In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Didier Drgoba says he turned down a coaching job at Chelsea because he wanted to work on football development in his home country, Kurt Zouma lifts the lid on Olivier Giroud’s involvement in the dressing room and Shaka Hislop’s list of the biggest surprises of the Premier League season so far is dominated by Chelsea.
These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.
Drogba explains decision not to return to Chelsea
According to Metro, Didier Drogba turned down the opportunity to become part of the coaching team at Stamford Bridge in order to run for the position of president of the Ivory Coast Football Federation.
The 41-year-old Chelsea legend, who retired as a player late last year, has been canvassing support for his bid to take charge of the federation and admitted in a meeting in Abidjan that he opted to go for the job instead of returning to west London.
‘I had an offer to stay at Chelsea where everything would be perfect and conditions are met, but I want to help Ivorian football because I love it!’ said the former Ivory Coast captain.
‘I am a leader, and my vision is bigger than just the simple role of being a coach.
‘A coach has an impact on a club – but I want to have an impact on an entire nation. I want us to re-think football, with a nationwide vision, so we can develop the game here.
‘The Ivory Coast has a glorious footballing past. The funds are in place, together with talent and potential, but they are under-exploited.
‘There are some very competent people in the Ivory Coast who can work with me on this project.’
Zouma states admiration for Giroud
Speaking to Canal+, Kurt Zouma has praised Chelsea and France team-mate Olivier Giroud for continuing to work hard for the club despite his recent lack of playing time for the Blues.
The excellent form of Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi has seen the striker spend much of his time on the sidelines this season but Zouma insists he still remains an influential figure in the dressing room.
‘He is frustrated, he wants to play more. Like any football player, he wants to be on the pitch, but he is taking everything very calmly,’ said Zouma, as reported by the Mirror.
‘He is a professional, he works hard in training. I have a lot of respect for the player he is.
‘As someone in the dressing room, he is someone who gives advice to Tammy and Michy. He wants the best for the team, which is important, and it is why he is a good person.’
Lampard tops list of surprises
ESPN FC pundit Shaka Hislop has named Frank Lampard as his biggest surprise of the Premier League season so far with two of his players occupying second and third place on the list.
The former Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper said there was no question about his choice for top spot.
‘I thought this would be a season of struggle for Frank Lampard,’ he explained.
‘Managing a football club, particularly a Premier League club is hard work. It’s difficult to manage those teams especially given the restrictions that came with the Chelsea job, given the transfer ban.
‘Coming into this season, in my opinion, it was more likely that Chelsea would implode and be nearer the bottom or in mid-table. Now, we’re talking about a team that sits in the top three and are challenging the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League and continue to go great in the Champions League despite an uncertain start in that competition.
‘I don’t there’s any debate who has been the biggest surprise in the Premier League so far this season.’
Mason Mount was second on the list of surprises.
‘I know he’s a favourite of Frank Lampard, who was desperate to have him back at Chelsea and almost seemed to have built his team around him,’ said Hislop of the 20-year-old.
‘This kind of faith in Mason Mount seemed misplaced to me. Yet still, he has exceeded every single expectation.’
Striker Tammy Abraham was in third place.
‘Look at his record so far this season - simply outstanding and I think he has grown as this season has gone on,’ added Hislop.
‘It’s been not just a surprise, but a joy to witness over the course of the season.’