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by | 10th, September 2002

‘IT is still hard to believe that the charmless striker who sloped off to Real Madrid a few seasons back is to return to Highbury tonight in the colours of Manchester City. Back then Nicolas Anelka had then world at his feet and was being touted by his manager, Arsene Wenger, as the next Ronaldo. Now he’s at Manchester City.

When Nicolas was King

But though he seems to have lost his way, the sulky one has found his voice and after years of letting his brothers do his talking can be heard making some noise in the Mirror. ”I’ve got on with my life and Arsenal fans should forget the past,” says he. ”I’ll forget the whistling and only think about the good times.” Like the day he finally left for Madrid.

But some sportsmen do return as good as ever, if not better. And tennis player Pate Sampras, who has endured what the Times calls a ”year in the shadows”, is one such sportsman.

Having been discounted by the press and no leser name than Greg Rusedski, Sampras has just won the US Open. It’s his fourteenth Grand Slam title in a fantastic career. ”This one might take the cake,” said Sampras after his four-sets win over old foe Andre Agassi.

”This year I was struggling and hearing I should stop, negative tones from the press. It was a good effort, one of my better ones.” And as understatements go, that’s a classic. ‘

Posted: 10th, September 2002 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink