There have been justified rumblings lately about whether Drogba is, gasp, on the chopping board. I do not hide my admiration for the Ivorian legend and the fact he has recently played games while suffering with malaria (presumably caught while doing his extensive charity work) only increases Drogba’s legend. However – perhaps unfortunately – there are no points awarded for bravery or good deeds and so we must brush aside our personal feelings and look at the cold hard stats (cue half the readers screaming that I am unable to do this Fabregas on a weekly basis . . . and me having no response).
First things first, Drogba has really had two separate seasons already this year, or for the cliché lovers he’s been a ‘game of two halves’. The first five games were all quality starts (6 points or more) and he amassed an insane 55 points, including 5 goals 5 assists and 11 bonus points: perhaps the best 5 game run of any fantasy player in history (cue Ronaldo looking up suddenly from his tanning bed in Madrid and pointing out his awesome form at United). Since then, he’s added just 19 points in 7 gameweeks with just one goal in that period.
Is this trend worrying? Of course. However, in those 7 GWs he missed one game, was a half time sub in another and a third was away at a very defensive City side. In two of the games he added 6 points (once through a goal and once through an assist and bonus points) which means he has actually had just two games where he played 90 minutes and managed just 2 points without any extenuating circumstances. Oh wait, he had freaking malaria! Drogba confirmed to Reuters that he had been suffering from an unknown illness for over a month but now he knows the problem he should be clear in a matter of days.
Torres has had 5 games where he scored 3 points or less, Tevez 4 (plus one game missed) and Chamakh 7 (41 of his 57 points have come in 4 games). Granted Drogba is more expensive that this trio, but at a certain point you need to spend big on someone and with perennial favourites Lampard, Gerrard and even, dare I say, Fabregas struggling I still like Drogba to be right up there in total points when the season is done.
This is all not to say I am totally unconcerned by his struggles. At home to Sunderland is about as good of a game as it gets and if Drogba struggles (not just for goals but for form) then I will then entertain more strongly the thought of selling him with road trips to Birmingham, Newcastle, Tottenham and Arsenal all coming in the next 7 weeks. Until then though, I am willing to suffer through a small dip given the awesome highs Didier can provide (and yes he’s my captain this week).
[Despite all the above you can expect a speedy article on who to bring in for Drogba at about 1pm ET on Sunday if the game does not go well. As I said, there are no points awarded for a good heart]