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Anelka: Signing Drogba pointless without Shenhua midfield reinforcement - Wild East Football
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Anelka: Signing Drogba pointless without Shenhua midfield reinforcement

Nicolas Anelka believes that Shanghai Shenhua must improve its midfield otherwise signing Didier Drogba will be pointless, he said in a press conference today.

With speculation mounting that the Chelsea striker is set to join Shenhua in the near future, Chinese journalists asked Anelka what the latest developments were regarding the proposed move.

Anelka, yet again hosting the conference instead of Shenhua’s official manager Jean-Florent Ikwange Ibenge, said only the club’s owner, Zhu Jun, knew exactly what was going on at the moment.

However, the Frenchman said, “Even if Drogba comes, there will still be issues. There are a lot of problems with Shenhua’s tactics at the moment, football is a game of 11 players, you can’t change things with just one or two players.”

Anelka added, “In my opinion, the most important area in football is the midfield, if Drogba comes, and no-one can pass to him, then that is no use.”

Shenhua have not scored in any of their last four home matches, and have only score twice in their last seven games, and unsurprisingly Anelka faced several questions regarding this issue, and the increasing reliance on foreign talent in the Chinese Super League.

The former Chelsea man said of Shenhua’s players, “They are too young and their experience is not enough. Our tactical problems need to be solved, these are the reasons why we are not scoring goals.

He added, “I’m amazed by Chinese football, there is quite a gap with the European game, such things can only be improved through better training.”

Anelka was also asked about his post-match demeanour following last week’s 0-0 stalemate in the Shanghai Derby.

A reporter from Shanghai Five Star sports asked “It is said that, after last home game, you sat in silence for half an hour in the changing room?”

Anelka replied, ” I think your information is a little wrong – I was taking a shower.”

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.



  1. Arxtor

    17/05/2012 at 14:26

    True that Nicolas !!! You can have all the best strikers in the world ; if their team mates can’t play football it’s useless. I say ; either find a worthy chinese mildfielder or two or sell Griffiths (too many injuries and anyway he will be useless with Anelka AND Drogba) and replace him with another mildfiedler , maybe japanese.

  2. Roverto

    17/05/2012 at 22:58

    No midfielder, what about no official COACH! Someone has to be a figure head, decide on the starting 11, and deflect media attention from players and management.

  3. Steve

    18/05/2012 at 15:11

    Well… you know what Nico, a midfield is pointless without a centre-forward who is willing to lead the line positionally and, y’know, RUN.

    Lazy, egostistical fuckwit. Keep counting that money and enjoying that nice PR in your pressers.

  4. Damian Jones

    19/05/2012 at 10:19

    mmm, he has a point. Who is going to supply Griffiths, Anelka and Drogba?

    • Damian Jones

      19/05/2012 at 10:20

      ps: The point about purchasing a Japanese midfielder is valid. Japan continues to produce the best midfield players in Asia, it would be a good idea for Shenhua to look towards Japan.

    • WEF Editor

      19/05/2012 at 13:04

      The real problem with Shenhua’s midield is not actually creativity – Cao Yunding is more creative than the rest of the team put together (watch his two awesome passes to Anelka in the derby game), its rather Shenhua need a hard-tackling midfield enforcer.

  5. Shinpath

    20/05/2012 at 21:30

    I’m watching Drogba talking on TV after the CL win and I am experiencing a massive disconnect. I still can’t see him coming to this team but all signals say it’s a done deal.

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