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Thanks for the Memories, Didier

Drogba leaves Chelsea for Shanghai

This week Didier Drogba made it official that he’s joining Shanghai Shenhua, where he’ll presumably finish out his remarkable playing career.  He first announced his Chelsea departure the week after the team’s amazing Champions League Final victory in which he scored the winning PK.  If he was going to leave Chelsea, it was understandably an ideal time to depart – going out on top as the hero (not only in the Final, but in several other crucial moments of the season).

If Chelsea hadn’t won the Champions League this year, perhaps Drogba would’ve pushed harder to strike a new deal with the club.  But since they won, he’s moving on to a new challenge.  I’m not sure what he finds appealing about Chinese soccer though.  If he was going to leave Chelsea, I wish he’d chosen MLS.

Drogba has been one of my favorite Chelsea players, but it’s hard to be bitter about his departure.  He seemed genuinely torn up about leaving.  Plus, in today’s transfer happy world, he stayed at Stamford Bridge longer (2004-2012) than a lot of players do at any club.

Chelsea will seem a bit strange for me without Drogba because he was a major reason I became a Blues fan in the first place.  He, along with Michael Essien and Michael Ballack, first really caught my eye during the 2006 World Cup.  Since all three of them played for Chelsea at the time, I quickly became partial to the Blues.

Drogba is a Chelsea legend.  It won’t be the same to tune in Saturdays and not see him in blue, muscling his way around the box, rifling shots from crazy angles.  But it sure was fun while it lasted!

What are your favorite Drogba moments as a Chelsea player?

Chelsea Transfer Rumors

Are Drogba and Essien on their way out?

Two of my favorite blues are Didier Drogba and Michael Essien.  They first caught my attention at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, playing for Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana respectively.  The fact that they both played for Chelsea FC was a primary reason I became such an avid Chelsea fan in the first place.  So the rumors that either or both of them could be sent to another club are disappointing to say the least.

I get it, soccer is obviously a business and difficult personnel decisions have to be made from time to time.  Unfortunately, players have a finite shelf life and clubs have to be strategic about when to transfer them.  Clubs can’t afford to be as sentimental toward players as fans are.

I know this is tainted with sentiment, but I really don’t think it’s time to let go of Drogba or Essien.  Both underperformed last season, but Drogba in particular surged in the last month or so (maybe it was the competition for his spot with Torres).  They’ve both got plenty of good soccer left in them, even if Drogba’s is more of a substitute role next season.  According to a report today, Essien’s agent says Essien is not leaving Chelsea.  Hope that’s true!  As for Drogba, his former club Marseille seem pretty interested

Which Chelsea squad members would you transfer, if any?