St James' Park, Newcastle

Next Game

Newcastle v C Palace

Saturday, 30 August 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Bescot Stadium

Last Game

Walsall 0 - 3 C Palace

Tuesday, 26 August 2014, 19:45

Capital One Cup Second Round

Phillips hails Anelka talent

Former West Bromwich Albion striker and Sky Sports columnist Kevin Phillips has acknowledged the threat posed by Nicolas Anelka ahead of his return to The Hawthorns.

Last Updated: 04/11/13 at 20:08 Post Comment

Nicolas Anelka: Backed to fire for West Brom by Kevin Phillips

Nicolas Anelka: Backed to fire for West Brom by Kevin Phillips

The 40-year-old returns to face the Baggies on Saturday for the first time since his departure in July 2008 as part of the Crystal Palace squad.

Phillips, who netted 46 times in just 67 starts for Albion between 2006 and 2008, admits the progress of summer signing Stephane Sessegnon has impressed him.

However, the veteran forward believes Anelka, who is yet to win over the West Brom faithful, could be a key threat for the Baggies.

"Nicolas is a great talent," Phillips told the Birmingham Mail. "It's down to him as to how much he can achieve at the club.

"He is a player who will take his opportunities and chances if presented. We all know he has been a world-class player over his career.

"On his day he is as good as anyone you'll see but all strikers go through this patch - I've been through it enough times over my career - where you just feel that nothing is falling for you.

"The only thing you can do as a striker is keep making those runs, keep showing for the ball because that opportunity will, sooner or later, fall for you."

Surprised

Phillips was more intrigued by Sunderland's decision to sell Sessegnon to Albion but believes Steve Clarke will benefit from the Stadium of Light club's loss.

"I was very, very surprised they let him go," Phillips added. "We know what the problems were with the previous manager [Paolo Di Canio] but as soon as I saw him pitch up at West Brom I thought that was a great move.

"I still have a lot of friends at Sunderland and they are surprised he was allowed to go but I guess there were a few players who fell out with the previous boss and had no option but to leave.

"On his day Sessegnon can tear any team apart. He is a very impressive player and one we'll have to watch this weekend."

Looking forward to his return to The Hawthorns, Phillips conceded he left with a heavy heart and is relishing the opportunity to bid a fond farewell to Baggies fans.

"I never wanted to leave - as has been well documented - and my two years at West Brom were among the highlights of my career," he said.

"I guess this will be my final time back as a player. I still live in the area, I still have a lot of time for the club and the fans and it'll be nice to say a 'goodbye' to everyone."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Transfer News: Manchester United agree fee to sign Daley Blind from Ajax

Manchester United have begun talks with Daley Blind after agreeing a fee with Ajax.

Premier League: Mesut Ozil keen to live up to Arsenal fans' expectations

Mesut Ozil believes criticism of his performances at Arsenal stems from expectations of him being "one of the best number 10s in the world."

Transfer news: QPR striker Loic Remy to hold talks with Chelsea

Queens Park Rangers have given permission for Loic Remy to hold talks with Chelsea, according to Sky sources.

Mail Box

Surely A Spurs Fan Should Remember...

...what happened to the fourth Champions League place the last time an English team won the thing. Plus, who would want to pay £60 to watch the current England team?

Ginger Pirlo? Don't Make Me Laugh...

A Sunderland fan in the mailbox is surprised by Jack Colback's call up to the England squad. Plus, thoughts on Welbeck and Liverpool's Champions League draw...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property