Former Chelsea manager reveals which player he thinks got him sacked
Ex-Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has revealed he blamed Nicolas Anelka for getting him the sack.
The Brazilian boss, who was most recently in charge of Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande, says Anelka’s refusal to play on the wing cost him his job at Stamford Bridge.
The French forward started the season playing through the middle, but Scolari attempted to play him in a wider role after Didier Drogba returned to fitness.
Anelka flatly refused to do so. Scolari believes the negative feelings created by the situation led to the dip in results that ultimately cost him his job.
He told ESPN Brasil: “I had Anelka playing as centre-forward. 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 strikers playing one by the side, one in the centre, changing positions.’
“Then Anelka, the league’s top scorer, who had been a reserve all the time but had started [during Drogba’s absence] said: ‘I do not play on the wing.’ Well, that’s when I said: ‘You don’t play on the wing, you are surplus, it’s over. I’m not going to stay here arguing with you guys. I’m trying to come to an understanding and you are unwilling.’ And there began a series of other things.”
Scolari took charge of Chelsea in July 2008, but failed to make it through a full season. He was sacked in February 2009 after a poor run of form, with Guus Hiddink replacing him for the rest of the season.
He subsequently coached in Turkey with Bunyodkor and for Brazilian clubs Palmeiras and Gremio either side of leading the Brazil national team to the 2014 World Cup.