Jump to content

I think it's time Didier called it a day


Aidan Sweeney

Recommended Posts

To many people, Didier Drogba represents exactly what Chelsea FC have stood for under the Abramovich era. His strength, pace and cutting personality seem to coincide with just what Mr Abramovich set out to achieve when he first arrived at Stamford Bridge. However, after seven seasons of spearheading Chelsea's attack as they strived to fulfil their burning obsession of Champions League success, it appears that Drogba's time as Chelsea's main man is over and rightly so.

Many managers have come and gone since Abramovich's arrival in SW6 but there has been very little change regarding the core strength of the starting XI. With Cech dominating in between the sticks, Terry marshalling the defence and Lampard prowling the midfield, Drogba was given a license to throw his weight around on and off the pitch. After Luiz Felipe Scolari was dismissed following a 0-0 draw at home against Hull, he accused Drogba and the other leading players at Chelsea of turning the dressing room against him, specifically singling out Drogba and Ballack. I doubt there are many people out there who would doubt Scolari's claims as it is quite abundantly clear that the Chelsea dressing room was very much controlled by the players. Whether it be due to Scolari's poor English or the lack of faith the players had in their manager, Scolari never had control of the dressing room and lasted barely eight months in charge. Times have changed since then.

Despite spearheading the club to a Premier League and FA cup double, Carlo Ancelotti was sacked at the end of the following season following a trophy-less campaign which also signalled the beginning of the end for Drogba. Following the arrival of Fernando Torres from Liverpool in the club's 50 million record breaking transfer, Drogba has seen himself slowly slipping down the pecking order of Chelsea's attack. Despite Ancelotti trying to pair Drogba with Torres for the first few months of Fernando's time at Chelsea, it soon became very clear that it was never going to work.

Drogba-Torres.jpg

Even before Torres' arrival, Drogba had been suffering. Ancelotti's first season in charge saw Drogba finish as top scorer in the Premier League but despite a hat-trick on the opening day of the following season, Drogba's form soon went downhill. After it was revealed that Drogba has been carrying malaria for over a month, the club insisted that Drogba would soon make a full recovery and be fighting fit within days. This was not the case. Drogba never quite reached the same level of form he had been in the previous season, nowhere near it in fact. This clearly worried Abramovich as he felt the need to splash the cash on Fernando Torres. Some insisted that upon Torres' arrival, Drogba's days at Chelsea were numbered but Ancelotti reassured Drogba that he would find a formation to suit both Torres and him. This never did quite work and Ancelotti was soon dismissed.

Following Andre Villas-Boas' arrival at Chelsea this summer, all the talk was not of Drogba but of Fernando Torres. The big question for the new young manager was; how will you get Torres scoring again? After Drogba's poor previous season, the view shared amongst most Chelsea fans was that the team had to be built around Torres and it has been. So much so that specific players were bought in to aid Torres in his quest for goals. There isn't doubt as to why Juan Mata and Raul Meireles were signed in the summer transfer window or as to why Chelsea were so keen to sign Luka Modric from Tottenham. They were identified as the players who would get Torres scoring again. It must of been clear to Drogba that he was set to spend the season as second string to Torres because it was very clear to Chelsea fans who the main man was going to be upfront this season.

Torres started the opening game of the season and Didier was left to watch from the sidelines. It was to become a reoccurring theme as the season progressed, especially after Torres finally found the back of the net with an exquisite finish at Old Trafford. It has only been after Torres stupidly lunged in with two feet against Swansea that Drogba has been given a chance to stake a claim within the team. A chance he has not grasped. In Torres' absence, Drogba has been non-existent. The attacking play has been very good with Drogba playing, the problem being that Drogba has been largely uninvolved with the play going on around him. This was the case again yesterday as Drogba became increasingly frustrated at the lack of the ball he saw. With Chelsea already down to ten man and Drogba rifled, he made a ridiculous tackle to try and retrieve a ball he had lost and rightly received a red card, leaving his team-mates with nine men after only 40 minutes played. As an experienced pro and a Chelsea icon, it simply wasn't good enough.

