Troubled Manchester City play maker Yaya Toure has announced his exit from the national team setup of Cote d’Ivoire.
The four-time African Player of the Year award winner announced his retirement from international football this week. The 33-year old former Barcelona player featured over one hundred times for Ivory Coast until his exit.
“Writing this note was probably the most difficult match of my life. After 14 years at the highest level, I’m sure this is the right time for me! The fact that I am 33 now, the intensity of training and the multitude of games are not the reasons why I am making this decision,” Yaya wrote.
After an underwhelming season last term, Yaya is on the sidelines since Pep Guardiola took over at the Etihad. There has been trading of words over Toure by the player’s agent and the Spanish tactician. On African level, despite Ivory Coast having a packed team of established superstars like former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, ex-Gunner Gervinho, former Liverpool defender Kolo Toure, former Arsenal player Eboue and others, it was in 2015 that they won their first African Cup of Nations title. Toure acknowledge this to be his precious memory in an Ivorian shirt.
Toure made his debut for his country in 2004. He was made the captain after Didier Drogba retired from international football after the 2014 World Cup. He won part of the 2009 UEFA Champions League-winning squad for Barcelona. He moved to England, and has built an enviable reputation ever since.
“I would like to say solemnly that I am stopping!” Toure wrote, dropping the bombshell. “With the Elephants, it was even more special. I learned to win for my country. That’s why I will always retain the pride in having achieved four African Golden Balls for the Ivory Coast,” Toure added.
Former Chelsea forward Didier Drogba has spoken for the first time about his incredible scoring record against Arsenal.
The former Ivory Coast international is regarded as one of the greatest African strikers to have graced the Premier League. He scored numerous goals against almost every opponent to set up Chelsea on the path towards three league titles and several other domestic honours. However, his record against Arsenal stands out from the crowd. Since Drogba became a Chelsea player, the blues enjoyed an impeccable record against the gunners after having previously suffered in the same fixture
The mighty forward once again continued his impeccable record against the gunners by scoring against them in a pre-season friendly for the MLS All-Stars. Drogba has featured against Arsenal in 16 games and he has now taken his tally to 16 goals. This time around, he had to beat his former teammate at Chelsea – Petr Cech – in order to score the goal. Even though Arsenal ended up winning the match due to a late winner, Drogba was happy to continue his incredible record against the gunners. He had no answer as to why he always manages to score against Arsene Wenger’s team; later, he said that he only had to thank good luck for this record.
“I don’t know, I don’t know, I want to say that I’m lucky but when you score 16 goals against them I don’t think it’s luck no more,” said the Chelsea forward after the latest goal against Arsenal. A few years ago, Wenger revealed that he turned down an opportunity to sign Drogba when he was still trying to make his name in French football. Chelsea snapped him up for £ 24 million from Marseille back in 2004 even when he was a raw and unfinished product. Drogba enjoyed his best years under the likes of Carlo Ancelotti.
First is Rob Holding playing at Arsenal FC. The 20-year old player has the opportunity due to the injury crisis that hit the defence. The centre half already had his debut when he featured in the pre season friendly game against the MLS All Stars in the United States. Coach Arsene Wenger said he was impressed with how he marked two-time former Chelsea forward Didier Drogba. Wenger said: “He reads the game well and understands what’s going on, anticipates well and that’s a quality at such a young age that you do not find a lot.” Holding was signed from Bolton for £2 million and is set to get Premier League matches as the injuries persist.
Ben Gibson of Middlesbrough is another defender set to take on EPL stars this term. The 23-year old player is a key player in the promotion-winning team from the English Championship. His left footedness for a centre half adds to his uniqueness.
West Ham United Reece Oxford was stunning when he played against Arsenal in the opening game of last season despite being just 16 years. There are a lot of queries if he would have more responsibilities under Slaven Bilic this season.
Everton recalled Matthew Pennington from laon on Walsall early in the last campaign as the defenders picked up injuries. He got a lot of first team plays, and has continued his decent campaign in the pre season. As John stones moves to Manchester City, Pennington is set to get more chances for The Toffees this term.
Former Chelsea talisman Didier Drogba still haunts Arsenal FC despite leaving the Premier League where he dominated for years.
The Ivory Coast international tormented Arsene Wenger and his side when everyone thought it was over. Drogba played against Wenger’s side for twelve years when he was at Chelsea FC – twice, and when he featured for Turkish side Galatasaray.
Drogba’s tally is now 16 goals in 16 games against the Emirates side. Arsenal won the game at the end courtesy of a goal from Chuba Akpom and Joel Campbell 2-1. The exhibition game was a much better effort from Arsenal compared to their effort against Lens which ended 1-1. The 38-year old was impressive for the team at San Jose but couldn’t bully the inexperienced defenders Rob Holding and Krystian Bielik as he would have when he was much younger.
After the game, Wenger said: “Drogba is a poacher. He can do that in the box. When I see him in the box, fighting with young defenders, I always think there is danger because you know that he can get the upper hand and score a goal. That’s what he did.”
