HomeTeams - PLChelseaCan Drogba Still Do The Job For Chelsea At Old Trafford?

Can Drogba Still Do The Job For Chelsea At Old Trafford?

As Chelsea announced that Didier Drogba will be making a return to Stamford Bridge, it had the supporters feeling nostalgic, yet perplexed. Even though the memories of the night in Munich are fresh, when Drogba equalized for Chelsea against Bayern Munich to force the Champions League final into extra-time, and then clinched the game and the coveted European trophy with the winning penalty, it is rather confusing why the club brought him back. A legend of the highest order he may be, but based on cold logic, he was past his prime as a striker. But that was when he was expected to be second in the pecking order behind Costa and ahead of Torres.


However, with the unexpected, but welcome, loan of Torres to Milan, a spot opened up to bring in another striker, and acting promptly, Chelsea secured the services of Loic Remy from their local rivals QPR. Now it looked as if Drogba will be a safe third choice, taking minutes off the two in front of him in league or FA Cup games. His main influence was to be in the dressing room, for the gigantic presence he is. With the release of Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard, Chelsea’s dressing room lacked the influence of the old. Back in his first era, Mourinho had strong characters in the dressing room who had it in them to motivate their fellows and turn a 1-1 into a 2-1. In his quest to recreate the same winning aura of last time out, Mourinho again needed such personalities in the dressing room.

When rumours of Drogba being brought back initially surfaced, it was as an attacking coach for the youth. With a fine set of young forwards emerging from the academy, Drogba could take up the role of mentor to the kids and help them find their feet. Just imagine how much players like Patrick Bamford, Dominic Solanke and Islam Feruz would benefit from learning from a legend like Drogba. Therefore, a deal having Drogba as third choice striker, where he likely wouldn’t pick up many minutes, and as a mentor to the young forwards coming from the academy, was just about perfect from the club’s point of view. But, the way circumstances have unfolded leading up to this weekend’s game against Manchester United, Blues fans have been left wondering whether Drogba still has it to produce in the big game.

Chelsea’s star signing Diego Costa, who picked up an injury while playing for Spain, and Loic Remy, who got injured while scoring Chelsea’s first in the rout against NK Maribor, are expected to be out of the clash against the Red Devils. Barring a sudden twist in the plot, it might be Drogba’s time back in the limelight. But has he still got the bullying presence? Can he still have defenders swarming to him while space opens up for his teammates? That only time will tell, but if there was an occasion that demanded Drogba back at his rampaging best, then this will be it. Chelsea clearly do not have another option at center forward if the aforementioned duo don’t recover. And as things have unfolded so far this season, United just might be the perfect foil for Drogba to stage a proper comeback.

Against Everton and Leicester, the last two sides to genuinely threaten them, United showed a susceptibility to succumb to aerial balls. Lacking much height and aerial prowess in their line-up, United resemble the teams Drogba used to eat for breakfast in his heyday, thanks to his wonderful heading ability. Touted by many as the finest aerial presence of his generation, Drogba surely couldn’t have lost that bit of his arsenal. He, in tandem with Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic and Matic, possess enough aerial firepower to shoot down an F-22 bomber jet.

The writer of this article, RamStamford, is the manager at ChelseaIndex.com, a website dedicated to high quality statistical and tactical analysis of Chelsea’s matches and players. For all the Chelsea-related news and analyses, visit the site.


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