With Torres back from his ban next weekend, I would not be surprised if Drogba didn't start again for Chelsea in the league. Torres has shown glimpses that he is nearing his prolific best and with Drogba seemingly only going downhill, it makes no sense to give Drogba game time or a new contact for that matter. With his current deal expiring at the end of the season, I believe it's time for Drogba and Chelsea to end their turbulent love affair. Drogba was exactly what Chelsea needed when he arrived and he has provided six excellent seasons which has cemented him a place within Chelsea hearts but surely it makes sense for Drogba to call it a day at Chelsea before he further damages his relationship with the fans.

drogbacelebration.jpg

There have been low points of the love affair, such as Drogba's moronic slap on Vidic in the Champions League final as well as his foul-mouthed outburst on live TV after Tom Henning Ovrebo's pathetic 'refereeing' display during the second leg of that champions league semi-final with Barcelona. Let's not forgot the unbelievable highs though. Drogba's (offside) goal at Old Trafford to make it 2-0 which effectively clinched the title that season will always have a special place in my heart. From the same season, his breathtaking performance at the Emirates in which he scored twice is another game I will never forget. His stylish slide across the turf and then a cheeky salute at the camera after he scored his first will remain one of the iconic images from the Premier League era.

So whilst Lampard and Terry fight off claims that they're past it, it's time for Drogba to accept it and bow out in style. I for one hope he goes out with a bang, just not the sort of bang he aimed at Nemanja Vidic on that rainy night in Moscow many years ago.

[spam removed]

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Nice for you to get a bit of free air time for your blog, but after the weekend and Torres finally scoring it all seems a bit knee jerk.

Torres hasn't really proved yet he is capable of carrying this attack on his own. Lukaku isn't ready and Anelka is leaving at the end of the year. Unless you want to stump for another striker until Lukaku is capable of sharing the load, offering Didier another contract is a sound solution.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I posted my blog here because I knew it would get some form of reaction, I'd of simply posted the link here if i was just looking for a cheap plug. I just don't see how Drogba will fit into AVB's style. Drogba will be even less influential next season if he is offered a new deal and is he really worth the 100k+ a week when he'll never be more than a bit part player? Surely those wages can be reinvested in a younger replacement instead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Torres hasn't really proved yet he is capable of carrying this attack on his own. Lukaku isn't ready and Anelka is leaving at the end of the year. Unless you want to stump for another striker until Lukaku is capable of sharing the load, offering Didier another contract is a sound solution.

Are those good enough reasons to retain a striker that is clearly fading and does not suit the style of play? Didier has been a great servant but I believe its about time we moved on and let Torres be that lead striker for us. Torres seems to be getting back to his best and Drogba on the hand clearly seems to be struggling with AVB's style of play. A year on and Drogba is only likely to lose on pace and that cutting edge, it may be a sound solution only if the idea is to not take any risk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Well let's remember in regards to fitting into AVB's style that a month ago (on here at least) Lampard was washed up and finished. Over the last few matches he's been one of our best. So let's not write off champions. When on form Didier is the best all-round striker in the world, he is virtually impossible to defend against because he can receive the ball anyway and beat you.

Torres is still a question mark for me. He has scored certainly, but he is so confidence orientated that we can't really be allowing him to be the only go-to-guy we have. He can't hold the ball up like Drogba, he can't defend like Drogba, he can't play others in as well as Didier does (hence the ridiculous amount of assists that Didier has gotten, even last year) Make no mistake Torres has done well recently, but Didier offers something different for a different type of situation.

The wages element I agree with. But of a list including Malouda, Kalou, Bosingwa, Essien and the like who are all either coming to the end of their contracts or big money players who could be cut to keep the wage bill down, I'd be keeping Drogba over every single one of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No younger player will ever replace Drogba, what he does (or did) is once in a lifetime. My hope is that he retires Chelsea, it makes the most sense, unless he decides to build a legend somewhere else, which makes no sense. Sure, he blows hot and cold, but he's the guy that makes defenders blow. Your piece was pretty good, Aiden, although I disagree with your conclusion that DD should move on. I suppose if he calls it a day, we both get our wish, but I suspect he's going to thrill us some more, my wild-eyed idealism has me picturing him hooking up with Torres at Anfield this May. Say no to giving up on Drogba.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well let's remember in regards to fitting into AVB's style that a month ago (on here at least) Lampard was washed up and finished. Over the last few matches he's been one of our best. So let's not write off champions. When on form Didier is the best all-round striker in the world, he is virtually impossible to defend against because he can receive the ball anyway and beat you.

