Luiz Felipe Scolari has stated that Nicolas Anelka’s refusal to play on the wing was what led to his sacking as Chelsea boss in 2009.
The Brazilian was dismissed just 8 months into his time as Chelsea manager, Chelsea were fourth in the Premier League at the time.
Scolari claimed that tensions rose between the manager and the players, his lack of English didn’t help the situation Scolari was in.
It was Luiz Felipe Scolari’s decision to deploy Nicolas Anelka on the wing once Didier Drogba returned from injury that caused a lot of controversy amongst the French striker and the manager.
In this exclusive interview with ESPN, this is what Scolari had to say.
“I had Anelka playing up front. Nine. Top scorer in the league, 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’.
“And there began a series of other things.”
“I left there and our team was third in the league, three or four points behind top,” continued Scolari.
“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.”