Has Didier Drogba Really Changed?

It seems as if ever since Didier Drogba arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2004, he’s wanted to leave – and he’s said so. It even looked as if he would this summer, with former boss Jose Mourinho bragging he could take any of our players he fancied when he took over at Inter during the summer.

However, as we all know, despite Drogba clearly wanting out, a transfer didn’t happen. And yesterday brought some rather unusual headlines from the Ivorian for a change, because this time, he’s saying he wants to stay.

Speaking at the launch of the English version of his autobiography, conveniently named Didier Drogba: The Autobiography, Drogba not only said he wants to see out his current contract but even talked about an extension that would see him finish his career at Stamford Bridge.

A little strange coming from a man who was drumming up trade for an autobiography in which he clearly stated his desire to leave. But Drogba now says “I am glad I stayed. Last year I said I wanted to leave and every season I have said I have wanted to leave but I am still here. This is the club which suits me best. This is the only club where I won all the titles I have now. I am happy to be here and to stay with my friends.”

So what of his general attitude and apparent apathy on the pitch last season then? Well, he explains last season by saying “Last year I was struggling to be 100 per cent. I was never 100 per cent fit last year even if I produced some good performances.” And yet, on his recent injury he says It is feeling good. I am working to be back on the pitch as soon as possible. I have set no targets but it will be a maximum of three weeks. I want to be back and fresh. The first few hours after I did it was really frustrating. But, when I knew the cruciate ligaments were safe and it was just a big twist of the knee and ankle, I was really happy and the frustration was gone.”

Drogba explains his change of heart by saying “When I was saying I wanted to leave, even if I went I didn’t know if I would find what I have here. I am not the kind of person who is scared of a new challenge, which is why I was saying that. But I don’t need to move. I would love to go until the end of my contract here, which is two years. It’s because of the relationship I have created with the players and the staff. And now with Felipe Scolari coming in, he is talking to the players. I like the way he is dealing with the players. That is important.”

So what is it that’s changed then? Well, according to the Ivorian, he has. When asked if this was the first time in his Chelsea career that he hasn’t wanted to get out of Stamford Bridge as quick as possible, he stated “It is, it is. I have changed, of course. And I am happy I have changed.”

And considering the proof version of his book is reported to have contained passages such as this:

‘I hope I am in my last year at Chelsea. I don’t know what the future holds for me but I let it be known I wish to leave because I want to start again from scratch, try something new but I will never forget what Chelsea have given me in terms of recognition. ‘Where I kissed the Chelsea badge after I scored, that gesture was for the fans. I don’t love the jersey. I love the supporters.’

……with a little subtle editing reported to have occurred before the launch of the English version, I for one bloody well hope he has changed.

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6 Responses

  1. am glad drogba decided to stay

  2. Everything thing he says has to be taken with a grain of salt. We have quite a few athletes with this type of behavior over here in the U.S. in our version of football. He says stuff without thinking it all the way through and in the end it’s all about Drogba. He will say what he needs to say to make it all about him. These are the types of athletes that you cannot attempt to figure out. They will twist and turn you emotionally for their whole career. Even while he is out injured, he will find a way to bring attention to himself.

    I think we need to stop caring where his heart is or if he’s changed. We should just hope that when he is on the pitch, he will play like he wants to win, even if he is just doing it for himself.

    With that being said, I really hope Drogba can regain form and show that he is still one of the best strikers in the world.

  3. I totally agree with that Spektral, having supported him wholeheartedly during his early days when he was getting a lot of stick and loving him when he turned that around and really gave us his all, I used to get pretty wound up about him last season and just wanted him out really. If he really did say that about the Chelsea shirt, then it’s just another of the unforgiveable things he’s done in a long list during his time at Stamford Bridge. Having said that, I just feel ambivalent about him now. If he gets his form back and does the job for us then that’s all it is – a job. On a personal level though, I’ll never consider him anything other than one of football’s mercenaries.

  4. I think that’s the right attitude to take. It’s just a job. Unfortunately, some (a lot?) players don’t care for the club as much as you do!

  5. […] every week for a year saying how much he wanted to leave? Did he put an autobiography together Drogba style, making a note in print of how little respect he had for the club’s shirt? No, he simply made a […]

  6. […] Drogba kisses his Chelsea shirt after scoring against Boro in October 2007. One year later he says: “I hope I am in my last year at Chelsea. Where I kissed the Chelsea badge after I scored, […]

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