Spiller this is not just about the last 3 months, Didier has not looked the same player since Jan/ Feb. Does not look sharp and he's responded in the fashion Lampard has to competition. Needless to say the red card this sunday can do no good with him missing out on game time when he needs it the most. At 33 he isn't getting younger and the striker that your talking about there has not turned up for quite a while now. I would love it if he proves me wrong and regained the #1 striker position but I believe that's very unlikely to happen.

Torres is still a question mark for me. He has scored certainly, but he is so confidence orientated that we can't really be allowing him to be the only go-to-guy we have. He can't hold the ball up like Drogba, he can't defend like Drogba, he can't play others in as well as Didier does (hence the ridiculous amount of assists that Didier has gotten, even last year) Make no mistake Torres has done well recently, but Didier offers something different for a different type of situation.

Agree with everything that you've said there but what you have ignored is we have changed out style of play. Well it has for most of us ;). Didier surerly offers something different, whether that's needed in this style of play is something I ain't sure of.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



When on form Didier is the best all-round striker in the world, he is virtually impossible to defend against because he can receive the ball anyway and beat you.

I can't even remember the last time saw that Didier? Pre-Malaria? Wigan away at the start of last season when he got three assists? that's well over a year ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't even remember the last time saw that Didier? Pre-Malaria? Wigan away at the start of last season when he got three assists? that's well over a year ago.

Too right. It's like saying Thierry Henry is the best player on his day or Ruud Van Nistleroy. Great players only get so long at the top and all three have had their time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whilst I don't agree with a few things said in the OP, I do agree on the general sentiment.

With every game he plays I can't help but feel we are seeing the last rites of Drogbas Chelsea career. I read last week that DD and Chelsea are 'locked' in talks over a two year extension, but I just can't see it. Is he playing like someone busting to get a new deal?

There was a time when Drogbas antics on the pitch overlooked his football, but that seems a long time ago now. Clearly the greatest striker I have ever see play for Chelsea (sorry Kerry) he has given us so many great memories, often in the biggest matches too. But we shouldnt be offering contracts on previous achievements and the hope things will come good in the future- they should be offered on current form, general fitness and attitude, particulary with a 34 year old.

It's pretty obvious that DD hasn't been the same player since the malaria and that's a shame, he hasn't offered the team much for almost a year now and his performances this season have been a mix of lethargy and short of a touch and he's been no threat whatsoever, this of course culminated in the nonsense at Loftus Rd where even his most ardent supporters have to admit he let everyone down.

There's no room for sentiment in top level football and unless he shapes up soon I can't see anything other than him being released at the end of the campaign.

Edited by bjd
Link to comment
Share on other sites



With Torres back from his ban next weekend, I would not be surprised if Drogba didn't start again for Chelsea in the league....it makes no sense to give Drogba game time or a new contact for that matter....I believe it's time for Drogba and Chelsea to end their turbulent love affair....surely it makes sense for Drogba to call it a day at Chelsea before he further damages his relationship with the fans.

Well I'd start preparing yourself for a surprise. Moreover, if the club does intend to put him on the market at the end of the season what would be the point in not using him?!?

As to the perceived further damage he's allegedly incurring in his relationship with the supporters, I take it that you've done some snap polling in the last day or so have you?

To then lay the boot in concerning his impassioned & refreshing honesty after Ovrebo's perverse performance probably says more about you than Drogba don't you think?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A well thought out article and I agree with most of what's written. The word turbulent for the aforementioned love affair between this club and one of the most effective strikers of his generation is apt and if it ended at the end of this season, I think it would for the best of both parties. Torres has shown he can spearhead the attack on his own and it would help if he doesnt have someone like Drogba sniffing behind him so that he can be free from any insecurities. As for spearheading the attack in the absence of Torres is concerned, I think Sturridge is more than capable. Add Lukaku and hopefully Milan in the mix and we have one of the best attacking line up in the league. A good mix of experience and youth.

