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Super Nic or Le Sulk? A Mercenary Tale in Europe (Take Two)


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Football Stars: Nicolas Anelka Chelsea Striker | Nicolas anelka, Chelsea  strikers, Striker

Super Nic or Le Sulk? A Mercenary Tale in Europe

Nicolas Anelka had a brilliant playing career, yet it was embroiled with controversy. If you're not familar, check this out.

This save (take two) will follow the journeyman managerial career of Anelka as he looks to earn as much money as he can, whilst trying to prove his managerial credentials in the process.

A change from the last attempt will be that Anelka will only be managing in Europe. In truth, his forays in China and India (both in player-coach roles) hardly inspired him to forge a managerial career there.

He will always be looking to manage as high as he can and in his eyes this is firmly within Europe and ideally never below the top tier which is something he achieved throughout his playing days.

The highest reputation top flight leagues in Europe have been loaded, ten in total, along with their second tiers which hopefully will not be required for Anelka.

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A game start date of 20th July 2020 with first windows off was applied, however a long holiday for Super Nic brings us to todays date, Wednesday 13th October 2021 where we will be starting.

Anelka does bring some coaching experience, with two short stints as a player-coach with Shanghai Shenhua and Mumbai City and more recently eighteen months as a striker coach for Lille.

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For the purposes of this save he gained his first Continental Licence working at Lille and this time we've opted for International at Global Level which is probably more realistic.

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French mother-tongue and fluent in English, in reality he probably isn't fluent in Spanish or Turkish but you can't choose the level of fluency. He's certainly a polyglot.

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Despite being on holiday for 15 months a lot of the attributes have improved from what was inputted to start, a nice little bonus. Now how will Nic build his teams?

One thing that will be put above all else when building a team is pure talent. We're talking technical and creative ability here, not athletic talent or work prowess.

You can run through a brick wall for hours on end? Great. But can you bring it down with a beautiful touch and make something out of nothing? Nope....well there's the door.

The tactical approach will be simple; slick passing, decent tempo attacking football and with a striker that will be expected to do it all up top. A complete forward is a necessity.

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Let's see what there is out there!

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As it stands there are no interesting jobs available. Languishing in the lower leagues of Russia (2nd tier is lower league in Nic's eyes) is not where he want's to be.

West Brom, Rennes and Marseille are the most interesting out of the insecure jobs, so let's start dishing out some interest.

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Bordeaux and Akhmat applied for, will either of them take a risk on Anelka given his lack of managerial experience? Or offer enough wedge? Let's see.

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Two job offers, and given the wage differential I think it'll be pretty clear where Anelka is heading. Both clubs wanted to sign U23s and/or develop players using the youth system but that was taken out of the vision.

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FC Girondins de Bordeaux - Wikipedia

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Anelka signs as Bordeaux manager on a 3 year contract, earning £11.25k per week. The squad is yet to be assessed, but given they were able to finish 4th last season it should be decent.

The biggest issue is that no money has been promised for transfers, so Anelka will need to sell before he can make his own stamp on the side.

 

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Ben Arfa is yet to feature this season and couldn't play in the first game because he's not been registered for the Europa League, but he's very much part of Anelka's plans.

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Just over six weeks after joining Bordeaux, Anelka is allured to the Premier League to manage a struggling Fulham side. Yet again Anelka will need to sell before he can buy.

It wasn't exactly a dazzling experience at Bordeaux, but the side showed the attacking, possession orientated intent that Fulham were looking for.

 

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First signing is Ben Arfa on more or less a free transfer from Bordeaux. Just a short term deal adding a bit of spark to the midfield.

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A major signing comes in to bolster our defence. Ben White is an excellent acquisition for the club and he will compliment Tosin Adaribaiyo as a pair of ball playing defenders :) 

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Our third and most likely final signing of the January transfer window is Traore, who adds both technical ability and pace to the right inverted winger or complete forward roles.

Edited by smp20
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12 minutes ago, Punch said:

Some quality signings for a club in a relegation fight.

Thanks, trying to go for the kind of transfers I reckon Anelka would like the look of!

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Fulham FC Primary Logo | Sports Logo History

Anelka's First Month at Fulham

Results

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An awful start with back to back 4-1 defeats was forgotten after two wins vs other London sides. Bad form trickled back in until a thumping away win at Leeds, helped by a change in tactic.

Transfers

In

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Ben Arfa re-unites with Anelka from his short stint at Bordeaux, while the permanent additions of White and Traore add quality to the team. Smith Rowe comes in on loan after a string of poor results to add something a bit different.

Out

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Mitrovic almost left which would have been a major outgoing, but he opted to stay so most of the transfers out are young players that were never going to make the side or streamlining.

Reed the biggest transfer out, he just wasn't an Anelka-type midfielder.

Tactics

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A 4-2-3-1 built around an advanced playmaker had been utilised to start but it just wasn't working. A 4-2-4 based on the same principles was put into place vs Newcastle and it duly delivered.

Premier League Table

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The loss vs Wolves was a big blow as it helped give them a cushion. We need a good run of form soon to help push us out the relegation zone.

