Shanghai Shenhua player-coach
Nicolas Anelka has said there would be a problem if the Chinese
club replaced him with former Argentina boss Sergio Batista.
Local media in China have reported that struggling Shanghai
will name the 49-year-old former Argentine midfielder as
manager, with Anelka reverting back to a sole playing role.
The Frenchman, who was famously kicked out of the 2010 World
Cup for comments directed at then coach Raymond Domenech, was
unhappy at the prospect.
"I don't know this coach. I haven't heard anything about
this from the club. I have only learnt this from the media,"
Anelka told reporters at a news conference in Shanghai on
"If that is going to happen, there is a huge problem of
communication between me and the club, because of the language
barrier. I am not aware of anything that is happening," the
33-year-old, speaking in French, added.
"I am a coach but also I am a player before anything. If
something happens and I am not aware of it, you should know that
I am a player and that would be a problem in the future because
I will still be here."
Much was expected of Anelka when he signed a two-year deal
worth a reported $300,000 a week with Shanghai in December, but
the club has struggled this year and sit in 14th place in the
16-team league, one point and place above the relegation zone
after 11 games.
The much-travelled former Arsenal, Real Madrid and
Fenerbahce striker has scored just two goals this season and
took on coaching responsibilities last month when his
compatriot, former France international Jean Tigana, was sacked
after four months in charge.
Results have not improved under Anelka's guidance with
Shanghai slumping to a 1-0 loss away to Henan Jianye on the
weekend but the Frenchman said a new coach was not the solution.
"I would be very disappointed if it happens like that.
Because from the start, I tried to improve the club. I did that
to help the coach and I don't get any extra money for this
second role that I am doing.
"I am the coach today and I try to do my best. We have very,
very young players and we are working hard and we will try to
improve the level of the team and help push up the club."
Anelka's call for patience and time to build is likely to
fall on deaf ears. With Chinese clubs enjoying a boom with heavy
financial investment, instant results are expected.
League leaders Guangzhou Evergrande sacked coach Lee
Jang-soo last week and replaced him with former World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi despite the South Korean winning
the Chinese league title last year and getting them through to
the last 16 of the Asian Champions League.
Shanghai have been strongly linked with a move for Anelka's
former Chelsea team-mate Didier Drogba, who said he was leaving
the Champions League winners this week, but the Frenchman said
he had heard nothing from the Ivorian striker.
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