Drogba is still capable of performing at a club trying to get into the elite, someone like PSG, Malaga etc. But I think if he leaves he'd go back to France.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whilst I don't agree with a few things said in the OP, I do agree on the general sentiment.

With every game he plays I can't help but feel we are seeing the last rites of Drogbas Chelsea career. I read last week that DD and Chelsea are 'locked' in talks over a two year extension, but I just can't see it. Is he playing like someone busting to get a new deal?

There was a time when Drogbas antics on the pitch overlooked his football, but that seems a long time ago now. Clearly the greatest striker I have ever see play for Chelsea (sorry Kerry) he has given us so many great memories, often in the biggest matches too. But we shouldnt be offering contracts on previous achievements and the hope things will come good in the future- they should be offered on current form, general fitness and attitude, particulary with a 34 year old.

It's pretty obvious that DD hasn't been the same player since the malaria and that's a shame, he hasn't offered the team much for almost a year now and his performances this season have been a mix of lethargy and short of a touch and he's been no threat whatsoever, this of course culminated in the nonsense at Loftus Rd where even his most ardent supporters have to admit he let everyone down.

There's no room for sentiment in top level football and unless he shapes up soon I can't see anything other than him being released at the end of the campaign.

Pretty much agree with this. Although I love the Drog! Yes he makes mistakes but show me a genius striker who doesnt have their moments?

He will come good yet. He has another big season in him I fully believe it.

He is a club legend and those who say he isnt clearly have very short memories and little appreciation for what he has broght to the club.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Well I'd start preparing yourself for a surprise. Moreover, if the club does intend to put him on the market at the end of the season what would be the point in not using him?!?

As to the perceived further damage he's allegedly incurring in his relationship with the supporters, I take it that you've done some snap polling in the last day or so have you?

To then lay the boot in concerning his impassioned & refreshing honesty after Ovrebo's perverse performance probably says more about you than Drogba don't you think?

He's 2nd maybe 3rd choice striker at the moment. Lukaku is only going to get better, Drogba is only further going to go downhill, my point is that he shouldn't get a new deal for the reasons I've listed above. There isn't any doubting Drogba's commitment to Chelsea which saw him get sent off almost yearly when Chelsea exited the Champions League but I think it's time for him to step aside and let Torres lead the line with Lukaku and Sturridge as supporting strikers should Torres get injured. Financially as well it would make no sense to give a supporting player a new deal at 100k+ a week.

Thanks very much Rahul, it means a lot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here we go again. First it was Lampard and then he had a couple of good games so people dropped that like a hot potato and now after a bad game its Drogba's turn to be finished. Im sorry but i just dont buy that. The way i think of if a player should leave is if you would worry if they joined one of our rivals, for example would i worry if Kalou joined Arsenal? No not in the slightest, would i worry if Drogba joined Arsenal? Hell yes! Drogba hasnt been playing much this season and i think that has more to do with AVB wanting to get Torres back on form than Drogba being finished. I think DD still has plenty to give to the team and is not finished yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He's 2nd maybe 3rd choice striker at the moment. Lukaku is only going to get better, Drogba is only further going to go downhill, my point is that he shouldn't get a new deal for the reasons I've listed above. There isn't any doubting Drogba's commitment to Chelsea which saw him get sent off almost yearly when Chelsea exited the Champions League but I think it's time for him to step aside and let Torres lead the line with Lukaku and Sturridge as supporting strikers should Torres get injured. Financially as well it would make no sense to give a supporting player a new deal at 100k+ a week.

Thanks - got it the first time. I merely took issue with the incendiary hyperbole & the fact that it makes no sense to keep him benched for the rest of the season if he is to be traded.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Here we go again. First it was Lampard and then he had a couple of good games so people dropped that like a hot potato and now after a bad game its Drogba's turn to be finished. Im sorry but i just dont buy that. The way i think of if a player should leave is if you would worry if they joined one of our rivals, for example would i worry if Kalou joined Arsenal? No not in the slightest, would i worry if Drogba joined Arsenal? Hell yes! Drogba hasnt been playing much this season and i think that has more to do with AVB wanting to get Torres back on form than Drogba being finished. I think DD still has plenty to give to the team and is not finished yet.

