West Brom ace will have to wait for starting role

05. Nicolas Anelka

West Brom manager Steve Clarke is not prepared to play Nicolas Anelka just because of his reputation, as reported by Sky Sports.

Anelka has been away from the Midlands club after being given time off for a bereavement but the former Arsenal and Bolton man is now back in the squad for today’s game against Sunderland.

Clarke knows Anelka’s undoubted quality will be shown at the Hawthorns this season but the Albion manager is not in a rush to throw the 34 year old straight in to the starting XI.

Competition for places is rife in the West Brom side with Shane Long and Matej Vydra along with Anelka going for one or two spots in the Albion side and Clarke will be picking his side on merit, not reputation.

“It’s a squad game and players have to be ready when selected. I have to pick the best 11 I can. When you’re a star, and Nicolas is, he will grab the headlines,” said Clarke.

“But football’s a team game. It’s everybody’s job to create and score goals, not just Nic’s.

“His form, by and large, has been good. He has brought a different dimension to the team.

“We need to find more creativity going forward, but that does not apply just to Nicolas.

“It’s up to everyone in the team to step up to the mark, to create more and score one.”

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