Anelka happy to partner Drogba in supporting role

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The Independent Football

Nicolas Anelka has told the Chelsea manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari, that he is ready to play a supporting role for Didier Drogba in attack. The Frenchman has enjoyed successful partnerships with Dennis Bergkamp at Arsenal and Michael Owen at Liverpool and now wants to see if he can make it work with Drogba.

"It was good to play with Bergkamp," Anelka said. "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 and it worked. I loved 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. 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."

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," Scolari said. "Before I had six, seven, eight players injured, and we played Wednesday and Saturday and international games. Now I have time and no injuries and a good chance for me to start to play and change the systems."