It isn't a knee jerk view after one bad game. Drogba hasn't had a good game in over a year. The difference between Drogba and Lampard is that Frank never goes more than a few games without putting in a good performance where as Drogba hasn't put in a good performance in 2011. Also, Lampard's critics stem from his international performances whilst Drogba is suffering at club level, that is also a significant matter to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dont believe that at all. Yes Drogba had a bad spell last season but he also had a serious illness.

I think people are forgetting that while Torres was failing last season Drogba picked up his game.

I can't think of a time last season when Drogba picked up his game? I do remember when he came on away at spurs at had a great half an hour, scoring the equaliser but then missed a penalty in the 92nd minute or so. Feel free to correct me though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Spiller this is not just about the last 3 months, Didier has not looked the same player since Jan/ Feb. Does not look sharp and he's responded in the fashion Lampard has to competition. Needless to say the red card this sunday can do no good with him missing out on game time when he needs it the most. At 33 he isn't getting younger and the striker that your talking about there has not turned up for quite a while now. I would love it if he proves me wrong and regained the #1 striker position but I believe that's very unlikely to happen.

Agree with everything that you've said there but what you have ignored is we have changed out style of play. Well it has for most of us ;). Didier surerly offers something different, whether that's needed in this style of play is something I ain't sure of.

That is fair comment, to a degree. Didier this season hasn't really even played until quite recently after his knock against Norwich. His performance against Bolton, while panned was rather effective, his movement opened up chances for others and his telepathic assist for Lampard's goal was excellent.

I agree we've changed our style to better accommodate Mata and Torres, but it's about having options. How often did we hear last season we had no Plan B? Drogba is a striker entirely different to Torres, capable of doing something different if required. I don't think it's quite fair to pigeon-hole AVB and say we can only play one way. He showed second half Saturday he is well and truly capable of being flexible, thinking on the run and adapting the way the team is set up.

I can't even remember the last time saw that Didier? Pre-Malaria? Wigan away at the start of last season when he got three assists? that's well over a year ago.

That Didier hasn't been present for sometime. But can I say that in the time since Torres joined, Drogba has 4 goals and 8 assists. This is about comparable to Mr Torres. Now we would suggest that Torres has had to adapt himself to a new system that didn't suit him. Which sounds to me to be exactly what Didier may well be doing now. If Torres has been given 6 months on 175k/week to adapt, then shouldn't Didier be given the same time? Particularly given his status as a club legend. Which I think does mean something, even if it is a little sentimental.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's see where he'll be in 3 games time....in the line up or on the bench, or worse for him... in the stands. My guess is on the bench, he is too powerful a player not to be considered each and every game. He is always unpredictable and for him he is in the immortal words of Forrest Gump...'like a box of chocolates because you never know what your going to get...' I think the sending off will do him good and give hime time to reflect

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we should use him sparingly he's getting on a bit but still has plenty about him on his day to scare the opposition sh*tless....

I don't know if he's going to the African cup of nations this year, but if he is he'll get games there and hopefully come back sharper...

As for his "foul mouthed outburst" against the Norwegian, Its still one of his finest moments for me, he was saying what every Chelsea fan (not to mention Souness back in the studio) was thinking....

Just because the press had a collective fit of the vapours over it, theres no need for us to buy into the faux shock and outrage against one of our best ever players...

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I agree we've changed our style to better accommodate Mata and Torres, but it's about having options. How often did we hear last season we had no Plan B? Drogba is a striker entirely different to Torres, capable of doing something different if required. I don't think it's quite fair to pigeon-hole AVB and say we can only play one way. He showed second half Saturday he is well and truly capable of being flexible, thinking on the run and adapting the way the team is set up.

I have only pointed at the change in our style of play, at no juncture did I suggest that AVB is tactically inflexible as compared to someone like Carlo. In fact my belief about sacking Carlo as the right move was sealed on sunday when AVB made a 9 man team look rather threatening. The point that I was trying to make is most of AVB's plans are based on movement and that's something which may not be Drogba's strength today or in the future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...
Please Sign In or Sign Up