Didier Drogba's Diligence Delivers Warning To Chelsea's Challengers

illya mclellan@illya mclellan @illbehaviorNZSenior Analyst ISeptember 22, 2010

Those Hammers look a little worried.
Those Hammers look a little worried.Hamish Blair/Getty Images

Didier Drogba has bounced back from a disappointing World Cup tournament straight into the form that made him a key figure in Chelsea's run to last season's title.

So far in the League, he has scored five goals and laid on another five for his teammates. These are the sort of statistics that make difficult reading for his fellow big name players who find their form dipping—the likes of Wayne Rooney, Fernando Torres, etc.

Drogba has continued the rich vein of form which saw him last season plunder the EPL's defensive units for 29 goals and 10 assists in 31 starts last season—giving him the incredible statistics for his last 36 games of 34 goals and 15 assists.

This actually makes him responsible in some way for 51 goals in his last 36 Premier League appearances.

These statistics are absolutely outrageous. 

Drogba has turned around patchy form in the '08 and '09 campaigns to totally devastate the league, with displays of striking talent that have seen his team gain a stranglehold that, at this point, it seems they will not relinquish.

Funnily enough, this season his teammate Florent Malouda is currently outscoring him with six goals in the league.

Nevertheless, Drogba is the talisman that is firing this Chelsea team toward trophies and glory.

One of the remarkable things about Drogba is his ability to score goals whilst still laying them on for others. This is something only really great talents are able to do, as both of these abilities require distinctive spatial awareness.

In the scoring of goals, a striker weighs up his option in scoring the goal himself in split seconds, and then he either scores it or doesn't.

The same is true for someone who lays a goal on; they frequently see the opportunity for the other player and then have to time it to within seconds so the chance is not wasted.

A striker able to consistently do both is a manager's dream, and the type of player who can power a team's morale to incredible levels.

Another outstanding point in Drogba's favor is his remarkably low profile off-field. When do you hear about him crashing cars? Bedding prostitutes? Punching people out in bars? You don't.

The reason you don't is because he seems to be so diligent in maintaining his focus and physical capacity that he has little time for overindulgence in the various trappings (or traps, you might say) of modern professional football.

The consistently astonishing displays he has been putting out see Chelsea topping the table again, the position they finished last season in, and it is difficult to see in the chasing pack a side that will be able to overhaul them.

They look almost effortlessly better than anyone they have faced in the league so far, and Drogba has recently stated that he wants to go for the quadruple this season.

To hear your most influential player saying things like this only bodes well for those who follow this side, and those who do could well be in for another good year if this is the prevailing attitude of the team. 

This weekend, they face Manchester City at Eastlands—a fixture they lost last season in a moment that actually brought some life back to a title race that looked to be heading for a rather tame finale.

If City have any chance this weekend, they will want to keep an eye on Drogba. With his deceptively quick turn of pace and wonderful close control, coupled with a precision eye for goal and for telling passes, he is someone that can be the difference between champions and also-rans.

This weekend will provide him and his team with a good test of their credentials; though, as last season proved, it is about consistent performance rather than the flash in the pan output of their opponents.

Drogba is still looking close to being the best striker in the world at present, and his menacing skill and power is something that most teams in the league find too difficult to deal with.

Expect Chelsea to win the league again this season. They just look too strong and well-organised, similar to Alexander the Great's forces at the battle of Gaugamela—destroying the massed opponents with precise training and tactics brought to bear with clinical efficiency.

With Drogba in such imperious condition, it would be a fairly safe bet to have him at golden boot as well.