Thursday, December 08, 2005

A dream partnership?

I'm posting this without any disrespect to Darius Vassell, who has re-ignited a career that was in danger of becoming stagnant at Villa, linking up superbly with Andrew Cole over the first half of the season and could be making a later charge to a World Cup squad position.
But, again watching Nicolas Anelka in the Champions League this week and some footage last weekend from previous games against Charlton got me wondering just how good a partnership between Cole and Anelka could have been.

Hypothetical I know as it is improbable that we would have signed Cole if Anelka had still been at City, but the touch, vision and experience that Cole has brought to the side would be tailor-made for a player such as Anelka.
Although not a Cole-sceptic when Pearce signed, I did have doubts over how effective he would be given his stuttering past couple of seasons with Blackburn and Fulham. However, he has far exceeded anything most City fans had hoped for and it is no exaggeration to say we look a less potent side attacking wise when he has been absent.

Yes, Anelka was no doubt difficult and moody (with Robbie Fowler even referring to him as a 'selfish bastard only playing for himself) and may not have took to someone with Coles standing and reputation being signed (don't forget, Cole himself has been labelled difficult in some quarters) but the one consistent thing Anelka lacked during his time at City was a real quality support striker. During his time at City he played with the likes of Goater, Macken, Wanchope, Sibierski and an unfit Fowler. He perhaps looked at his best either playing alone or with Wright-Phillips tucked in behind him.
With Cole - who looks to be a totally different style of striker than in his early days, alongside him, Anelka could more on top of the defence and not be as forced to bring the ball from deep which would have made him a more penetrative striker, with more opportunites being created.
As I say, it is not any slight against Vassell, who has impressed me this season and when he is on song is a very influential player, but as good as Anelka was during his time with us, maybe it could have been even better.

vote it up!


JohnShep said...

I don't think Goater was used often enough to find out if he could have been a partner to Anelka. KK didn't believe in him so never gave him a fair chance (one of KK's failings, such as believing in Robbie despite the evidence of his eyes). Anelka preferred lone striker he never had a strike partner he worked well with in any team

Anonymous said...

I think you should read Fowlers book and look closely at some old tapes of city games and subsequently come to the conclusion that ANY "partnership" including Nicolas Anelka never could be a "dream".

There simply wouldn't be a partnership.

JONESIE said...

I dare say Rodney Marsh might also have played quite well with him and would be about as relevent as your story. Anelka was part of the problem mate.I was glad to see the back of the big sulking Douche Bag, we've certainly been a better team since. And after fenerbache went out last night it wont be long before this loyalty challenged twat will be off to the geordie's which should be enough to finish of souness' career.

Anonymous said...

Goat was the best foil for Elk that I saw. Other than that he didn't have a partner worth the name. Certainly Fowler was never up to the job and any footballing comments he makes against Anelka are the pot calling the kettle black. I for one wish that Elk had not left as he was one of the classiest strikers in the shirt for many a long year, plus time is still on his side which unfortunately it aint for Coley. I wish we had seen some real quality alongside Elk and perhaps Coley would indeed have brought the best out of him - for a season or two.