Football

Only few ‘100 Club’ members can match Drogba

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Drogba will leave a great legacy (©GettyImages)
Drogba will leave a great legacy (©GettyImages).

Didier Drogba’s goal against Stoke City was not only the winner, but also the Chelsea striker’s 100th in the Premier League.

It was quite a landmark for the Ivory Coast captain and seems fitting he should do so in what many believe to be his last season at Stamford Bridge.

He had already won a place in the hearts of Blues fans but has now got a place on a list of only 22 players.

What a list it is, with some of the true greats of the Premier League having reached such a milestone.

But how does Drogba compare to some of the others? Can it be said that his place on the list is a sign that he is one of the best strikers to have played in the competition?

Well, the record books certainly put forward a big case for him; he has won three Premier League titles, three FA Cups and two League Cups.

What is also notable is that he is the only African player to have made it on to the list, and the sixth player not from the British Isles.

On the list is former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke, who scored 123 goals in total, turning out for Aston Villa and, more latterly, Blackburn Rovers and Sunderland.

The Trinidad & Tobago striker has an impressive list of honours too, winning three Premier League titles, an FA Cup, two League Cup titles and a Champions League medal.

Yorke was part of the famous treble-winning United team and his main strike partner for them was Andy Cole – another name present.

However, Drogba seems to have something different to players such as these, an inherent nature for leadership and terrifying opposition defences in the middle of the last decade almost single-handedly.

Although, it would be foolish and short-sighted to suggest Yorke and Cole were not feared at all, but in a team with so many great players you couldn’t say they were talismanic as such.

There are only a few who have has the presence or the effect that the powerful striker was able to impress on others.

When you see names such as Jermain Defoe, Emile Heskey or Robbie Keane, you can acknowledge that they are good players and have been effective for the teams they played for, but there is not the same aura around them.

There are few who could claim to have a quality such as this, but two of the names near the top are two who most definitely possess it.

Alan Shearer is top by a long way with a staggering 260 goals for Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United, but his list of honours is slight and seems almost tragic that a player of such quality can only claim to have won a single Premier League title.

Shearer famously turned down United to go back to his spiritual home at St James’ Park and became the club’s most famous son, replacing the Manchester United bound Andy Cole who had scored a bucketful for the Geordies.

Thierry Henry of Arsenal is another who can lay claim to holding this power to drag a side to victory almost by himself.

It says something about the impact the French striker had when you see he has managed to score 176 goals in just eight seasons with the Gunners.

Drogba joins Henry and Mattew Le Tissier (102) as the only three players to make the landmark tally with a single club, which goes some way to highlighting the quality they were able to produce so consistently.

Many on the list are there because of longevity and playing in the league for a number of different clubs, but Drogba’s eight seasons of plying his trade mean he has been consistently brilliant.

The 34-year-old has had injury problems in the last couple of seasons, as well as becoming less effective as he grew older.

That is perfectly normal, but his goal against Stoke showed that he still has the movement and touch to be devastating in the box and could be the key to the salvation of Chelsea’s season.

Although he may be only joint 21st on the list with Darren Bent, the importance of his goals would mean few in the ‘100 Club’ could claim to have the dominance of a player who is most definitely one of the Premier League’s greats.

Topics:
Didier Drogba
Football
Chelsea
Premier League
Manchester United
Thierry Henry
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