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Anelka becomes player-coach at Shenhua

Nicolas Anelka is set to be unveiled as a member of a new-look coaching team at Shanghai Shenhua today, in a surprise move aimed at kick-starting the club’s moribund season, according to Chinese sports media.

Yesterday news broke that the club had fired three French coaches brought to Shanghai by Tigana after first team squad members complained that their coaching methods were not working, during a meeting to discuss why the team has underperformed so far.

Sina Sports reports the club will today reveal the identities of four new staff, one of whom appears to be former Tottenham and England custodian Ian Walker who would take up a goalkeeper coaching role. The other staff are former Birmingham City fitness coach Dan Harris, and French coaches Jean-Florent Ikwange Ibenge and Alioune Kissima Touré.

The move would be another rapid promotion for Anelka, having been named club captain on his debut for Shenhua against Beijing Guoan last month.

UPDATE: To avoid any confusion, Anelka is joining the coaching team underneath Tigana who remains head coach at Shenhua, for the time being at least.


A leading international commentator on Chinese football frequently quoted by the world's top media. Offers piercing and resolutely honest insights into the bustling crossroads where football, society, economics and politics meet in contemporary China. Based in Shanghai since 2005, observer of the Chinese game since 2000.



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