Bye Bye Claude – Sacking Ends AFTN’s Fun

With all the World Cup shenanigans going on at the moment, we didn’t have a moment to report the ‘sad’ demise of Claude Anelka’s latest managerial appointment towards the end of last month. So since we’ve been following his progress for you in the blog, we thought we’d bring you up to date with what’s been happening.

One of AFTN’s favourite figures of fun, Claude Anelka managed to last longer at AC St Louis than he did at Raith Rovers and also managed to make much less of a cock up of proceedings in the process.

On June 24th, the NASL club announced that “Claude Anelka finalized an agreement to cease his responsibility as head coach” and with that Claude the Fraud left another struggling club in his wake.

Claude left St Louis just ten games into their inaugural NASL season and left them not just sitting well adrift their NASL conference, but the entire USSF Division 2 as a whole, with just 7 points to their name.

As we reported before, Anelka’s record at Raith Rovers was shocking, managing just one solitary point in eight games.

His record at St Louis saw him gain his first win as manager (for which we at AFTN were gutted!), in fact he managed two in his ten leagues games in charge. His first came five matches into his reign, a 1-0 win against Baltimore thanks to a first minute goal, and his last came five games later in his last league game in charge, with a shock win away to Puerto Rico Islanders on June 12th.

Anelka’s departure ironically came when he actually had the team winning. In fact they were on a three match winning streak, for not only did they win that League match in Puerto Rico, they also recorded a 1-0 win away to PDL side Des Moines Menace in the First Round of the US Open Cup on June 15th and followed that up a week later with a 1-0 win away to fellow USSF-D2 side Minnesota.

That win set up a trip to LA to take on a David Beckhamless Galaxy side. A trip Claude was not to make as he was “relieved of coaching duties” two days after taking his team through.

Very bizarre circumstances to sack an albeit struggling manager just as he seems to be turning his side around. Very little has been written about the full reasons behind Claude’s departure, but gone he is, taking away part of AFTN’s fun for when St Louis come a calling to our Vancouver Whitecaps this evening.

Initial reports suggested that the St Louis players weren’t happy with Anelka’s training sessions and game management. His removal, along with the other matters detailed in the report, may well secure a footballing future for AC St Louis after all. Things were looking bleak, so good luck to them.

Claude’s deaprture came just five days after his more successful footballing brother Nicolas was sent packing from the French squad at the World Cup. That wasn’t a good week for the Anelka household.

Claude Anelka went to St Louis with the feeling that he deserved another chance to run a football club (no the ‘i’ isn’t missing). He got it. He failed again. Will he get another one? Stranger things have happened.

So a fond farewell Claude and just for one final time…

Authored by: Michael McColl

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