Pepe Mel: 'Nicolas Anelka is a very important player'

West Bromwich Albion boss Pepe Mel singles out Nicolas Anelka as a "very important player" for his side despite the continued controversy over his 'quenelle' gesture.

West Bromwich Albion manager Pepe Mel has said that Nicolas Anelka is a "very important player" for his side.

Anelka's season has been shrouded in controversy after he made a 'quenelle' gesture with anti-semitic connotations while celebrating a goal during his side's 3-3 draw with West Ham United last month.

The FA's investigation into the incident is said to be nearing a conclusion, while the Baggies' sponsors Zoopla today announced that they would no longer be in partnership with the club after this season.

However, despite the controversy, Mel named Anelka in his starting lineup for tonight's match against Everton, and he was keen to focus the pre-match attention on beating the Toffees.

"Everything has gone really well the players have shown a lot of desire and I am sure that everything will go really well," Mel told Sky Sports News.

"Nicolas Anelka is a very important player for us and what is important for me is to beat Everton. We want the players to show hunger and desire and stay on the ball.

"Everything has gone really well, the players have shown a lot of desire. I'm happy, this is a dream for me."

West Brom have won just one of their last 12 matches in all competitions and sit just three points clear of the relegation zone.

New West Bromwich Albion manager Pepe Mel faces the media before the press conference to announce his arrival, at The Hawthorns on January 16, 2014
Read Next:
Live Commentary: WBA 1-1 Everton - as it happened
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Premier League
La Liga
Ligue 1
League One
League Two
National League
Scottish Cup
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Segunda Division
Serie B
Ligue 2
Australian A-League
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Indian I-League
Liga MX
Primeira Liga
Turkish Super Lig
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in with Facebook to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account