The passage of time from Didier Drogba’s opening goal in the Carling Cup game against Burnley, and the resumption of play afterwards, summed up the Ivorian’s character and temperament in a nutshell.

Played through by a Frank Lampard pass, he left two defenders behind and hit an expert finish into the net. It was a flash of the deadly player that had scored 33 goals in the 2006/2007 season.

Then, he revealed his less savoury side.

Picking up a coin thrown from the Burnley end of the ground, he picked it up and threw it back in.  

Consequently, Drogba has been charged with violent conduct and faces a ban. Jamie Carragher was handed a three game suspension when he did the same against Arsenal in 2002, and so Drogba should expect the same.

If I’m being honest, when it comes to Didier Drogba, such behaviour doesn’t surprise me.

He has always had that sort of side to his game. When he’s up for it and on form he is unplayable, but he turn and become a petulant liability that seems to act first and think later.

This is what he did when he slapped Nemanja Vidic in the 2008 Champions League Final. Provoked he may have been, but Drogba should have kept his emotions in check and focused on winning the game. Referees (rightly or wrongly) will give a red card for such an offence.

Drogba has always been a player who wears his heart on his sleeve. He can get quite emotional on the field, and sometimes this manifests itself in a positive way. He will cajole the crowd and fire them up and it seems to make him up his performance levels a bit more.

He has destroyed teams and changed games.

At Anfield in October 2006 he stole the show by setting up all four of Chelsea’s goals in an extraordinary 4-1 win against Liverpool. It was one of the best performances from a centre-forward I have ever seen. Drogba has scored goals in Carling and FA Cup finals, and always seems to turn it on against Arsenal.

But, unfortunately for Chelsea fans it seems as if he wont be able to repeat that feat due to another schizophrenic outburst that tempers his status as one of the best strikers in world football.

Comments

Funnily enough my initial reaction to the Drogba incident was that he misbehaved severely. However, when thinking of the numerous attacks on players and referees, there is an element of stupidity in the fans in the first place.

It is probably unacceptable to shout abuse at players and referees as a supporter, but the line must be drawn with "missile" incidents. If the FA is a regulatory body, then they should spend more time on catching those who made the initial attack (i.e. throwing a coin) than punishing the player. Use the cameras and CCTV footage available in grounds to make a decision and penalise those who did it.

Harry Redknapp's views on the subject sum this up perfectly for me on the BBC football website today. Frank Lampard, his nephew, also goes on to say that this would set a precedent for people like Drogba to be banned because of provocation, when although what Drogba did should not be condoned, it is those who commit the crime first of who should be investigated.

But, people such as Drogba should learn not to react. By giving the fingered "salute" at Burnley fans, he surely realised he was going to allow himself to be villified by the FA and rival football fans alike. If Sir Alex Ferguson's management of Wayne Rooney is anything to go by, since the Scot took Rooney from Everton, he has managed his petulant behaviour pretty well (i.e the numerous red cards he received for Everton and England in his early career) and this should be an example for Scolari to apply to Drogba. Although as Alan points out, this erratic player wouldn't be the player he is without his faults. I do agree that actions like those against Vidic were moronic, but I don't think Drogba can be entirely blamed for what happened on Wednesday night against Burnley. The same goes for Jamie Carragher's incident with Arsenal fans in 2002. Whilst Drogba should (and most probably will) receive a ban for his misconduct, like Carragher, the average football fan is a barbarian piece of shite in my opinion and has the IQ of Sarah Palin - which basically translates as six of one and half a dozen in my book. You have to issue punishment to both parties involved.

However, the main issue is for the FA to hunt those who committed the coin-throwing, ban them for life and then deal with the punishment for Drogba. If they have the equipment to implement life-time bans and authorise personal expulsions, why not use it? Luckily, we are not as unfortunate as in places like Italy where goalkeepers become victims of rocket missile attacks, like Dida for AC Milan a few seasons ago, but all the same action must be taken. Otherwise, unlucky victims like assistant referee Phil Sharp, who was hit with a coin last month in the Aston Villa v Portsmouth match, will continue to be wrongfully targeted.

By throwing coins at players like Drogba, it reminds of us how much fans envy their talents - but they show it in a cowardice, bullying way. If the player was Leon Cort of Stoke, this wouldn't have happened. So why should talent be rewarded with idiocy? Although, I don't think this will ever change, as it is within human nature to criticise when you cannot perform the actions criticised yourself. 

FA, please act now, rather than doing sweet FA.

I think Drogba should get a harsh punishment. Mainly because he could have caused a serious injury to someone in the crowd who had nothing to do with the incident. It's like if Stu threw a coin at me then I pick it up and throw it at Alan. The person who threw the coin should be found, but that doesn't take away the fact Drogba was also in the wrong. Drogba will publically made an example of because of who he is and more importantly a number of cameras caught him doing it.

6000 Burnley fans, 1 coin, you can't blame the FA or Police for not finding them. They do try their best, safety is everyones priority. 

I think the remark about intelligence of football fans is a bit harsh haha commonsense and wisdom I think are more accurate. Football is a passionate game and it is hard not to get caught up in it (not justifying the violence) but it is like another religion. You get abused for supporting the wrong team, it's ridiculous. Doesn't happen in other sports like Rugby or Cricket. Happens a lot with Religion though. 

Fair point Rob. I agree with you 90%.

The only thing I disagree with is that I think (excluding, you, me, Alan etc, i.e. those who possess brains as football fans) there are far too many who don't think before they act (like Drogba) and who are there to cause trouble. Although it will never change, I would like to honestly say that despite seeing opposition players celebrate in front of me at Chelsea games, I have not thrown coins (or anything else) at them and neither would I ever do that. So why do morons who spout crap, the type on Radio Five Live's 606 or Talksport's 505, feel the need to act like a three-year-old and react impulsively?

Albeit the current climate isn't like the old days of hooliganism, but there is a threat that minorities(including players, admittedly) of fans will revert the game in to a farce. Footballers aren't role models (even if they try to, but fail miserably), but it doesn't mean the fans should think they shouldn't be too.

To be honest, if fans want to get passionate at football matches, they should sing and chant at matches, rather than try and throw coins etc at players like Drogba, Fabregas, Ronaldo, Torres etc (albeit the last three are hypothetical). Although Drogba is wrong, supporters should not help (and I say help, as it is not entirely their fault, when idiots like Drogba get provoked) their cause by provoking players in the first place and bringing the game in to disrepute by realising they could get a player banned/charged as a consequence. Admittedly, Burnley had nothing great to gain from provoking Drogba (i.e. they don't play in the same league), but they're still contributing to his own downfall.

The sooner fans wised up (despite as I say the current climate nowhere near as bad as it used to be in the 70s, 80s etc) the better in my opinion.

Haha I like the religion comment by the way, very clever.

Admittedly I wouldn't like it if someone threw a coin at me by accident or wrongfully, with it hitting me in the face etc, but minorities cause trouble for the rest of us. That's why, perhaps the minority (rather than majority, as I remarked earlier) of football fans are morons.

 

 

The Schizophrenic Tendencies of Didier Drogba