The footballing event of 2020 is finally here!
Anelka: Misunderstood, an indulgent sojourn inside the head of a footballer you’re not quite sure warrants 94 minutes of your time, has hit Netflix to lukewarm reviews and thoroughly justified indifference.
And Paddy Power News has been informed that this sure-fire “who the f**k wants to watch that?!” streaming sensation almost didn’t happen due to a characteristic strop from the oft-transferred centre-forward.
According to our source close to the production, three months into filming the mercurial goal-menace told producers – via his brother (who else?) – that the star of the show was seeking an alternative sports documentary to appear in.
“We have been in touch with the people who made The Last Dance. Nico feels and hour and 30 minutes isn’t enough time for him to settle scores and grind axes,” he said.
“He really should have a ten-part series about how it was everyone else’s fault that he never fulfilled his potential.
“He is basically football’s Michael Jordan, after all.
“Nicolas will conduct no further interviews with you unless you agree to make this film even more about him and his self-pity.”
And emails show the producers were quick to react to the request.
One read: “Look, we simply do not have the budget for that, but we can set-up a five-a-side for Nico where we’ll just film him until we’re told to clear-off by the work experience kid down the astroturf centre.
“Nicolas can headbutt him, just like the Zidane movie. We’ll even get Mogwai to do the soundtrack if he wants?”
However, that suggestion was instantly rejected by Anelka’s entourage, meaning producers were sent scrambling for alternative ideas.
“Couldn’t we just buy a few naff wigs and a Napoli kit and pretend he was Maradona?” ran one late-night email.
Thought reports that Colombian coca producers could not cope with such a rapid rise in demand scuppered that plan.
Similarly, a recreation of “OJ: Made in America” was ruled out when Anelka’s representatives objected to the idea.
“Do you honestly think he would have accepted a supporting role in the Naked Gun movies? Seriously?” they said.
“Oh yeah, and there’s the murder trial thing too.”
As tensions rose, one member of the production team moaned: “If we’d wanted a mopey sod who blames everyone else we should’ve just jumped on that Spurs doc when we had the chance.”
Finally, it was put to Anelka’s associates during a teleconference that the only possible alternative would be Anelka return to football for season three of “Sunderland ‘Til I Die”.
“Jesus, no”, was the only response from Anelka camp as the call ended and negotiations promptly ceased. The French international subsequently dropped his request and completed his scheduled interviews without complaint.