‘There was a lack of friendship and respect. Anelka said, “I only play in one position”: Luiz Felipe Scolari blames Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka for bagging him at Chelsea … while lifting the lid on how his government fell apart.
- Luiz Felipe Scolari started his resignation as Chelsea boss in 2009
- The Brazilian replaced Avram Grant as boss, but was gone seven months later
- He has revealed fallouts with Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka bothered him
Luiz Felipe Scolari has revealed disagreements with Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka contributed to his dismissal as Chelsea manager.
Scolari, 72, arrived in excellent reputation to replace Avram Grant in 2008, but was fired within seven months.
The Brazilian coach had a brief spell in West London, which he attributes to difficult relationships with his two strikers.
Luiz Felipe Scolari has endured a wretched seven-month spell as Chelsea manager
Problems with Didier Drogba (left) and Nicolas Anelka (right) played a role in his dismissal as boss
“I had a form of leadership that clashed with one or two players,” said Scolari Yellow and green football
When asked to specify which players he was referring to in particular, he pointed the finger at Anelka and Drogba.
One of the disagreements with Drogba arose when the Ivorian was sidelined due to an injury.
Drogba reportedly wanted to go to Cannes as part of his recovery, but Scolari felt he should stay in London.
Scolari wanted to find a way for the two players to coexist, but the discussions were fraught
Scolari (right) revealed that he has since cleared the air with Drogba at a meeting in recent years
Anelka thrived in Drogba’s absence and when both were available for Scolari, Anelka was the league’s main goalscorer with 19.
The plan was for Scolari to create a lineup that would allow both Drogba and Anelka to thrive – something that turned out to be more difficult than the boss might have imagined.
Scolari said: ‘Anelka was the top scorer in the competition. We had a meeting and Anelka said, “I only play in one position”. So there was a little lack of friendship, of respect, of trying to play with Drogba.
Then it changed a bit. But we’ve met since then, me and Drogba. The last time was in Russia in 2018. We talked about it openly.
“There was no ill intention of either him or Anelka. But it happened and I lost one of the greatest opportunities of my life. ‘
Where Scolari failed, his successor Carlo Ancelotti managed to convince Anelka and Drogba that they could coexist in an attack.
Once the league’s top scorer under Scolari, Anelka was unwilling to compromise
Chelsea won the Dubbel that season with both strikers in great shape.
Scolari has since led clubs in Brazil, China and Uzbekistan and also led Brazil’s national team for their home world cup in 2014.
But it was his departure from Chelsea that really stung, especially considering he was eager to stay in England.
‘I wanted to continue to work in England. I would work at any club. I love it, ”he said.
‘We were going to play against Portsmouth and Sunderland. In stadiums with 20,000 people, 19,000 cheer for their city’s team. I like that very much. They don’t support the big clubs, they support their clubs. ‘