The victory in Denmark will have been a huge relief to everyone concerned with Chelsea football club, and in particular Nicolas Anelka. The arrival of Fernando Torres in the January transfer window indicated that his time at Chelsea may have been coming to an end.
This is the longest period he has remained at any club during his career and his 2 goals last night takes his tally in the Champions League to 7 in 6 games this season. He is a wonderfully gifted individual who has remarkable technique and is blessed with blistering pace (although his pace is not what it was). However, like everything in life there is a good and a bad side; he has often been labelled disruptive and played for 9 clubs in 15 years during his professional career.
It is quite remarkable looking at his career; he has played for some of the biggest clubs on the continent and is still only 31 years old. One wonders how much of an influence his family had on him after moving from Arsenal to Real Madrid for £22.3 million in 1999 as he always looked disinterested when playing. The move to Chelsea seemed to revitalise him which was probably down to him realising that this was his last chance at a top club – and he has grasped the opportunity.
It appears that wholesale changes will be made to the Chelsea squad over the summer but it seems that Anelka maybe preferred to Drogba which I would agree with. The prospect of playing against a side that had Anelka, Torres and another in a front 3 would be very scary. The mercurial Frenchman often seems very languid but is then suddenly 5 yards past you before you have noticed. It is a shame his international days are over but it could be a blessing as he can focus on what remains of his club career.
It is vital for Chelsea that they maintain the momentum from last night into the remainder of their domestic season. Whilst they are now unlikely to retain the Premiership they still have to play United twice and could have a real bearing on where the trophy ends up. For players such as Anelka this is the time to prove that you are behind the club and will strive to ensure this season’s slump remains a distant memory.