Why Chelsea sacking Luiz Felipe Scolari was all Nicolas Anelka's fault

The Brazilian was fired in 2009 after only seven months in charge

Jack Austin
Friday 22 December 2017 13:08 GMT
Scolari only lasted seven months at Stamford Bridge
Scolari only lasted seven months at Stamford Bridge (Getty)

Luiz Felipe Scolari has blamed Nicolas Anelka for getting him sacked as Chelsea manager in 2009.

The World Cup winning manager was removed from his job by Roman Abramovich after only seven months in charge with the reason cited as communication issues as Scolari could not speak English fluently.

However, Scolari has denied that was the case and has instead claimed it was the Frenchman whose fault it was after he refused to change positions to accommodate Didier Drogba’s return from injury.

“I had Anelka playing up front. Nine. Top scorer in the league,” he told ESPN Brazil. “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 the 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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