Ancelotti wants Drogba’s best

The Ivorian striker has been short of his razor-sharp best this

season, with just five Premier League goals plundered since an

opening day hat-trick against West Brom. He has spent a spell on

the sidelines during that time, with it later revealed that he was

suffering from malaria. Drogba has, however, shaken off that

ailment and was among the goals again in Chelsea’s last outing

against Tottenham. Ancelotti hopes the confidence he will take from

that game, despite missing a crucial penalty, will see him back on

top of his game after Christmas. “Obviously we need him to get back

to his performances of last year,” the Italian coach said in the

News of the World. “There was a lot of time that he was not able to

score so I think the goal against Tottenham was very good for his

attitude.” Ancelotti has also played down reports of a rift between

himself and his star striker, with some suggesting that Drogba’s

celebration against Spurs was a thinly-veiled dig at his boss for

leaving him o the bench. “I am not interested if it was against me

or against the fans,” said the Blues boss on Drogba’s strut. “It

doesn’t matter. What matters is the fact he played well and that he

reacted well when he came on. “I spoke with him a lot of times

because I understood he was not in condition, that he has

difficulty to play with malaria because he was not 100 per cent

fit. “When he had the problem Didier was very clear with me. He

said, ‘I am not 100 per cent, I am not able to play at my best’.

“He was tired, he had difficulty training but I put him in the last

game because we needed to have his character, we needed to have his

personality. “In the games without him we play differently. We

could not use his power up front. It’s a different team without

him. “Last year he scored 37 goals which were all very important

for our season. “A lot of times he didn’t play so well but he was

still able to score in nearly every game.”