What was Nicolas Anelka thinking?


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 by Nick Wright

The West Brom striker made a gesture, unremarked on at the time, the significance of which was lost on the fans and, probably, still is.

Indeed, one needs to be considerably more cosmopolitan than the small-minded men at the FA – more switched on to the nuances of French popular culture and political discourse – to grasp the wider significance of the gesture; and have a working knowledge of French to be clued in to the linguistic and ideological cross currents at play. So, although, in this area, they have their own expertise, we should not look to the men at the top of English football to negotiate our way through this particular thicket of prejudice.

Anelka is in the last stages of his professional career as a footballer. Sure footed as he is on the football pitch he is not playing at his strategic best at…

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