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Ancelotti praises Anelka

Nicolas Anelka playing for chelsea against Portsmouth in FA cup final
Image Credit: Newscom
Nicholas Anelka has always been viewed as a sulk. Be it from his days at big clubs like Arsenal or Real Madrid, or small clubs like Bolton and Fenerbahce. But he has worked very hard to shake off that image ever since he moved to Chelsea in a £15 million deal back in January 2008. He is working harder than ever and doesn’t complain when he is asked to play a different role to the central striker in which he is most comfortable with. That has bought him the praise of Carlo Ancelotti ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Anelka was frozen out of international selection until recently, when his recent displays for Bolton and Chelsea have brought him back in favour of selection. When he signed for Chelsea, many expected him to leave the club soon, but
such has been his level of performance that he has managed to become a regular in Chelsea’s starting line-up.
Ancelotti has said that, Anelka and Malouda have been the most improved players from him last season. He said,
“He is very intelligent on a tactical level. Nicolas likes to touch the ball, and be in the centre of the game. Even if Nicolas is good anywhere, I believe his best position is centre forward. He is reliable both as a player and as a man. He never betrayed me. He is very professional: I believe he is one of the very few players who never came in late to training sessions this season at Chelsea. When I came to Chelsea, he was one of the players I knew the least along with Florent Malouda. But by the end, they were my two biggest satisfactions.”

France kick-off their world cup campaign against Uruguay on 11th June and going by current form, it can be assumed that Anelka will be starting the match. France’s record goal scorer, Thierry Henry isn’t the same player anymore and Anelka is the man expected to fill his boots. France recently switched to a 4-3-3 formation with Anelka as the lone striker, flanked by two wingers, one of whom might be another Chelsea player, Malouda. Anelka has scored 15 goals for Chelsea this season. While he may have not been prolific unlike the season before when he was the golden boot winner, his goals this season have been very crucial in Chelsea’s double trophy haul this season.
France after a miserable Euro 2008 will be hoping for a better tournament this time around with the help of his goals. Can Anelka make it a treble winning season personally?