Didier Drogba: Departing Without Disgrace

So, Chelsea have confirmed Didier Drogba will be leaving us when his contract runs out next month. Not unexpected given the story had already been broken in the French press this week but I guess official confirmation made it more real.

I won’t sugar-coat this too much because it’s not my way. Besides, I’m often our players’ biggest critic and Drogba was no exception.  In fact, I don’t think I ever expected to feel too much when the time came for him to go. I’ve been saying for the past season or two he couldn’t go on forever, he’s the wrong side of thirty and we’d had the best we were ever going to get out of him. Well, evidently I got that wrong.

Because after 8 years with Chelsea, his very last kick of a ball for us not only gave us more than we’d ever had before, it actually said more about the man than anyone could ever sum up in words.  We know from the statement that although the final decision may only just have come in the past couple of days, his departure had been known about really for a while – and yet, he’s continued to push himself harder every game in spite of that – not bad for a player they all call a mercenary eh?

It’s an accusation that’s been leveled at him from the minute we signed him although £24million seems an absolute bloody bargain for him now though looking back. Not that you could ever really put a price on his contribution to Chelsea over the past 8 seasons because the sort of memories he’s given us can’t be bought and in spite of my many gripes with him, the overriding memories I will keep of Didier Drogba will all be around what he did right rather than anything he may have got wrong. I’ll even consider his balance affliction with a wry smile.

Is all this because I’ve developed a selective memory though? Or because I want to paint a different picture to how it really was? To be honest, I couldn’t care less if that’s how it reads because for me, it’s more about finally being able to look back and truly appreciate Drogba’s contribution.

Yes, he may have been followed around by a persistent sniper, but what about his immense strength? Is there another striker in the world with his ability to out-muscle defenders? When Drogba got hold of the ball, there weren’t many who were going to win it off him through brute force alone. He might have had a tendency to throw the odd tantrum – I’m thinking about one specific time when him and Ballack almost had a fist-fight over a free-kick here – but what about the way his understanding with his team-mates afforded him so many scoring opportunities because he instinctively knew where they’d be placing the ball for him? And what about those goals he scored as a result? So many absolutely massive goals – and none more so than Munich. Yes, he may well have said he wanted to leave us more times than Liz Burton did Richard Taylor, but he went nowhere. In fact, year on year his commitment to Chelsea grew and when it came down to his very last game for us, he made sure it wasn’t a ‘fucking disgrace’.

Thank you Didier, for everything.

3 Responses to “Didier Drogba: Departing Without Disgrace”

  1. Why will anyone wants to disgrace him and for what reason will he be disgraced?

  2. Ocheme: It’s what drogba said after losing out to barcelona semi few years back coz of the referee.

  3. Drogba spoke for all of us when he said that….A true Chelsea legend, it took some balls for that penalty!!