up for it, not at all. Anelka has proved himself so far this season with an incredible goal record and he really suits our style of play. So for that reason alone I'd like to see his run continue in the team.

Correct, but could it be that Anelka still needs to much chances actually to finish? I mean compared to Drogba in his best times he still needs more chances to actually score a goal. This is OK against Middlesbrough, OK against Aston Villa but against Pool and even the Spurs I had asked myself if Drogba would have scored in the same situation. Against a strong defense, Anelka has problem in keeping possession. Remember back two seasons ago at the Stamford Bridge against the Scousers, 1-0. That goal of Drogba ... I'm asking myself if Anelka, given him the same opportunity, would have scored. You'll never get much chances against a strong defensive side.

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PS What’s starting to worry me is this thought at the back of my mind that Drogba is finished. It’s the same feeling I had when we signed Shevchenco and I was right there. I can’t be right twice, can I? Hopefully not.

You're not alone.

We all know that he has a history of being very up and down (most strikers do to be fair). But quite a chunk of last season and for the little he has appeared this season, he really doesn't seem to have the hunger any more.

I think the days of him being a lethal striker, in a Chelsea shirt anyway, are over.

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You're not alone.

We all know that he has a history of being very up and down (most strikers do to be fair). But quite a chunk of last season and for the little he has appeared this season, he really doesn't seem to have the hunger any more.

I think the days of him being a lethal striker, in a Chelsea shirt anyway, are over.

One thing we can say in Shevchenko's favour is that he didn't complain and he worked hard when he came on. I have no tolerance for any footballer who gets paid as much as drogba does and needs the manager to give him special attention.

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I think that all depends on injuries. If he can get fit and stay fit then I'm sure he will be great for us again. I know it was only Burnley, but the goal he scored the other night was tremendous. We know Didier can do it in big matches against big opposition - we haven't seen Anelka do it yet.

Agree Ethical.

Anelka can't play with his back to goal, he's useless in the air, cannot hold up play and bring in other people into the game, but he does score goals, very much like Owen. If you want goals, he'll score 'em! He scores almost all his goals on the shoulder of the last defender.

Drogba is a bit more versatile but I think his fitness is a major factor this season, if he stays injury free for the rest of the season it's a great dilema to have. I can't see why they can't play together, on paper the look the perfect foil for each other but have had about 10/15 mins together in their prefered positions. Usually when they're in the same 11 Anelka is forced to play a wider role on the wing.

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Correct, but could it be that Anelka still needs to much chances actually to finish? I mean compared to Drogba in his best times he still needs more chances to actually score a goal. This is OK against Middlesbrough, OK against Aston Villa but against Pool and even the Spurs I had asked myself if Drogba would have scored in the same situation. Against a strong defense, Anelka has problem in keeping possession. Remember back two seasons ago at the Stamford Bridge against the Scousers, 1-0. That goal of Drogba ... I'm asking myself if Anelka, given him the same opportunity, would have scored. You'll never get much chances against a strong defensive side.

So based on your theory Drogba would have had about 20 goals this season if he had been fit and started every game. Unfortunately we all know that would not have happened. Drogba has scored some very important goals for us over the years but he is the opposite of what people are saying about Anelka. A big match player who only turns up when he feels like it. His record outside of the big games is very average when you think of his real ability. With Drogba playing every game we rely heavily on goals from midfield against lesser opposition.

Anelka has so far not impressed in the big games but I don't think we can include those from last season when he was playing in a system of football that didn't suit his style. This season I think we have failed to create enough good chances in the big games and that is largely down to the failings of the creative players in midfield and wingers. I'd like to see how Anelka does in a game like that with Joe Cole, Lamps and and Ballack behind him for example. One thing is for sure if Anelka stays fit he may end up being the most unrated winner of the golden boot ever if this board is anything to go by.

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So based on your theory Drogba would have had about 20 goals this season if he had been fit and started every game.

He had once in Joses last season. That doesn't neccessarily mean that he will repeat this performance, actually this is what I doubt. But a striker of this class is what Chelsea need to win the games awaiting after Christmas.

Anelka has so far not impressed in the big games but I don't think we can include those from last season when he was playing in a system of football that didn't suit his style.

