Hey, Here’s the Exact Opposite of How an Athlete Should Act

23May08

As reported yesterday, Chelsea FC lost to Man U in the Champions’ League Final on Wednesday. John Terry, center back defender, someone who I’ve never seen take a penalty in my years of watching Chelsea play, missed what would have been the clinching goal, slipping as he kicked it. Many wondered why Terry was sent up to take the would-be game-winner, especially with two strikers still yet to step up to the spot. Looks like we just found out why:

Anelka also said it had been difficult to come on as a late substitute in Wednesday’s Champions League final and be asked to take part in the shootout.

‘I stayed 110 minutes on the bench and suddenly I was asked to play less than a minute after being sent to warm up,’ he said.

‘I don’t know if it ever happened in a Champions League final, in a game so intense, that a player was sent on without having warmed up.’

Anelka said he declined the offer to take one of Chelsea’s first five penalities.

‘I said: ‘No way. I came on practically as a full back and you want me to shoot a penalty?’

Source: ESPN

Anelka came to Chelsea in the middle of the season from Bolton, essentially as a safety if Didier Drogba decided to officially give up on the season. At the time, Bolton was in the relegation zone, so Anelka was really playing for nothing. Anelka has a history of pissing off everyone who has ever managed him, which includes major clubs in multiple countries.

He was exiled from Arsenal early in his career for causing fights in clubhouse, despite at the time being called the perfect partner for the incomparable Thierry Henry. His attitude has continued to cost him jobs with major clubs across the spectre, until landing at Bolton, where only the intentional-red card inducing and fellow Liverpool exile El-Hadji Diouff overshadowed him for bad behavior. Apparently so much so that Chelsea decided they would take a chance on him.

It is rare that I tout the ethics of American sports, but if Anelka tried to pull this stuff in a major American sport, he’d be run out faster than Pacman Jones. He’s a whining little brat, who had the opportunity to play for arguably the best team in the world, to come on at the most critical moment in their history (and in fairness, he really should have come on earlier–still on the wing though). Not only that, he has the opportunity to literally win the game. Doesn’t step up. Then, when it is his turn, as Man U was able to drag the shoot out to the point Anelka could no longer hide, he goes and blows it, providing easy fodder for Van Der Sar.

I know that many athletes aren’t great people. That has been proven time and again. I wasn’t aware, however, of someone as physically gifted as Anelka who can be such a quitter.  Not only that, to be such a quitter and somehow have the guts to speak so openly about it. Here’s to hoping the transfer market will bless Chelsea with his departure.

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One Response to “Hey, Here’s the Exact Opposite of How an Athlete Should Act”

  1. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.


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