I think just about everything I’ve written about Drogba over the past couple of months has been written with the assumption the Ivorian wouldn’t be at Chelsea next season. Maybe I should have known better given his track record of changing his mind as often as we change managers? Because the indecisive front-man is back in the headlines again, hinting that his Chelsea career isn’t as close to the end as some of us had thought.
For this week at least, Drogba seems to be suggesting he hasn’t got any plans to make the expected move to Milan. Despite interest from both sides of the San Siro, and the boss he openly admits he was gutted to lose being one of those interested parties, the striker doesn’t seem in quite the same hurry to go through the Stamford Bridge exit as he did a few weeks ago, saying “Mourinho is my friend and I am happy for him because he was missing coaching. He is a top coach but, my contract here runs until 2010. So I am still a Chelsea player.”
I’m not sure, as the papers seem to be saying, that statement equates to him ‘committing his future’ to Chelsea. So where has this apparent change of heart come from or is it just a cover in light of Chelsea making it clear this week they haven’t given anyone permission to speak to him (or anyone else for that matter)? Has he really seen the error of his ways or will next week see stories of him flying out to Italy? Call me a cynic, but I’d say if anything, it’s just covering his arse in case Milan don’t stump up the cash and he’s forced to stay at Stamford Bridge. Because, let’s be honest, since his arrival in 2004, he’s been leaving every summer and he’s never been the same player for us since Mourinho’s departure. But maybe I’m wrong and Scolari’s appointment has really forced the former Marseille striker to ‘rediscover his passion’ for Chelsea?
He’s certainly talking the talk right now and whilst back in the Ivory Coast doing a promotional campaign for his autobiography, seems to have spent some time reflecting on his appalling behaviour in the Champions League final. On the red card incident that certainly didn’t enamour him to the watching millions, Drogba says “I am really disappointed with myself. I lost my head completely and I let the team down. I should not have reacted in that way. I let myself down, the Chelsea fans, my homeland – but that is life.”
And it’s statements like that, that convince me nothing’s changed with this particular player’s attitude at all. He cocks up in the biggest game in Chelsea’s history, but that’s life. Even after he’s suggested he’s sorry for slapping Vidic, for absolutely no reason at all let’s not forget, in rueing a season with no silverware whatsoever, it still comes down to ‘Didier Drogba’ winning nothing. With absolutely no signs of his ego deflating at all, he says “I have now lost three finals. One UEFA Cup, an African Nations Cup and now the Champions League, but that is football. Hopefully I will win the next one.”
Maybe so Didier, but it still remains to be seen where that’ll be exactly.