Anelka eager to help out Drogba

Nicolas Anelka has told Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari he is ready to play a supporting role for Didier Drogba in attack.

Anelka bagged the 100th Premier League goal of his career and his 16th of the season in Sunday's 1-1 draw with West Ham, but with Drogba fit again the France striker now wants Scolari to give the pair a chance to form a potent partnership.

Scolari, reflecting on his first six months at Chelsea, has revealed he will be using the next fortnight to tinker with his style and that could mean finding a place for both strikers in his 4-3-3 system.

Chelsea have already dropped 14 points at Stamford Bridge this season and their poor home form is threatening to undermine their title ambitions.

Anelka, 29, has enjoyed successful partnerships with Dennis Bergkamp at Arsenal and Michael Owen at Liverpool and now wants the opportunity to see if he can make it work with Drogba.

"It was good to play with Bergkamp," said Anelka. "He is the kind of player that played for you. He can score, but also gave a good ball for you to score, and he liked to do it.

"With Michael Owen it was good, because I played the other way, I used to play in front, then I turned supplier. I was pleased with our partnership and it worked.

"It was good to play with him in front and he is a good player, someone who can score a lot of goals. I loved to play to play just behind him and make him score goals.

"Even if I don't score as many goals, I like to play good football, and if I have to play behind Didier I will.

"I won't score like I score now but I still play a part and I like the way I play. Maybe you don't score as many as when you are a striker but it is no problem.

"I think it is strange because there have been some great partnerships. The way football is now with two up front it is seen as too attacking, but I think it is normal.

"Maybe this is the way, football is stronger and quicker now, but I don't understand why we don't play like that now and everyone plays with one up front, I don't understand why."

Until now, Scolari's options have been limited by injuries and suspension to Drogba, but he intends to use the next 10 days to work on variations in tactics and that is certain to include trying to find a way to use the attacking pair.

"I have now two weeks to work with the players and in that time I have time to train the second system or the third system, because before it was impossible," said Scolari.

"Before I had six, seven, eight players injured, and we played Wednesday and Saturday and international games. Now, this week I train two times, with different style and I say to my players, 'If the game is like this, I will try putting this player here'.

"Now in the training, 20 minutes into the training I see what's happening. Now I have time and no injuries and a good chance for me to start to play and change the systems."

The Brazilian coach also insists the job of managing Chelsea has been more substantial than he previously expected.

"It's bigger than I thought before," he said. "And it's a little different than other clubs that I was coach at before.

"It's fantastic. For a coach, I think this is the best time of my life. I am happy and so is my family. It's an opportunity and when the opportunity arrives, you need to fight for it."

Although 'fuming' at the end of the Carling Cup defeat by Burnley, Scolari says he has only been truly disappointed by the team's performance in two of his 25 matches.

"These two games it is impossible for me to accept," he said. "Sometimes we make mistakes, I know this and they know this and we're training for the next time to not make mistakes or be wrong more times."

Scolari is unlikely to have the cash to make any changes to the squad in the January transfer window but repeated his desire to finish his first season with more than one piece of silverware.

"The first day that I arrived here I opened the door and I said to the players, 'My door is open every time'," he added.

"They know that I am a big friend and sometimes father and sometimes brother. I try my best with the players to pick not one, but two or three trophies, if we win two competitions I think it is fantastic."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice