By 90Min
December 22, 2017

Former Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari believes that Nicolas Anelka's refusal to play as a wide player was the reason behind his departure at Stamford Bridge.

In a recent interview with ESPN Brazil, Scolari shed some light about his fallout with Anelka during his eight month spell at Chelsea between July 2008 and February 2009, with the Brazilian adamant this saga started a series of events that eventually led to his dismissal.

Scolari said: "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 strikers playing one by the side, one in the centre, changing positions.'

Alex Livesey/GettyImages

"Then Anelka, the league's top scorer, who had been a reserve all the time but had started [during Drogba's absence] said: 'I do not play on the wing.' 

"Well, that's when I said: 'You don't play on the wing, you are surplus, it's over. I'm not going to stay here arguing with you guys. I'm trying to come to an understanding and you are unwilling.' And there began a series of other things."

Anelka finished the 2008/09 season as the Premier League's top scorer with 19 goals, in a season that saw Guus Hiddink take charge at Chelsea following the sacking of Scolari, guiding Chelsea to third in the Premier League, a Champions League semi-final and an FA Cup final victory over Everton. 

ADRIAN DENNIS/GettyImages

Scolari, however, believes that despite his premature exit, he left Chelsea in a strong position and refuted the claims that his lack of English was another reason behind his departure. 

He continued, stating: "I left there and our team was third in the league, three or four points behind the top. Qualified for the semifinals of the [FA] Cup and round of 16 or quarter-finals of the Champions League. But there was this bad environment.

"I don't know if I had continued what would have happened. But it was interrupted. There, I got upset.

IAN KINGTON/GettyImages

"We understood, with my English, and the English that was spoken there, we understood perfectly."

The former Brazil boss now finds himself out of a job after leaving his latest job managing Guangzhou Evergrande in China in November this year, the 26th managerial he has held in his career. 

You May Like

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)