Football: Anelka hits out at `clans at Arsenal'

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The Independent Online
ARSENAL'S FRENCH striker, Nicolas Anelka, has once again made disparaging remarks about the club, this time in a music magazine.

Anelka has claimed the Gunners are split into cliques, while also criticising the English game's attitude to foreigners. He said: "There are clans at Arsenal. I speak a bit of English now but we never speak much with the English. We have nothing to do with each other. We play together, but afterwards we go our own way. There are 33-year-old, 37-year-old guys here and we have nothing to say to each other."

The temperamental former Paris St-Germain player, who scored both goals in France's 2-0 friendly win over England at Wembley last week, told the magazine RER: "Furthermore, they don't like the French here. Especially the press. They slate the French."

Anelka conceded that players like Eric Cantona and David Ginola had adapted well in England, but added: "I look at Patrick Vieira. He gets red cards when he has done nothing. When an Englishman does something, the referee doesn't even whistle. They are tougher on the French in general."

In previous interviews, Anelka has made it clear he has found it hard to settle and has also criticised his Dutch team-mates, Dennis Bergkamp, and Marc Overmars for not passing to him. He has been linked with Barcelona and Juventus, or a return to his former club Paris St-Germain, but last week, though, he denied that he wanted to leave the London side.

Celtic have beaten off competition from the entire English Premiership to sign Scotland's highly rated Under-15 captain, Mark Fotheringham.

The talented midfielder turned down a personal plea from the Manchester United manager, Alex Ferguson, after training with the Old Trafford club, as well as Newcastle, Chelsea and Everton. He received inquiries from all 20 Premiership sides - but chose to sign for the club he has supported all his life.

"Mark is probably the most sought-after kid of his age in the country and we are delighted to get him," said Celtic's assistant coach, Eric Black. "He was offered terms by a number of big clubs down south, but we were able to persuade him to come to Celtic instead." Fotheringham is still at school in Dundee and will join Celtic full-time in December.

The Middlesbrough striker Brian Deane has been ruled out for four weeks with a medial ligament injury. The former Leeds United forward was injured in a training match at the Riverside Stadium last Friday, which had been arranged because Middlesbrough had a free weekend. Deane has scored five goals since joining Middlesbrough from Benfica in October.

Administrators running hard-up Portsmouth have cancelled the weekly order of new jockstraps for the players in an attempt to save money. The First Division club had previously ordered brand new pairs for matches, at pounds 112 a time for a set of 14.

The administrator, Tom Burton, said: "I discovered we were having new jockstraps ordered for every game, so I said: Why not wash the damn things?

"I asked someone why we were getting new ones in and they said: `Because we always have done'. It was ridiculous. This is just another way to save money."

Administrators have to save pounds 23,000 a week and players have had mobile phones and company cars taken away, while complimentary matchday tickets for family and friends have been cut. On Tuesday the Portsmouth chairman, Les Parris, lost his pounds 75,000 job along with nine other office staff.

Middlesbrough's Premiership fixture with Chelsea at the Riverside Stadium has been re-arranged for Wednesday 10 March (kick-off 7.45pm). The game was initially scheduled for Sunday 7 March, but the Stamford Bridge club will be in FA Cup quarter-final action against Manchester United on that afternoon.

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