The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.
We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.
Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.
Chelsea have just completed a £15 million move for Nicolas Anelka, bringing in a famously temperamental and disloyal French-speaking striker to replace…well, Didier Drogba. I think we can safely assume that the net effect on team chemistry will not be profound.
Actually, this is a really interesting move for football reasons (how will Anelka fit into the Chelsea attack?) as well as for soap-opera reasons (where will Drogba go next, since this is the clearest indication yet that he won’t be returning to London after the African Cup of Nations?) and redemption-story reasons (Anelka has shown encouraging signs at Bolton, as Laurie pointed out a few days ago on The Offside, and the switch to a big club could complete his transformation into someone mature enough to deserve his own talent). I’ve always enjoyed Anelka’s play as something separate from the “Le Sulk” media sideshow, and will be watching now with interest.
Is it wrong to hope that whatever transfer Chelsea lines up for Drogba falls through at the last minute, so they can play together for at least a few months? Anelka and Drogba in the same front line…that would be worth watching, right?
by Brian Phillips · January 11, 2008