FourFourTwo's 100 best foreign Premier League players ever: No.5, Didier Drogba
Didier was a man you’d go to war with – a real leader, which I think showed on the pitch. Eventually, anyway.
It took him a while to settle at Chelsea, probably a season to a season-and-a-half, and it took a while for the punters to take to him for whatever reason too.
Didier just a great guy, the lads loved him in the changing room, and when he went out on to the pitch you could always rely on him – not just for goals but to fight for you, to fight for the team
I can’t really put my finger on why that was the case – maybe he was adjusting to the pace of the game; he was playing in France with Marseille before us, which is a totally different league in terms of quality and energy compared with the Premier League. So maybe he was a bit raw when he first came in that respect, and it took the fans a while to warm to him as well.
But he was worth the wait, obviously. Didier just a great guy, the lads loved him in the changing room, and when he went out onto the pitch you could always rely on him – not just for goals but to fight for you, to fight for the team, to fight for the Chelsea shirt.
Away from the pitch I just remember him bouncing around everywhere – he was a massive joker in the dressing room, just a big personality. There were a lot in that dressing room like that actually.
And then were his goals. We were spoiled back then; Hernan Crespo, Adrian Mutu and Didier; then Eidur Gudjohnsen would play as a false striker, so we had so many brilliant options.
Me being a winger, you didn’t even have to look up sometimes and pick Didier out because you knew he’d be there. He could make a bad cross into a good cross – he really was an unbelievable player.
Interview: Chris Flanagan