Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Alan Green: Anelka now smiles better

I was with Chelsea in Porto on Wednesday night when they made certain of winning their Champions League group. No one impressed me more than Nicolas Anelka.

For so long he’s been labelled the ‘Incredible Sulk’: no longer.

Often, these days, you see a smile on the Frenchman’s face, but, more than that, it’s the ‘joy’ of his football that shines through.

In his languid manner, Anelka is much like Dimitar Berbatov. A slight drop of the shoulder is enough to send opponents rushing in the wrong direction.

But, unlike the Bulgarian, Anelka has fantastic pace. The defender, once fooled, has no chance of recovering position.

And you can’t fail to recognise his burgeoning relationship with Didier Drogba.

I was amongst many that thought the two couldn’t play together. It isn’t the only thing I’ve got wrong!

Sometimes, one is ‘on form’ with the other in rather quieter mood: as in Porto, but when the two of them click and excel together, there is no finer football strike partnership.

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