I don't judge his performance from what he's done the past season. Actually I've come that far to forget about it completely. When I read JT's remarks now in the papers I understand why. I'm judging his performance what I have seen so far. Surely it looks promising, I do not damn him as many have, and in fact I agree he's better than all his critics have claimed. I'd like to think he'll improve in the future, as the Scolari system is still young has has massive space to develop. However we don't have plenty of years to do that - maybe unlike Wenger.

Based on what Anelka's doing now, it looks as against sides with stronger defense, he's still not clinical enough. As seen from Pool and Roma, such sides won't give us many chances to build up a comfortable attack after the other. So he still needs too many chances to realize. I just hope that he'll improve on that. Unless then that, it will cause us problems.

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He had once in Joses last season. That doesn't neccessarily mean that he will repeat this performance, actually this is what I doubt. But a striker of this class is what Chelsea need to win the games awaiting after Christmas.

I don't judge his performance from what he's done the past season. Actually I've come that far to forget about it completely. When I read JT's remarks now in the papers I understand why. I'm judging his performance what I have seen so far. Surely it looks promising, I do not damn him as many have, and in fact I agree he's better than all his critics have claimed. I'd like to think he'll improve in the future, as the Scolari system is still young has has massive space to develop. However we don't have plenty of years to do that - maybe unlike Wenger.

Based on what Anelka's doing now, it looks as against sides with stronger defense, he's still not clinical enough. As seen from Pool and Roma, such sides won't give us many chances to build up a comfortable attack after the other. So he still needs too many chances to realize. I just hope that he'll improve on that. Unless then that, it will cause us problems.

Fair points Kerry. It looks as though Anelka would be around at least for the rest of the season barring injury. If you believe Kenyon (which is asking a lot) we probably won't see any signficant signings during the January window. So either Anelka would have to prove he can do it against the top teams or we will have to rely on a return to form for Drogba. Having said that it is also possible that we could squeeze through some of these games even without goals from our strikers. For example it was Ballack' goals that beat United last season in the league.

Despite the fact that I have stood up for Anelka I still hope Drogba is able to play against Arsenal. He really seems to relish playing them and we could do with having that advantage.

Both Drogba and Anelka are getting up there in age and will most likely have to be replaced in the next few seasons. I just hope we are sensible when selecting replacements. There are very few world class strikers out there and we would probably be held to ransom for most of them. Lets hope Franco fulfills his promise.

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Fair points Kerry. It looks as though Anelka would be around at least for the rest of the season barring injury. If you believe Kenyon (which is asking a lot) we probably won't see any signficant signings during the January window.

Agree exactly. Given all his pledges there won't be major signings in January we can't expect some great proven striker to arrive at the Bridge. No big name will come for free.

For example it was Ballack' goals that beat United last season in the league.

This, and goals from setpieces. But even for setpieces, we need a strong attacking position. Losing possession in midfield all the time won't give us much chances for a well-taken free-kick either.

Both Drogba and Anelka are getting up there in age and will most likely have to be replaced in the next few seasons. I just hope we are sensible when selecting replacements. There are very few world class strikers out there and we would probably be held to ransom for most of them. Lets hope Franco fulfills his promise.

Franco Di Santo indeed is a good option for the future just he needs experience. And as said in the other discussion young players need an experienced player to model on, like Sidwell having admitted that he used to model on Frank. Now Drogba used to be the best striker in the world and surely is a good role model, in my eyes, in his best forms he used to be the ideal striker. Given his situation today, I can just hope that he doesn't have a negative impact on Franco. But either which way: I doubt that Franco will be ready this season. It's just too early. He's just stepped into the world of the league, he will make progress giving him chances but I'm just wondering how this season will go along. Maybe I'm overly pessimistic. But despite some minor troubles, we had a decent start this season. It would be a pity to lose it and fall down and end as runners up again. But the crown of the league has to be earned. And we didn't look that promising in the past.

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Drogba is not the sort of player you want put on the bench as a Plan B, and there is no point why Drogba and Anelka cant play together, assume we dont leave Anelka on the wing. 2 strikers, Joe Cole behind them, 3 midfielders, 2 attacking fullbacks, thats a pretty formidable set up.

For all those 5-0 bouncebacks - yes I agree. For Scums and Romas of this world I doubt it, but I'm willing to be convinced

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