 

Edited by smp20
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9 hours ago, Punch said:

Signs of improvement. There is life in this fight yet!

We followed the Leeds win with a win vs Newcastle so the change in approach to a partnership up top is looking good so far!

3 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Rather quick pit stop in Bordeaux! 

Oh yes, the lure of the Premier League and £50k a week was too great :lol:

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Fulham FC Primary Logo | Sports Logo History

Fulham F.C. - February & March 2022

Results

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We've won the games we were expected to vs Sheff Utd at home and struggling West Brom away. An unexpected point against Liverpool was well received and you can't knock an away point vs Watford.

Unfortunately Man Utd got a late winner and a thrashing at the hands of bitter rivals Chelsea was not how we wanted to go into the International Break.

PL Table

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Just outside the relegation zone, albeit Blackburn have a game in hand.

Smith-Rowe was making a great impact but got injured for six weeks and Bruno Petkovic is out for pretty much the rest of the season which doesn't help us in a relegation battle!

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Really interesting idea for a save. Most players who played with him say that his ability was phenomenal and he certainly scored goals everywherehe went. I seem to remember his brother/cousin/best mate being his agent. The stint in Turkey between Man City and Bolton seems particularly wasteful. Never one of my favourite players, but I also don't think we really knew the real him because he did so few interviews in English.

Edited by Jimbokav1971
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40 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Really interesting idea for a save. Most players who played with him say that his ability was phenomenal and he certainly scored goals everywherehe went. I seem to remember his brother/cousin/best mate being his agent. The stint in Turkey between Man City and Bolton seems particularly wasteful. Never one of my favourite players, but I also don't think we really knew the real him because he did so few interviews in English.

Thanks, it's made a nice change to play the game from a different perspective. I started out as an Arsenal fan before turning into a Cambridge Utd fan and Anelka was my first favourite player given his prowess in 97/98 and 98/99. I remember crying my eyes out when he left (I was 9 :lol:). He's got a reputation for sure and I think it's a combination of controversy of his own making mixed in with being a bit misunderstood. His two brothers were heavily involved in his career and I don't think they were great influences. They certainly helped him (and themselves) get very rich though!

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Fulham FC Primary Logo | Sports Logo History

Let the battle commence!

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A poor performance at home to Arsenal which really could have been a heavier defeat was followed up with a fantastic 5-0 win away at Blackburn in a so called six-pointer!

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With that Blackburn win we now find ourselves 4 points above the relegation zone, five games to play. We've got a relatively tricky end to the season, but we have already played the 'big 6' twice so hopefully we'll pinch enough points to stay up.

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Anelka's Results

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It took a while for the side to play as Anelka had planned but it finally clicked together with a nice unbeaten run at the end of the season.

It did coincide with the return of Smith Rowe from injury which is a little worrying becuase Arsenal aren't willing to extend his loan as it stands.

Premier League Table

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We actually finished one place higher than they did last season, albeit with less points (41 last year).

Player Stats

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New signing Traore and loanee Smith Rowe were the pick of the bunch performance wise. White settled in quite nicely and Adarabioyo was solid throughout.

Coming back into the Prem Anelka has realised that pace and movement are so crucial, so they will be prioritised after technical ability.

Overall, the squad will need a re-haul to cope with the vigour of the Premier League and to accomplish Anelka's vision of play. Cairney and Stanciu have both underperformed as midfield playmakers so that's priority number 1!

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Whilst Anelka's happy to stay at Fulham, he's always open to other offers and he's applied for Sevilla, Chelsea and Leicester.

The fans laughed him off at Sevilla and Chelsea though...

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1 hour ago, smp20 said:

Thanks, it's made a nice change to play the game from a different perspective. I started out as an Arsenal fan before turning into a Cambridge Utd fan and Anelka was my first favourite player given his prowess in 97/98 and 98/99. I remember crying my eyes out when he left (I was 9 :lol:). He's got a reputation for sure and I think it's a combination of controversy of his own making mixed in with being a bit misunderstood. His two brothers were heavily involved in his career and I don't think they were great influences. They certainly helped him (and themselves) get very rich though!

Check out his documentary on Netflix if you haven't already done so. Quite enjoyed it. 

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1 hour ago, karanhsingh said:

Check out his documentary on Netflix if you haven't already done so. Quite enjoyed it. 

Great shout, it's been on my wartchlist for a while so I should definitely do so now!

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This may seem a strange transfer out given Traore's promising start of 9 goals in 14 games but there's more than meets the eye. Firstly, Traore and Anelka fell out over the position where he should be played. He's been excellent up top as a Complete Forward Attack but want to be an Inverted Winger. Then he didn't settle in the area and needed time away, signs that there would be more issues down the line. We more than doubled our money in just a few months, so that'll do!

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Michy got double figures and performed well the season before last at Palace and he's a good all rounder as well as good with both feet. Hopefully he will replace Traore well.

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Kilman joines to add cover for the White - Adarobioyo partnership.

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Moreno was pretty unpopular at Liverpool, however he has all the right attributes to be complete wing back in Anelka's attacking system. Also just a snip of the £14m we sold Antonee Robinson for!

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