Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba yesterday announced his much anticipated departure from Chelsea. Whilst there will be sadness on behalf of both sides of the split, it is for both unquestionably the right thing.

Drogba's contribution to Chelsea over the years has been considerable and in the past few months of this most amazing of seasons it has been positively immense. Drogba has always provided theatre and lately has been no exception.

The 24M that Jose Mourinho paid Marseille for him after an incredibly dogged pursuit seemed over inflated - as many of the fees that Chelsea were paying then were - and it certainly took time for Drogba to earn the affections of the Stamford Bridge crowd.

Drogba has been notorious for the amount of time he has spent on his backside, the victim of apparent sniper fire which was all the more galling given that he is such an immensely strong physical specimen, the ruin of many a top class defender.

The other problem with Drogba is that he has typically picked and chosen the matches in which he wishes to 'perform' in. Cup finals have been his forte with 8 goals in 9 matches for Chelsea yet it has sometimes been lost on him that you actually need to get there first.

For all the highs that Drogba has experienced, there has been a negative balance. He entirely lost his ahead against Barcelona several seasons ago and was also sent off against ManYoo in the Moscow final giving rise to rumours that he simply did not want to take a penalty - which seems unlikely given what just transpired in Munich.

The good is the fabulous goal that started the routing of Spurs in the FA Semi, the goal against Liverpool in the final as well as the winning strike against Barcelona in the first leg. In the final itself also he pulled Chelsea back from the brink in normal time as well as scoring the decisive penalty.

The bad is the fact that in both the Nou Camp and in Munich he needlessly gave away penalties that inexplicably Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben both missed. Had either scored, Chelsea would have almost certainly been out.

All of that being said, Drogba has ridden his luck and made some fabulous appearances for Chelsea. In eight seasons he has collected three Premiership titles, umpteen FA and League Cups and now finally the Champions League. Drogba will be remembered as a club legend and rightly so - No Nonsense.