Anelka revelling in new role
The former AC Milan boss has deployed the French international in a more open role in 2009/10, playing behind Didier Drogba.
And with his strike partner currently away at the Africa Cup of Nations, the onus is firmly on Anelka to fire the goals to keep the Blues top of the Premier League.
The 30-year-old is hoping to make his return to the starting XI against Hull on Saturday after missing the last three matches through injury.
And he revealed that playing as a pair with Drogba was what he had planned when he arrived at Stamford Bridge, instead of starting instead of the powerful Ivorian during Luiz Felipe Scolari's brief tenure last season.
“I wanted to show everyone I could play there and I wanted, even if I’m not scoring a lot of goals, to be creative in the middle of the pitch,” he said.
“I wanted to play this position when I first came to Chelsea, with Didier in front and me just behind, and I always said that.
“This season the manager gave me the opportunity to do it, to be free on the pitch and I feel good.
"The freedom I now have on the pitch puts me in a position where I can be up front sometimes, playing the striker, then I can be behind later in the same game or a left or right-winger.”