Whether it’s in muddy parks every Sunday afternoon or on the pristine turf of the Premier League you always get big-game strikers and big-match chokers.
The ‘chokers’ aren’t bad players (as they normally score a hatful against the lesser sides) but they tend to go missing when things are tight and when you need them most. From experience this species of player is normally less talented than they are generally perceived to be.
In contrast, you also get strikers who find it difficult to motivate themselves week in, week out, yet often produce their best performances when it matters most. These players are a source of frustration for managers at every level but they are also worth their weight in gold. From experience they are the most gifted players.
Was I describing Nicolas Anelka in paragraph two and Didier Drogba in paragraph three?
I think perhaps I was.
After all, when Big Phil Scolari needed a goal against Man United, Roma, Liverpool and Arsenal his 14-goal French top scorer failed to deliver. Avram Grant might also recall Anelka drawing blanks in six outings against the rest of the big three last year too.
Didier Drogba is a different animal on the other hand, scoring eight goals against those sides over the last two seasons — as well as whole host of other key European goals.
All of which begs my original question. Who is more deserving of the two to lead Chelsea’s line? Should it be 2008/09’s most prolific marksman Anelka or a fit-again Drogba?
I am clear in my view as to who I’d rather have in my team — and that is the Ivorian. He’s got to be undisputed number one.
They’re both moody, both likely to look elsewhere when things go pear-shaped and luckily for the Blues they are both very good.
But the way Scolari sets up his team — only one of them can play. Come on Chelsea fans, who should it be?