"I improved my game - game after game"

The footballing world discovered Anthony Annan during the World Cup this summer. Since then he has improved his attacking game. The Rosenborg Web users have voted him Player of the year.


Photo: Thomas Karlsen

"I'm very happy to win this award. I think as a player you need to put up your best. I have to share this, and give some thanks to those who made it possible for me to win this award: It goes to all of the team-mates, the Rosenborg supporters and everyone. I think we share the award together," Annan smiles to rosenborg.info.

The season began a bit disappointing for Annan, who missed the group stage and the quarter-final of the African cup of nations due to a thigh injury. He returned for the semi-final against Nigeria and the final defeat against Egypt.

With Michael Essien suffering from a knee injury, Annan's place in the starting line-up for the World Cup never was threaten. Ghana saved Africa's honour, and was just a couple of poor penalty kicks away from a historical semi-final.

Another Annan
While football pundits all around the globe praised Anthony Annan, interim Rosenborg coach Nils Arne Eggen did instead focus on what his player had to improve:

"I am convinced that we have not seen the best of him. Just look at the one time he went forward [against USA]. Therefore we should do as we always have done, using the central midfielder from box to box. In this role, overview is the most important, but he also has to go forward to outnumber the opponent," Eggen commented in June.

Annan listened to his new coach, and was rewarded with a great goal against Start - his first ever after arriving in Norway in 2007.

"I think I really did put much effort in this season because you know it was a really killing contest: Some of the other teams did very well, like Vålerenga. I think it was a really competitive season, and I improved my game - game after game. I think that helped me a lot. My colleagues also helped me."

More to improve

Photo: Thomas Karlsen
The 24-year-old was one of the main contributors to Rosenborg's unbeaten record in all the 30 league matches.

"We won the league, which was very important for us. We have now won two times in a row, and I'm very happy for that."

But not everything was great.

"I must say that we didn't do well in the Europa League. I was expecting that we maybe would be the first or the second to qualify for the next stage, but looking at these results, it seems like we have a long way to go."

Nevertheless it was an improvement compared the last year's failure against Qarabag.

"Yes, I think so. This year was a lot of improvement compared to last year, so we just have to take step by step. Next season we have to do more than what we did this season. We should improve our game."

Uncertain future
Whether Annan will contribute to this, is unknown. The Sevilla interest is real, and according to Spanish newspaper Marca the clubs have begun negotiations.

Annan will anyway await the upcoming transfer windows before extending his Rosenborg contract, expiring December 2011.

"I leave everything for my agent. Me and him have to decide whether I have to extend my contract or there will be a possibility for me to go somewhere else. But now I am a Rosenborg player, so I am still bound to Rosenborg."

[Thomas Myren, 26. December 2010, 18:37]



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