“At 31, he’s playing the best football of his life. Bold, brash and beefy, he’s quick to turn a defender, positive in decision-making and lethal in front of goal.” Jonathan Pearce BBC football commentator speaking about Didier Drogba.
Think back to last May, when Didier Drogba caused huge controversy after Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final defeat at the hands of Barcelona. Feeling that many decisions had gone against Chelsea, after the final whistle he confronted referee Tom Henning Øvrebø, in what were some of the most petulant scenes I’ve ever seen on TV, certainly since Ronaldo’s diving.
Drogba received a yellow card for his outburst, and was recorded shouting “It’s a fucking disgrace” into a live television camera. On 17 June 2009 UEFA subsequently handed him a six game European ban with the final two games suspended.
It is without doubt that the ban has done him the world of good because we have seen a reformed character this season; Drogba is like a new man with a new lease of life. The Ivorian is in the form of his life having scored 12 goals in 14 appearances, and with the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti at Stamford Bridge, Drogba is once again getting the love and attention that he thrives on for the first time since the Jose Mourinho era.
Drogba joined Chelsea in 2004 for £24million becoming the most expensive player from the Ivory Coast in history, but over the past five years he’s has repaid the Blues.
He has scored more goals for Chelsea than any other foreign players and currently sits in ninth place on the leaderboard of Chelsea’s highest goal scorers of all time.
He is certainly returning to the heights of the 2005-06 season which was a huge personal success for Drogba as he hit 33 goals in all competitions, more than his tally in the previous two seasons combined, including 20 in the Premier League to win the Golden Boot. In doing so, he became the first Chelsea player since Kerry Dixon in 1984–85 to reach 30 goals in a season.
With the way he is playing at the moment he could well smash that record this season, from my point of view, this is possibly his last opportunity to shine, because at 31 it will be all down-hill from here. Drogba will be key to Chelsea’s title challenge this season, and if he can stay fit and keeping scoring at the rate he’s been scoring he could have another Premier League medal come the end of the season.
Keep up the good work Didier.