DROGBA v ROONEY, WHO IS BEST?
CHELSEA and Manchester United will be looking to their talismanic front men to inspire victory.
Neither are one-man teams, but both Didier Drogba and Wayne Rooney have been in such devastating form this season that debate has already begun… just who is the better striker and who would you rather have in your team?
The case for Drogba: Chelsea’s Ivory Coast international has been a revelation already this season, scoring nine goals in the Premier League, just one behind Fer nando Torres, who tops the chart.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men are leading the Premier League table thanks in large part to Drogba’s efforts. His strength and pace are his biggest assets and the ability to outmuscle even the most imposing centre-backs. And it’s not just banging in the goals that Drogba excels at. The Ivorian has the second highest number of assists this season too – eight, just one behind Arsenal playmaker Cesc Fabregas.
What they say:
Florent Malouda on Drogba:
“He has not changed, the fact he had a good pre-season without injuries can explain it ... he is really happy and enjoying his form at the moment.
“He is training harder than ever and had some rest because of the ban, but is now back in the competition and scoring goals. Even at this level he is working harder and harder.”
Patrice Evra on Drogba:
“We need to be strong because Drogba and Anelka are two big strikers. They are both so quick and strong.”
Carlo Ancelotti on Drogba:
“I don’t want to change him with any other striker. Didier is an important player for us.
“He is doing very well and we are happy. I’m very happy with his behaviour, and I hope he continues like this.”
Didier Drogba on Drogba:
“I think I am in the form of my life. A few years ago I was playing with the same confidence.
“It’s always easier when you are playing injury-free. I always say I am happy to be on the pitch and playing. I hope I can continue playing and feeling like this until the end of the season.”
The case for Rooney: Other than goalscorer, Wayne Rooney can be described as the consummate team player.
The England international will run himself into the ground for United, covering every blade of grass and chasing after every ball. As forwards go, Rooney is not only one of the most lethal, but also one of the most unselfish.
He has scored seven Premier League goals for United so far – just two behind Drogba – and although his assists don’t measure up to his rival – Rooney has just one to his name – his passing and pass completion rate is far superior to that of Drogba.
In the Premier League and Champions League combined, Rooney’s pass success is an impressive 73%, compared to 59% for Drogba who has often been de- scribed as lazy, failing to track back when the opposition have the ball. With Rooney, that criticism does not apply.
What they say:
Sir Alex Ferguson on Rooney: “He’s blessed with certain ingredients that only great footballers have. It’s the determination and hunger to win every match, every time he goes on the field, every training session.
“He’s blessed with that and it’ll never change for him. They’re wonderful things to take into football. We sometimes wonder with the criticism about what footballers get paid but when you see that effort he puts in, he’s worth every penny he’s paid because he plays as if he means it.”
Frank Lampard on Rooney: “Wayne is the most talented player I have ever played alongside.
“As a midfielder, as soon as I get on the ball I want to play it in behind the other team’s midfield or defence. I need someone to be ahead of that action, already getting into a good position. As you learn to play with Wayne, you realise that his awareness is exceptional. It’s his key strength.”
Fabio Capello on Rooney:
“I am very happy when Rooney plays. He is different to the other players and has always done well with the national team. He is a very big talent. He can do everything.” – The Telegraph
TEAM MAN: Wayne Rooney will run himself into the ground.
BIG THREAT: Didier Drogba is a handful for any defence.