Former Chelsea manager blames his sacking on one player

Date published: Friday 22nd December 2017 12:49

Luiz Felipe Scolari has blamed his Chelsea sacking on Nicolas Anelka.

Scolari was appointed Chelsea manager in summer 2008, replacing Avram Grant at Stamford Bridge.

But the Brazilian lasted just seven months before being sacked in February 2009, with Guus Hiddink taking his place.

His struggles with the English language were cited as the reason for his demise at the time, but Scolari suggests that Anelka played his part.

“I had Anelka playing up front. Nine. Top scorer in the league,” he told ESPN Brasil. “The players return, I make a meeting, and in the meeting I say: ‘Look, now that the players have all returned, Drogba is back after two months, we will try to work a situation involving the two attackers playing one by the side, one in the centre, changing positions’.

“Then Anelka, the league’s top scorer, said: ‘I do not play on the wing’. Well, that’s when I said: ‘You don’t play on the wing, one’s going to be on the left, it’s over, I’m not going to stay here arguing with you guys’.

“I left there and our team was third in the league, three or four points behind top. Qualified for the round-of-16 or quarter-finals of theĀ Champions League. But there was this bad environment, that situation.

“I don’t know if I had continued, what would have happened. But it was interrupted. There, I got upset.

“They’ll say: ‘Oh, because you didn’t speak English perfectly’. Of course, I did not. I didn’t speak English perfectly. But I understood perfectly. We understood, with my English, and the English that was spoken there, we understood perfectly.”

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