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Drogba’s future in doubt
London, Dec 30 (Agencies):
Published on 31 Dec. 2008 12:48 AM IST
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Didier Drogba has cast doubt over his Chelsea future by admitting he felt depressed and lonely this summer. In a frank interview with France Football, Drogba claims Chelsea did not support him after his grandmother died and reveals how he felt lonely following the departures of his friends William Gallas, Claude Makelele and Geremi. Drogba has 18 months left on his contract, but his latest revelations will only add to the suspicion that he is ready to leave Chelsea. “I’m going to go with the flow. I could plant myself here, but I have the impression that in 2009, good things will happen for me,” he said. “Without doubt there will also be surprises.” Drogba’s unhappiness at Chelsea was laid bare following the departure of Jose Mourinho. Last season was a tough one for the Ivory Coast striker, who was criticised by fans and sent off in the Champions League final defeat to Manchester United. And he admitted the summer left him feeling “extinguished”. “This summer, I didn’t have a head for football anymore. I had completely lost my fire,” said Drogba. “For the first time in my career, I lost my passion for football. I was lost. “Last season could have been terrific and spectacular, in the end it was just a good season which left quite a few regrets.” With Drogba missing much of this season through injury and suspension, Nicolas Anelka has become Chelsea’s leading scorer. And though Drogba started against Fulham on Sunday, he feels he is no longer an automatic selection. “For the moment, I just have to keep quiet,” he said. “It’s not because I’ve been here for more than four years that I have the right to have demands on a status of starter. “At the moment there is a man who is scoring and who is piling up goals. I only have to wait my turn. “I have always said that I was happy that Nicolas came to Chelsea. But I still don’t understand why coaches are scared to play us together.” Drogba’s grandmother died in June, and the 30-year-old said he was hugely affected by that loss. “The hardest thing I had to endure this year wasn’t football related. The death of my grandmother completely struck me down, more than anything else. “I was very, very close to her and it really made me suffer. I had the feeling that all my childhood memories were going with her. I became old suddenly. “This made me ask a few questions to myself. I wondered what I was running after. “I said to myself that it was pretty useless to run after results, stats or rewards. “It’s true that I didn’t feel a great support. But that didn’t worry me really. For a few weeks I didn’t have my head tuned into football at all. Drogba also felt figures at Chelsea doubted him as he struggled for fitness earlier in the season, and admitted feeling lonely at the club. “After my injury I wasn’t really in a hurry to come back. I needed a break. “After four full years it’s normal that the body – and the mind – say stop. “I looked at my career. I was tired. But I have the conviction now that I can come back stronger. I am really hungry. “What opened my eyes was the way some people at the club looked at me. I really felt confidence wasn’t the same. “It wasn’t great to feel and I remarked that some of them didn’t really believe in my capacity to come back to the highest level. But I can’t be angry at them. Drogba added: “I felt lonely when the season started in July. Everybody was obsessed with winning their place in the team. “And I was stuck in the fitness room when the group left for a pre-season tour. I was alone with the machines. “I didn’t really have anyone to talk to. Every year I have been losing a close friend. “There was Geremi, then William Gallas, then Makelele. It’s a lot. I went through a big moment of loneliness.”

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