Sunday, December 31, 2006

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 96: Nicolas Anelka

Nicolas Anelka may have spent only six months at Anfield but he did enough in that time to be voted in at number 96 in our countdown of 100 Players Who Shook The Kop.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Nicolas Anelka

Years at Liverpool: 2001 to 2002
Position: Forward

Date-of-birth: 14/3/1979
Birthplace: Paris

Signed from: Paris St Germain (2001)

Games played: 21
Goals scored: 5

Honours won: None

Nicolas Anelka's Liverpool may have been brief but it was long enough for him to leave a lasting impression. His arrival on loan from Paris St Germain in December 2001 stunned everyone but he quickly won over the fans with his obvious talent in front of goal. A product of the France's National Youth Academy, where he first worked under Gerard Houllier, Anelka began professional career began at his hometown club Paris St Germain in 1995. He made his debut for the Parisian giants when only 16 but lack of first team opportunities resulted in him leaving for Arsenal two years later. At Highbury his goals earned him the PFA Young Player of the Year award, helped fire the Gunners to a League and FA Cup double in 1998, and made him one of the most coveted strikers in world football. He left in controversial circumstances the following year for Real Madrid, with whom he won the Champions League but his time at the Bernebau was also shrouded in controversy. In July 2000 he rejoined Paris St Germain but struggled for form. With Liverpool short of firepower following the sale of Robbie Fowler, the Reds swooped to take Anelka on loan midway through the 2001/02 campaign, with the option of making the deal permanent during the summer. Taking over the number nine jersey from Fowler he made his debut as a second half substitute in the Boxing Day win at Aston Villa and then a full debut in the 1-1 draw with West Ham United at Upton Park. Highlights of his short Liverpool career included an equalising goal in the Anfield Merseyside derby and a brilliant display in the 3-0 win over Newcastle United. He signed off that season with a final day goal in the 5-0 home rout of Ipswich Town and almost everyone expected him to then be signed on a permanent basis. But it was to be his last appearance in a red shirt. Then boss Gerard Houllier mysteriously decided against keeping prolonging his stay and opted to sign El Hadji Diouf instead.

Sold to: Returned to PSG

Claim to fame: A stunning performance in a midweek victory over Newcastle

Did you know? He is the only player to have played for Liverpool who has won the Premiership, FA Cup and Champions League

Where is he now? Fenerbahce

Chris Bascombe on Nicolas Anelka: "It will probably be discussed for a long time why Nicolas Anelka was never signed permanently. I think it was probably one of the strangest decisions ever taken by Houllier. He sold Robbie Fowler and asked the fans to trust him and said he would bring in a world class replacement, and he did that with Nicolas Anelka. I think everyone was absolutely delighted and it's a tribute to Anelka as he was so good people quickly stopped talking about Robbie."

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