Nicolas Anelka has said he would feel frustrated at being rotated by Carlo Ancelotti if he were still a young player but the striker accepts that, aged 32 and with Fernando Torres now at Chelsea, he will be given the occasional rest.
"Personally I am fine," the Frenchman told the club's website. "I have been playing football for 16 years now. Sometimes to rest, even to watch your team-mates from the bench, is not too bad. It is part of the game and you try to be fresh when you come on the pitch. This is a big club and we have big players, so it's like this.
"We do our best on the pitch anyway and we know now we have a different tactic with two up front. We are four – [Didier] Drogba, Torres, [Salomon] Kalou and me, so we can swap and we know that, even if we have a good game, we may not play in the next game."
Anelka is calm regarding the knowledge that even an outstanding display might not guarantee a start in the next match. "No. It is frustrating when you are 20 years old; when you are 32, not any more," he said. "Sometimes you are not happy because you want to play but you have to understand it's part of the game and we have big players. When you're a manager it is even more difficult than playing because you have to keep everybody happy and make choices. I know I won't be a manager, I don't want to do it, never. You have to make everybody else happy also and, like I said, if you are 20, you don't understand this rotation but, if you are 32, I won't say you have nothing to prove but you have the experience to understand."
Anelka, who does not play for France after his fall-out with his national team's hierarchy during last summer's World Cup, also says he is fresh following the international break. "It has been good to rest a little bit. The season is very long and we have a lot of games so it is always good to have a rest. Training has been OK, we need to come back slowly because it is always hard after two or three days off, but it has been OK, not too hard, a good level but quieter than normal."
In April Chelsea will play at least nine matches, a sequence that could be extended should they knock Manchester United out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals, the first leg of which is played next Wednesday. "It is going to be tough. But the schedule is like this and we just have to do it. We have a lot of games but we have a lot of players and we have a strong squad, so we can rotate and it's good."
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