Nov 25, 2021
Ex-Arsenal and Chelsea star Anelka casts doubt over Messi’s role in PSG team after defeat to Man City
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NICOLAS ANELKA has cast doubt over Lionel Messi's role at Paris Saint-Germain.
The Ligue 1 giants haven't yet seen the sparkling best of the Argentine since signing him from Barcelona in the summer.2Lionel Messi is yet to hit the heights at Paris Saint-GermainCredit: Getty 2Nicolas Anelka represented PSG between 2000 and 2002Credit: AP:Associated Press
It has been suggested that boss Mauricio Pochettino has a difficult conundrum in creating a balanced side with Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe upfront.
And former forward Anelka, 42, has weighed in on the subject.
He told RMC: "With Messi, PSG cannot be a counter team.
"You cannot base the whole team on Kylian Mbappe."
The Frenchman also recently cast doubt over whether Messi has still got it in him to be 'extraordinary'.
He said: "Today we demand from Neymar, but we can do the same with Messi.Most read in SoccerLEADING EDGE Michael Owen makes Champions League prediction after Man City reach last-16RAFA RAP Rafael van der Vaart says Utd's Harry Maguire 'is really s**t' on live televisionPOWER SERG Ramos named in PSG squad for first time and could make return against Man CityHOME BOY Torres reveals Tottenham bid came at wrong time as Villarreal star explains snubPERFECT MACH Xavi calls up wonderkid Ilias Akhomach for first time in debut Barcelona squadPictured'FEEL LIKE A SUPERHERO' Alves undergoes Barca medical as he returns on just 1 EURO a month
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"Since the beginning of the season it is not extraordinary either.
"There is a player who has six Ballons d'Or and finally is not so extraordinary."
Messi, 34, did grab an assist last night for Mbappe, as the striker gave PSG a 50th minute lead at the Etihad.
But subsequent goals by Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus turned the clash on its head.
City's 2-1 win assures them of top spot in Group A, while PSG are already guaranteed to finish second with a game to spare.
Jamie Carragher and Thierry Henry both feel that Pochettino has an impossible job making the Messi-Neymar-Mbappe trio work.
Carra, 43, told CBS Sports: "Pochettino has got to get out of that club.
"If he's got the chance to go to Manchester United… I'd be gone tomorrow.
"I honestly would and it's because of those three stars (Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar)."
While Henry, 44, added: "If you want to win the Champions League, you cannot defend with seven players.
"It is impossible, I don't care who you are."
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Newcastle in transfer battle with Jose Mourinho’s Roma for Florian Grillitsch with Austrian star available for £4m
NEWCASTLE UNITED want to beat Jose Mourinho’s Roma to sign Austrian star Florian Grillitsch in the window.
The Toon are hoping to persuade versatile Grillitsch to choose them in January and add his class to Eddie Howe’s survival fight.1Newcastle and Roma target Florian Grillitsch can play in midfielder or at the backCredit: Getty
Hoffenheim’s Grillitsch can play defensive midfielder or even sweeper and is available to sign a pre-contract as he is a free agent next summer.
If Grillitsch fancies the challenge, Newcastle can then make an offer to buy him from the Germans for a bargain £3 or £4million.
The Toon have been chasing Grillitsch for months and he is one of the easier players for them to land right now - as prices are high in the domestic market when they take an interest.
Grillitsch also has Roma keen on him, but Newcastle have the money to tempt him their way - even if there are no guarantees that they stay up.
The talented Austrian will face Wales and possibly Scotland on the way to World Cup qualification and Grillitsch could be a Premier League player by then.
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New boss Howe was taunted by Arsenal fans in his first appearance on the touchline since taking over at the Toon.
And the ex-Bournemouth boss watched on helplessly as goals from Bukayo Saka and substitute Gabriel Martinelli sealed a comfortable 2-0 win for the hosts.
Newcastle’s next Premier League outing comes against fellow strugglers Norwich on Tuesday night.
The Canaries are three points off the bottom after picking up a handy draw with Wolves on Saturday.
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