Anelka 'bitterly disappointed' to have joined West Brom
Nicolas Anelka today spoke of his 'bitter disappointment' at joining West Brom, expressing regrets that 'it had come to this' and repeatedly referring to the club as a 'stop gap'.
Although Anelka is now 34, luring the 2008-09 Premier League Golden Boot winner is something of a coup for West Brom and, as Anelka pointed out, a new low for Anelka.
Asked whether he was looking forward to his new challenge in the Midlands, Anelka was seen to blink back tears before admitting he had never thought he'd have to play for a club like West Brom.
'I'm absolutely devastated,' Anelka told gathered reporters. 'This is a massive boost for West Brom but a huge blow for Nicolas Anelka.
'I guess in the end time catches up with everyone but maybe I'd just presumed I had a couple of years at Seville or someone like that to look forward to. But, no, West Brom it is.'
When asked to pose with the West Brom shirt, Anelka let out an audible sigh before holding the shirt at arm's length like a discarded nappy.
'It really is just a temp thing,' Anelka continued. 'You know, just while I look for something better.
'I'll probably do a lot of football on the side too, you know freelance stuff. Put it this way, if I'm still here in six months' time - shoot me.'
Anelka's relationships with managers have often been frosty. He famously led a mutiny of the French squad at the 2010 World Cup after a spat with Raymond Domenech and following arguments with Luiz Felipe Scolari during his time at Chelsea he drew a moustache on the Brazilian tactician in permanent pen, which remains to this day.
West Brom have made various concessions to their new man. He has been told he doesn't have to live in the Midlands, he'll be allowed to wear a different colour shirt to his teammates and he doesn't have to attend any barbecues at Ben Foster's house.
In a further bid to raise Anelka's morale, Baggies boss Steve Clarke has given the ex-Arsenal man the seat next to Peter Odemwingie on the team bus.