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Is Didier Drogba the best forward in the Premier League?

It’s time for the impossible question of the week. Who is the best forward in the Premier League? Some people might say that Fernando Torres’ pace and clinical finishing makes him the sure fire choice for the majority. Others may claim that Wayne Rooney’s drive and determination set him apart from the rest. Several supporters may find that the craft and guile of Robin Van Persie is easy on the eye whilst biased Sunderland and Tottenham fans wouldn’t swap Darren Bent or Jermaine Defoe for anyone else.

However, there is one striker who is currently performing on a different level in my personal opinion. The life of Didier Drogba as a footballer has never been plain sailing. After taking his time to impress in France, he was snapped up for a pricey £24 million by Chelsea in 2004, which was seen as a large risk at the time. In Drogba’s initial months in England, he was often accused of cheating and trying to con referees into giving him free kicks and penalties. Drogba never helped his cause by publicly stating that he tries to win penalties throughout the course of a game.

Drogba 1

In patches during the last couple of years, his strength and aerial prowess have made him fairly unplayable. A lack of consistency combined with his tendency to fall out with his manager have stopped him making the progression from one of the best around to quite simply the best about.

Under Luis Scolari in 2008, Drogba found himself out of favour and quite often on the bench. When Guus Hiddink took over, the Ivory Coast striker seemed to find the form that had seen him justify his £24 million price tag. So far during the 09/10 campaign, Chelsea has scored 41 goals. 22 of those have either been scored by Drogba (12), laid on with an assist from the Ivorian (7) or scored from the penalty spot once he’s been brought down in the area (3). That means that 54% of the goals Chelsea have scored have come about at least because of Drogba’s direct involvement.

To make this more impressive, the striker hasn’t played in three of the Champions League games so far or in one of the Carling Cup ties against QPR. 34 goals have been scored in the matches that Drogba has played in. Therefore, that means a staggering 65% of Chelsea’s goals have come as a result of Drogba when he is in the team.

Drogba 2

In the past, some wild antics and ridiculous behaviour has tarnished his reputation and overshadowed some rather impressive performances. Who could forget the forward’s furious referee rant caught live on television after Chelsea were eliminated from the Champions League last season against Barcelona. So far under Carlo Ancelotti, Drogba has avoided any controversy which is probably a large reason why he is in the form of his life.

Not everybody will agree with that assessment as football is a game of opinions. Different characteristics in a player’s game appeal to different people. In truth, there is no right or wrong answer to the argument of who is the best striker in the Premier League, as long as you can make an argument of course. Traditional supporters may make a case for Kevin Davies’ physical style of play as being a rarity these days. Nothing is ever set in football and this time next week, the whole country may be talking about a superb hat-trick or berating a star’s fall from grace.

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  1. peter smith

    9 November, 2009 at 04:19

    Drogba is going to do Evans – he got done. Too bad – he is a diving whinging Chelski mercenary.
    Whatever, the ref did in the better team – wait for May and then you will see.
    Obvious who wears the shirt. Chelsea have one man _ tiny tears – yes him that slipped in 2008.

    Terry both you abd Drogba are dickheads

  2. Challenge Feedback

    9 November, 2009 at 20:18

    An interesting article Lee.

    * Very well written, flows well with no obvious errors
    * Statitiscal analysis is interesting and shows a good level of research
    * Well set out

    Things to work on:
    * I’d have given a bit more of the article over to the other candidates, it focuses very heavily on Drogba.

  3. Jay Oh

    25 January, 2010 at 22:26

    compelling but short article.
    I definitely enjoyed the drogba stats, i knew he was the team talisman, but i certainly didn’t know that he participated in THAT many goals.
    If I were you I would have focused a lot more on his opposition as the feedback stated.

    Torres, rooney, bent, defoe,RVP, these players are all in the running for the golden boot this year (maybe not RVP or torres due to injuries though)

    I’d also put more input on drogba’s OVERALL work ethic, primarily his focus on defense as well as his great teamwork with anelka this season, and lampard in seasons prior. I think out of all these players, none of them provide as much as Drogba does, and that was a great point you established, but you could definitely further the point that drogba does so much more than the archetypal striker, and that his overall contributions make him invaluable to his team, and quite possibly the best striker in the premiership if not the prototype for future strikers primarily with his blend of power, pace, aerial prowess, dribbling, reaction speed, defensive instinct, and set piece dominance, as well as good if not decent finishing.

  4. Jay Oh

    25 January, 2010 at 22:27

    also, how did peter smith’s comment pass moderation.. honestly…

  5. Leewilson

    25 January, 2010 at 22:46

    Thanks Jay.

    I had a word limit though or I probably would have expanded a bit more on his opponents 🙂

  6. Allen

    29 January, 2010 at 03:33

    Torres,rooney,bent,defoe,RVP,Van Persie,Adebayor,Tevez,Saha, Non of these guys work hard for there team as Drogba does for his team. Drogba is not only a scorer but also a a difensive player as well. You wont know how hard is that till you see yourself doing that. All the other forwards and strikes dont play defense and at the same time the play forward or strike. Maybe the only forward that does that just a little is F. Torres. Soccer is not all about scoring goals, it’s all about team work. Play together,work together,winning together, and score together,that’s team work. Scoring tons of goals when you are playing for a good team doesn’t mean you are good till you see yourself in a weaker team that’s when you will know. Drogba has been that playing for a weak French team but still he does well and still scored alot of goals,that’s when Chelsea saw him. So if you know you are a soccer fan or a soccer player please think before giving comments.

  7. yogibear111

    31 January, 2010 at 12:54

    I think Rooney and Tevez definatley do work harder for their team, their work rate is brilliant however Drogba is the best target man in the Prem and is probably the best goalscorer at the moment. That being said it is hard to compare strikers as they have different skills; Rooney and Tevez are bulldogs who run down the ball and give 110%, Torres is a compelte stiker who scores many goals but Drogba takes a little from both and is a great striker to have in our league.

  8. simon

    29 March, 2010 at 17:31

    drobga rocs he is the great so far in the english premiership.hail drogba

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