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The wait is almost over for Championship football fans as the new season gets started this Friday – Gavin Beech has a look at the main contenders.

Nicolas Anelka has spoken about his infamous row with Raymond Domenech and said the former France manager was wrong to play him out of position.

Les Bleus suffered a disastrous World Cup campaign, failing to win any of their group games, but also falling apart off the pitch with the players at one point going on strike.

Anelka was sent home following a dressing room row with Domenech at half-time during the 2-0 defeat to Mexico, with reports suggesting he had launched an abusive tirade at the coach.

The striker didn’t deny ranting at Domenech but took French L’Equipe to court for libel, accusing the newspaper of distorting his words.

“I’d like to see Domenech confessing to the world that I didn’t use those words,” Anelka said.

“I wish he had the honesty to say it, and to say it to his mum too.”

Anelka believes Domenech, who has since been replaced by Laurent Blanc, ‘should be ashamed’ after making a ‘casting mistake’.

“My biggest regret is that I was not given the chance to play in my best position,” said Anelka.

“If the coach wanted to take a player which stays in the box, he shouldn’t have picked me. He made a casting mistake.”

In an interview with France Soir, Anelka went into more detail about what happened at half-time of the Mexico clash.

He said: “We returned to the dressing room and, for five minutes, the players talked. The coach arrived and said to me: ‘Damn, Nico, I’ve told you to stop dropping back and stay up front’.

“I told him if I stay there, I do not get a touch of the ball, and said: ‘Stop telling me to stay up front. I won’t stay up front’.

“It carried on, but at that moment my head was gone. I wasn’t even listening to what he said.”

Domenech’s immediate reaction, according to Anelka, was to dismiss him from the squad despite captain Patrice Evra’s attempt to calm the situation.

“He said: ‘Go, it’s fine, leave’ and asked one of his assistants to get Dede (Andre-Pierre Gignac) ready,” Anelka continued.

“I said: ‘No problem, deal with your team’.

“Pat (Evra) and Franck (Ribery) were next to me and they said: ‘Stop, Nico, calm down. Let it go, shut up!’

“Then Pat asked me to put my jersey back on and said to the coach that these things happen all the time, that he should not react on a whim and make me leave.

“Again, the coach didn’t listen and made his changes.”

The wait is almost over for Championship football fans as the new season gets started this Friday – Gavin Beech has a look at the main contenders.

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