Didier Drogba yesterday heaped more pressure on his under-pressure manager Luiz Felipe Scolari when he complained that he does not understand why the Brazilian is "scared" to pick him and Nicolas Anelka in the same team. Drogba's future at the club is anything but certain and he has done Scolari no favours with yet another downbeat interview.
As usual, Drogba, who virtually refuses to speak to the English press, has used the French media for his latest grievances. Although he was speaking before Anelka was dropped on Sunday to make way for him, it will not make easy reading for Scolari. "For the moment, I just have to keep quiet," Drogba said on being left out the team.
"It's not because I've been here for more than four years that I have the right to demand the 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, 30, told France Football: "This summer, I didn't have a head for football anymore. I had completely lost my fire. I didn't want to hear talk of objectives or ambition anymore. I felt completely extinguished. 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."
The very public questioning of Scolari's tactics will not help Chelsea either. Officials at the club are currently trying to clamp down on reports that Scolari's tactics have been questioned by senior players, although that would appear to be exactly what Drogba has done in this interview. Scolari brought Anelka on to play alongside Drogba after 30 minutes on Sunday but only after Florent Malouda substituted himself with a hamstring injury.
On Sunday, Chelsea fans sang Drogba's name but the striker, who was sent off in last season's Champions League final against Manchester United, would not categorically rule out the possibility of joining Jose Mourinho at Internazionale. Instead, he said: "I'm going to let myself be carried by events. I could plant myself here, but I have the impression that in 2009 good things will happen for me. Without doubt there will also be surprises."
Nevertheless, Frank Lampard, who scored twice on Sunday in the 2-2 draw with Fulham and looks much more effective with Drogba in the side, said Chelsea were still confident they could win their third Premier League title.
"Of course we are, there is three points in it and we've got a very good squad of players," he said. "[Fulham] was frustrating because of the manner of losing the points with the last-minute header. We will go to Manchester United wanting to win the game.
"You only win titles with 'never-say-die' in your team. That is what Chelsea is all about. We've had it for the last years and we've still got it in there."