Carlo: Drogba has Blues future
Carlo Ancelotti insisted after the 3-1 win at West Brom that Didier Drogba does have a future at Chelsea despite Fernando Torres' arrival.
After being on the bench for Chelsea's Champions League quarter-final exit to Manchester United on Tuesday, Drogba was restored to the starting line-up at The Hawthorns and was almost unplayable.
Torres could only look on from the bench as Drogba proved he is back to his best towards the end of what has been a tough season.
The Ivorian poached the equaliser five minutes after Peter Odemwingie had given the Baggies the lead before playing a part in the two goals that followed to wrap up a 14th consecutive top-flight win over Albion.
Drogba, who has a year left on his contract following this season, has been mentioned as a player likely to move on over the summer as part of a clear-out.
However, the 33-year-old's display suggested to all, in particular Ancelotti, he still has plenty more to give at this level.
"As we know Didier had a problem with malaria and lost a few months when he was not 100%," said Ancelotti.
"But when he is, every time he is able to use his abilities, his power for the team, and he has a body that can continue for a long time.
"He has to continue to train well, be professional, because for a player who is 30-years-old, it is important he trains, to have good control of his body, and do everything to maintain his fitness."
Insistent Torres was not bought to replace Drogba, Ancelotti added: "They (the club) bought Torres because he is a fantastic striker, young, but this doesn't mean Didier has to go.
"He has been a very important player for the club in the past, and he will be for the club in the future."
Torres was restricted to an eight-minute cameo at the end of the game, extending his goal-less drought to 871 minutes after having one effort ruled out for offside.
Ancelotti again launched a defence of the player insistent he will score, with the hope that will be in the next game at home to Birmingham on Wednesday.
As for his own future, a source of considerable speculation over the last few days, the Italian again stated he is simply waiting on a decision from owner Roman Abramovich.
"I have a contract, but I know very well we were not good enough this season," added Ancelotti, whose side have cut the gap to leaders Manchester United to eight points.
"I hope we can finish well this season, win all our last six games, and after that the club will take a decision."
Albion boss Roy Hodgson had no complaints with the loss, his first after a six-game unbeaten run to start his tenure in charge.
Up until the halfway point of the first half West Brom certainly deserved their lead, but after that it was one-way traffic and the home side were fortunate the scoreline was not more emphatic.
"Now we have to learn how to lose," said Hodgson.
"We've had a wonderful spell, and when you have that, you forget what losing is like, so today we have to come to terms with that again.
"When you face Chelsea you know they are one of the tightest teams in the league, one of the hardest teams to score against.
"So facing a second half when they are two goals better than you, you are staring down the barrel of a gun.
"The positives I take are that in the second half we came out and fought very hard.
"We at least made certain our goal difference remains reasonable and that we didn't get absolutely battered by a Chelsea side that are capable of doing that."