Roberto Di Matteo wants Chelsea to 'move on' from the Didier Drogba era
Friday 28 September 2012
Roberto Di Matteo today challenged Chelsea to prove they could “move on” from the Didier Drogba era in tomorrow's clash at Arsenal.
The European champions travel to the Emirates Stadium for the first big test of their Barclays Premier League title credentials this season.
And they will do so for the first time since Drogba quit the club this summer after eight years in which he terrorised their north London neighbours.
The striker scored 13 goals in 14 games against Arsenal, prompting Gunners boss Arsene Wenger to declare yesterday: "I don't know if Chelsea miss him, but we don't miss him."
Drogba became the ringleader as Chelsea repeatedly bullied Wenger's men following the Ivory Coast star's arrival at Stamford Bridge.
His departure has heralded a transformation in the way Chelsea play - indeed, they bear more resemblance to Arsenal now than they do to the team Drogba inspired to Champions League glory last season.
Manager Di Matteo said: "Didier Drogba has been a fantastic player for this club for many years, but we have to move on from that.
"That's the past. We're looking to the future now."
Di Matteo denied Chelsea would adopt a radically different approach tomorrow to that in the past, adding: "It's always a football game. You try to beat them by playing football."
Technically, Di Matteo is correct, but there is more than one way to do that, some see teams praised and some condemned.
"I loved my side last season as well," Di Matteo said.
"I think everybody likes different aspects of football.
"We were very successful last season and played some good football. You always focus on a couple of games, but we played some good stuff."
Latest in Sport
Hull v Arsenal: Arsene Wenger admits 'I am not in the best position' as contract uncertainty continues
West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker Dylan Tombides has died after battle with cancer
Monte Carlo Masters: Rafael Nadal infuriated by umpire's crackdown on his slow play
Manchester United transfer news: David Moyes watches Porto stars Eliaquim Mangala and Jackson Martinez as recruitment drive steps up a gear
Luis Suarez: Could Liverpool cash in on their star striker if they won the Premier League this season?
- 1 Are you turning into your dad? The top ten signs you've embraced dad-ism revealed as survey says 38 is age men turn into their father
- 2 Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back