Scapegoat Drogba axed from team

By Paul Lagan
Last updated : 14 January 2009

Didier Drogba's axing from the Chelsea squad tonight at Southend could prove a defining moment in the managerial career at Stamford Bridge of Luiz Scolari.
The ever-increasing pressure heaped upon the affable Brazilian - a result of some disasterous results has seen the manager wield the axe on Drogba.

Drogba has become an easy target for invective by some quarters in recent weeks and Scolari has made him the scapegoat.

It's hoped that fans' ire at the capitulation to Manchester United will be drawn away from Scolari and onto Drogba.
Of course, this tactic is used in commonly in politics with limited effect and it's now entering the sporting arena.
The Ivory Coast striker is the one to suffer where it hurts him most by not playing.
It will have shaken him hard and he might well be thinking that his time at Chelsea is up.
It's believed that French side Marseilles have put in a derisory bid for Drogba which has been rejected.

Scolari has suffered from an image problem ever since he arrived at SW6.
His attempts to speak English at press conferences are laudable.

The press warmed to the man who had once won the World Cup. They were watchful of him in order to establish what was the secret of his success.

However his perceived ramblings in recent weeks, repeating that work on the training ground will solve their problems had become something of a joke.

The press sensed vulnerability and smelt blood and they were going for it.

Whether Scolari has being advised to change tactic - once a friend to all and a father who everyone loved - to the now angry parent who is getting tough with his kids - I don't know for sure.

However, if true, these strategic changes won't convince the press. They were not fooled before so they won't be now.

Results is all that those who run Chelsea the brand can understand, and Scolari's fate is as precarious today as it was on the weekend.

Chelsea Match Reports


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