I don’t know about anyone else, but I expected Drogba to be called back for yesterday’s game. Not that I’d have played him if I was in Scolari’s shoes mind you, I’d probably have dropped him a lot sooner to be honest, I just didn’t expect Scolari to leave him out of the squad for a league game. Fair play to the Chelsea boss though, he’s obviously got the courage of his convictions and told the Ivorian his services – such that they are this season – wouldn’t be required again.
A pretty brave decision from the Brazilian it has to be said, he already knew going into the game that he wouldn’t have either Deco or Joe Cole available, however, he decided a couple of Chelsea youngsters could offer him more than the mardy arsed Drogba could on this occasion.
It irritates me that whilst he puts young players on the bench, he leaves them there for an eternity before bringing them on, particularly when you see how well Di Santo did when he eventually got the opportunity and even Stoch did a decent job but I suppose it’s a start.
After the game, on his decision to drop Drogba in favour of a bit of youth, Scolari stated “Di Santo is a young boy. He came on the pitch and helped us. Miroslav Stoch is a young boy and he helped us. This is the way for Chelsea in this moment. I didn’t have Drogba on the bench, I had Stoch and Di Santo and they give to me what I want. It was my choice not to have Drogba. He is training every day and it is only my choice. Maybe next week, I choose him to play or stay with us in the 18 players. It is a choice of mine, that’s all. I don’t have anything against Drogba or any player at the club. I have to follow the idea of the board and my idea for the future of Chelsea. I am the coach and it was my choice and today two young kids offered me more than Didier.”
Whilst on the way things will be in the future, the Chelsea boss says “This is the time for everyone to play as a group, as a spirit and as a love to Chelsea or it’s the time to change club. We need to fight together until 27 May [the date for the Champions League final]. If not, now is the time to change. I don’t just mean Drogba, I mean all my players. Up to the end of January is the time to transfer. If not transfer, need to play, to love Chelsea. We need players with heart. At Southend, we won not because we played fantastically but because we love, we want. When we have this [heart] … we are very good as a technical team, we are better than other teams [but] this is the difference. We have fantastic technical players but we need spirit every game, every week, every day, every hour.”
And whilst he mentioned no names, his message to Didier Drogba both in his decision to leave him out again and in his words is very clear, when he says “I know many managers and assistants call players. Now is the time to call and buy. Not make a problem for me. I don’t make a problem for other coaches because I have ethics. Pay what the club wants and go. And if not go, stay here but stay because this job is very good and because he [the player] loves the club. Finish. If not, for any player, I have young players.”
I’m glad a Chelsea manager has finally noticed!