Drogba: From Moscow To Milan?

As timely as ever, on the eve of our final League game, the press decided to inform us Didier Drogba would rather take his aerodynamic ability elsewhere. Now of course this wasn’t exactly ‘news’ to anyone since he’s talked about it often enough this season, the actual ‘news’ was that apparently he’d already agreed a three-year deal with AC Milan. A little dubious, since he still has two years left on his current contract with Chelsea, so unsurprisingly, Ancelotti was quick to deny this particular piece of gossip. Whether Ancelotti would actually be party to any deal though, with his own future looking about as strong as a Liverpool title challenge, is another matter.

The Ivorian himself, who’s clearly about as subtle as a brick, previously informed the gentlemen of the press – and yes Didier, that means the rest of the world too – that he didn’t want to leave Marseille in the first place. Chelsea, on the other hand, he’s wanted to leave at the end of every season (if only his ability to stay on his feet was as consistent). On this latest rumour though, he’s unusually tight-lipped, refusing to deny or confirm next season’s club of choice. Having issued his demand to be subbed on Sunday, later limping his way round a lap of honour complete with ice pack on his knee, Drogba has reassured us he will be fit for the Champions League final. “No-one wants to miss this gigantic match, the match of our careers” he says. “That’s the case for me anyway”. Of course he won’t miss it, this one’s important to him.

But what about after Moscow? Will his decision depend on the outcome of that game or is his mind already made up? Maybe it’s time he moved on anyway?

From the day Mourinho left, Drogba’s looked half the player he was. Like Eric Large without Sid Little, Morcombe without Wise, or more to the point, Orville without Keith Harris, Drogba doesn’t seem to be able to function without Mourinho pulling his strings. The odd recent game aside, he’s looked listless, sulky and uncommitted since September. His behaviour both on the pitch and in the press has been nothing short of pantomime, from the “oh yes he will”, “oh no he won’t” (stay at Chelsea) saga, to his ongoing battles with the as yet unseen sniper in the crowd, he’s indefensible.

The fact that he’s made an outstanding contribution to Chelsea isn’t in question and I’m sure we wouldn’t have enjoyed quite as much success without him. At his best, he’s capable of defence splitting passes, holding up play, physically imposing himself and dominating a game, he’ll cross, he’ll score – from free-kicks to open play – in short, on a good day he’s capable of driving the team. Sadly, for far too much of this season though, he hasn’t even looked capable of driving a Morris Minor. He might still have turned up in the big games but he hasn’t fancied opponents at the bottom end of the table anywhere near as much. Add to that the handbags with half the staff and players inside Stamford Bridge and its evident the man’s ego is inflating faster than our transfer fees.

But, after four eventful years at Stamford Bridge, there’s every possibility he could be making his last appearance in a Chelsea shirt at the Luzhniki Stadium. So should the club do everything they can to get him to honour his contract, or take whatever money they can get for him and run? Personally, if he really wanted to stay at Chelsea, provided he’s prepared to put up and shut up, I’d be happy. Failing that, thanks very much and close the door on your way out!

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