Wednesday, 7 December 2011

If Only Nicolas Anelka Had Stayed At Arsenal

Sometimes I look at Nicolas Anelka and I just think what a waste.

Don't get me wrong, he has played for some of the biggest clubs in the world.

Arsenal, Real Madrid, Paris-Saint Germain, Liverpool and Bolton is quite an impressive list for any footballer.

But he has also undermined and stained his career by playing for smaller clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City.

I glance back to the summer of 1999 (how long ago?!) when Anelka left Arsenal and I am sure he must have some regret.

His brothers, Claude and Didier, had become his agents and they decided that Nicolas would be better off elsewhere.

Being young, easily influenced, and after being given several chinese-burns by Didier, he took their advice and left for Real Madrid.

After leaving for the Bernabeu his career appeared to go downhill faster than Wayne Rooney chasing the 10:46 OAP coach trip from Manchester to London.

He drifted from club to club and never really settled down.

That was until he found religion. Anelka became a Muslim, moved to Turkey with Fenerbahce and finally appeared to find some balance in his life.

Where he found faith, he lost something too. His brothers.

Its also been said that one of his team-mates at Fenerbahce had a Destiny's Child album and Nicolas played the 'Independent Women' track over and over again.

And it was that, and religion, that made Anelka become more independent from his brothers.

I can't confirm this though.

If only Nicolas Anelka found religion or Destiny's Child released that track in the summer of 1999.

He most probably would have stayed at Arsenal and become an absolute legend at the club.

Anelka and Thierry Henry was the partnership that Arsene Wenger had sweet dreams about.

Wenger has said in the past he wishes he had had the chance to pair the two Frenchmen together in an attack more potent than Pele on Viagra.

He never got that opportunity and I believe it is a real shame we never saw Henry and Anelka wearing the red and white of Arsenal at the same time.

Nowadays it appears Anelka is on the move again. He has realised that Chelsea aren't even the biggest club in Chelsea and he could be on his toes.

Rumours are he is heading off to the Far East. Shanghai Shenhua of China are the favourites to sign him. Although Millwall are in the running too.

Had he stayed at Arsenal, under Arsene Wenger, I firmly believe he would have become a legend with us Gooners.

Not only that, like Thierry Henry, he would have been known as one of the greatest players of the last decade.

Instead most people see Anelka as a footballing nomad. A man who couldn't stay at one place.

And that, is a shame.

Follow me on Twitter please @_Wrighty7

Keep It Goonerish........


Joppa Road said...

Remember it well when he left. Unfortunately for us it set a trend where our best players leave.

Still, even today he is a far better player than our back ups to RVP. However if it were me, I would mover Theo to the centre and bring in AOC on the right. Although I see AOC as a powerhouse forward in the future - hopefully for us, unless of course another club comes in for him.

Much love


Anonymous said...

lol love the small club comment... brilliant

Anonymous said...

He could do a good job for us if he came back! 18months of Nik is better than anything Chamakh Park Arshavin Vela or Bendtner could give us in 5 yrs

Loh said...

I think Henry was signed to replace Anelka back then together with Suker... So there is every possibilty that the great no. 14 is with us because Anelka opt for Real Madrid.

Anyway, let's see, Henry is available for a short term contract, Anelka is available for a low price, maybe we can sign both the realised Wenger's dream now! Hahahaha!

elmo said...

At the time we did not own are own training facility we shared the universitys if I am not mistaken.

1999 we got almost 25 mil?!!!

Created the best training facilities.
Bought henry.
Gave us the foundations moving into 21st century.

Anelka is a legend.. of sort :)

Great post wrighty!

AFC by Birth said...

@ joppa road

i have to draw swords with your statement on 2 accounts firstly we had been selling our best players long before wenger and anelka were at i remember us losing ray kennedy liam brady frank.stapleton in the 70s nothing has changed there.

anelka was certainly not one of our best players he was barely out of nappies and not even a regular. if i remember rightly his sale paved the way for us to build our club and its facilities whilst landing a double and a.few.other trophies too. just wish we could sell a few bit.part strikers now and have the same effect chamakh park bendtner vela murphy arshavin wellinvton there is enough money there to land podolski sow and may be soldado.

Anonymous said...

ohh really what a load of bull................anelka has only ever been interested in one greed of the man is horrific, the sooner he fucks of to frog land the bettter for everyone.

np said...

Really a pointless post because the funds that we got from selling anelka allowed us to build the training complex and buy henry. Without selling anelka there was no way we could afford to spend 11 million on a winger that was out of favor in italy.
I would rather have had henry than have kept anelka.
You don't know how certain players will affect a team so there is no way of telling whether we would've been more successfull with both henry and anelka (where would bergkamp have played and if it was behind both henry and anelka which midfielder would you remove?).
Anelka left, henry came and we soon became one of the finest club sides in history...remember that we should have won 3 titles straight but we imploded in 2003.

Anonymous said...

I remember Wenger Always said his plan was to have Bergkamp behind Henry and Anelka. Anelka should easily have been the best striker of his generation (behind Ronaldo).
He had everything and he always delivered in the BIG Games for us, unlike others. I remember the way he used to brush past Jaap Stam as if he wasn't there.
we should sign him as backup as it is Clear Chamakh, Park, Bendtner, Gervinho, etc. aren't as clinical in front of goal.
Wenger may want Neymar but without David Dein to hold his hand it will be hard to part with the £40million.
What if RVP gets injured again

Irfan said...

We played a 4-4-1-1 system those days. Henry started on the wing. After the first year he got promoted as a striker.
He didn't have the best of starts. If Anelka stayed Henry would have stayed on the wing, the legend may never have been born

Joppa Road said...


Don't remember the 70s stuff, although I do remember my friends Dad talking about a time when the Arsenal fans boycotted a game because of player sales and only 3,000 turned up.

Anelka was special for Arsenal and it was a shame to see him leave. Would be interesting to put the 98 double side up against the 2004 side. I know some of the players would be the same but still interesting.

I think Wenger is too quick to let some of our better players leave, particularly recently.

Teen said...

He's awesome, always that. Hope he will be good at Westbrom