Didier Drogba's Menacing Ambition Is Driving Chelsea to Title

illya mclellanSenior Analyst IFebruary 23, 2010

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 20:  Didier Drogba of Chelsea celbrates scoring the second goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea at Molineux on February 20, 2010 in Wolverhampton, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

This season at Chelsea, the desperate desire of the Londoners to finally break Fergie's vice like grip on the trophy and deliver it to their Russian master has sometimes caused sheer panic to break out on the pitch amongst the team.

This happened most notably away from Stamford Bridge and in the game against Wolves. There were moments when the team looked to be at the summit of success that every other team in the EPL strives to be. At times, Chelsea was forced to look to the last man at the back to save them on more occasions than their Italian gaffer, Ancellotti, would have liked.

At the other end of the field, though, is a man who most managers would build a team around. Didier Drogba has moved to a new level again this season. He threatens any team he comes up against with strength, power and a simmering menace that few defensive units have been able to contain.

Though Wayne Rooney (21 goals) actually leads the Ivorian on the golden boot list, the Englishman has had the benefit of four more games for his two-goal advantage.

With Drogba's goals on Saturday, the difference his contributions make for Chelsea are as immense as his ego seemed to be when he was threatening to leave the club last season.

This season, though, has seen a change in him. His determination and focus have been as acute as his razor-like prowess in front of goal—a sharpness that is able to reduce the most impenetrable defence to shreds with a rapier-like thrust into its heart.

His personal ambition seems clear: to cement his place as one of the great strikers of his generation. His ambition as a Chelsea player is interwoven with this in such a way that the two become almost indistinguishable. This season, Chelsea seems to really believe they are ready to take the title back from Manchester for the first time in three years.

Sir Alex Ferguson's United have stumbled again, after being made to look like mid-table fodder by an Everton team that David Moyes has built and rebuilt like an obsessive mechanic who will not stop until his automobile is perfect.

Such perfectionism is easy to associate with tenacious Scotsmen. Evidenced by Drogba's season so far, it is not so difficult to associate it with the Ivorian star either. For the most part, his play has been not far from immaculate. His teammates owe him a debt of gratitude for the fear that he puts in the opposition by his mere presence on the team sheet.

When one player on a star-laden team such as Chelsea can become the focus of so much attention from a defence, his teammates are easily able to exploit space. In the disarray that follows such moments, they can often pick out the very player the opponents were so concerned with and deliver him an opportunity, which he graciously accepts.

In football, there is nothing quite like a goal scorer. No matter what anyone says, the object of the game is putting the ball between the sticks and into the back of the net.

Didier Drogba no doubt wants to look back on this season with the full compliment of pride in his memory banks. He is doing his utmost to make this happen, judging by the subtle intensity he brings to the field. At times he seems disinterested, coasting through a moment of possession, receiving the ball and laying it nonchalantly back to a teammate. 

However, this is just before he strikes: the defender slows for a moment, quizzically studying the slow and languid movement of his opponent.

It is then that he realizes too late he has been taken in. The ruthless Ivorian takes the merest moment of distraction and nips in to stick a toe in and wheel away for another gratuitous celebration.

Chelsea need Drogba and Drogba needs Chelsea, for the next few months anyway. His ruthlessly pragmatic ambition is driving him and his team to the title.

It will be only a brave, or maybe crazy, man who stands in his way.