John Terry is in for the inevitable stick for his latest comments in the press. In the wake of Didier Drogba’s admission that his 8 year old son shamed him into getting his act together, the Chelsea captain has spoken out in defence of the Ivorian’s Champions League rant.
Drogba had an initial 6 game European ban reduced to 3 games and Chelsea were ordered to pay £85,000 after ‘that game’ against Barcelona although strangely enough, the man responsible for lighting the touch paper – Tom Henning Ovrebo – got away with little more than a spray of saliva and battered eardrums.
Anyway, fighting Drogba’s corner, the Chelsea captain says “From a Chelsea point of view, I love the way Didier reacted there. When he lost his rag after the (Barcelona) game, that is because he cares about this football club. Didier’s love for the club and the passion he shows for our football club is unbelievable and I can’t stress that any higher. When we lose a game there is no-one more disappointed than him. He shows his anger and his frustration. I’m sure if you are a Chelsea fan, maybe if you are sitting at home and you are watching that, maybe it is not good to see. But, at the same time, he cares about Chelsea Football Club and for people in it and the people running it, that is what they want. He has got passion that people don’t realise. People were quick to criticise him. But, for me, you see him in the dressing room and you see him on the training ground and you see him motivating the players and motivating himself. He really cares for this football club and for the people in charge to see that and reward him with a new contract was great and I think he is paying them back.”
Is Terry right though? I mean, he’s right when he says Drogba style rants aren’t necessarily what you want to see and I’m sure we’d be quick enough to slate opposition players for that sort of display. But is he right to say he ‘loves’ Drogba’s reaction? Well, watching the video back, I’d say ‘love’ might not be the right word to use but I’d certainly say I could ‘understand’ his reaction. Ok, so he lost the plot but I remember my review of that game wasn’t exactly the most rational piece of writing I’ve ever done either – it’s heat of the moment stuff and it happens.
In a way Terry’s right though, whether he gets battered for saying it or not – would a supporter rather see a player lose his head because he’s that passionate or would supporters prefer a nonchalant shrug of the shoulders when you’ve just been cheated so blatantly?
I suppose the fact that neither Drogba’s performance on the night nor his previous itchy foot syndrome were likely to have him marked down as your average passionate and committed player, so that doesn’t add much weight to his defence, although on that point, Terry says “I don’t think Didier was ever on his way out of the club. He loves this club. Chelsea fans, Chelsea players and the people around Chelsea never doubted Didier.” Again, I’m not sure I agree with JT, mainly because not just from what he was alleged to have said to the press or the way Drogba played (or didn’t play) last season, I certainly doubted his love for the club.
However, of the new-and-improved Drogba this season, Terry says “He has started the season unbelievably, he has been brilliant, so credit to him. Since we began pre-season training I stressed how important Didier was to this football club and he has started on fire. He is in great form. Apart from his goals, he does an awful lot for the team. He holds the ball and brings it down and his build-up play is second to none. For me, he is one of the best and most difficult strikers to play against in the world. There have been times when he has played well and the goals haven’t come and vice versa. But at the moment he is playing well and scoring goals, too. Obviously, we are going to miss him when he goes away after Christmas” – and I’m definitely not going to argue with that!