With Per Mertesacker sidelined till 2017, the Gunners would need to find experienced defenders as the current crop seem too inexperienced for the forthcoming season which would be very competitive. Arsenal are set to play Mexican side Chivas in Los Angeles on Sunday. Wenger says he is focused on bringing the best out of the team. He added that the cheques clubs are signing to remain in the league is scary as they are all ambitious.
At the age of 38, Didier Drogba is an extremely experienced player who still manages to score goals and consistently perform at a high level which is something very surprising for a player in such an elevated age.
Drogba is currently performing for the MLS side Montreal Impact and the Ivorian attacker had the chance to be one of the players selected to perform in the MLS All-Star as they faced off with Arsenal on July 28 of the ongoing year.
The Ivorian forward was excited to perform in this game as he had previously talked in an interview and Drogba praised Arsenal’s Petr Cech as the veteran attacker voiced his excitement in being able to face off against his former Chelsea teammate as he said:
‘’He is a legend and a really good friend. We have been talking about this match and Petr Cech told me that he was going to come. We have a chat group which includes a few Chelsea players and we have all been talking about this match. I am excited and hope to score a goal or two’’
The match was played as scheduled on July 28th at the Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California.
Drogba did indeed manage to score a goal as he blasted a shot past his former teammate Petr Cech but it was Arsenal which came out on top with the victory as the final scoreboard displayed 2-1 in favor of the Premier League club.
This game was a memorable one for Didier Drogba as he scored a goal against Arsenal as he continues to prove his worth even at the age of 38 but there was something else that occurred which shows that even the most experienced of players can make mistakes as Drogba performed for Montreal Impact in a MLS match and he kicked a player with the referee standing only a few inches away.
For someone who has had a playing career which spans for over 15 years, it was a fairly novice mistake to make as the referee was right in front of him and Drogba decided to kick a player of D.C United who was already down on the ground and this lead to having the Ivorian player being removed from the field as he received a red card.
Didier Drogba said that he worked hard to reach where he is. He said that at the start of his career he was not regular in his performance. Someone once told him that it is no use being good on the training pitch if you cannot play like that in competitive matches. This is what prompted him to make changes to the way he plays. He had to improve his performance on the pitch to make sure that he was consistently playing at a high level.
Speaking about the Major League Soccer, he believes that the level of football has improved significantly during recent years, and he think that it will keep on improving. He said that the arrival of players such as David Villa and Kaka has significantly improved the level and that the level of local players has been increasing as well. He said that in the years to come, the Major League Soccer will become more competitive and that will be seen in the quality of the United States players.
Montréal Impact will be without Didier Drogba scored the game against Orlando City, according to the club in the latest fitness update.
The former Chelsea striker has suffered a hip flexor injury and has returned to London in order to recover. Drogba’s absence, however, is likely to help Dominic Oduro get a runaround in the first-team. After joining the Canadian outfit midway through last season, Drogba has been a major influence in the first-team even though he has not played much due to injuries. The club are aware that they should manage him in order to have him fit for the big games.
At 38 years of age, he may carry on playing for at least one more year before announcing his retirement. In fact, Drogba was linked with an early retirement in order to become a coach at Chelsea when the club had sacked Jose Mourinho towards the end of 2015. The impact Drogba has had on the team is evident from his record of four goals and three assists from just seven matches. He has contributed a goal every game either directly or through assists. Fellow African Dominic Oduro has also been in decent goal scoring form. He has four goals in 11 appearances, but doing well in the absence of Drogba can be a major boost.
“We all know Didier’s hurt. We’re going to a hostile place, but we also know (Orlando) will want to come forward and put pressure on us.But guess what happens when they do that? There’s space in behind,” saidOduro. “If (Drogba) is in the lineup, he has tendencies we need to exploit and when there are other players in the lineup, the way we play changes. If you have Oduro up top, who can get in behind, it’s different from Didier, who is better back to goal and holding up play and being more physical,” said manager Mauro Biello.
The Canadian Championship played Wednesday was a keenly contested match. Retired Ivory Coast international, Didier Drogba is the reason Montreal Impact have a second shot at the cup as they crashed 4-2 in the first leg of the tie against Toronto FC.
The series was almost over even in the first leg until Impact pushed and scored two away goals after they had allowed four earlier.
The end results would be very painful for Toronto FC who would have thought they had booked a straight ticket to next year’s CONCACAF’s Champions League with just the result from the nights.
The hosts were not any single one of their Designated Players unlike Impact, yet they mauled them until the last three minutes when the visitors forced the pair of goals, in a game they deployed their first team attackers.
Didier Drogba sent the cross that allowed Michael Salazar to head home with minutes from stoppage time. Same hero Drogba’s stoppage-time free kick beat Clint Irwin at the near post to give the Impact new life. The star player single handedly gave the team a lifeline ahead of the second leg.
At the post match interview, Montreal’s Mauro Biello said:
“It’s disappointing to come out that way. Toronto wanted it more. You could see in the first half. We were second to everything. We were too casual. It’s not like they controlled things. They just beat us to the ball. In the end, I’m happy we were able to come back. It gives us a boost and we have a series. It’s about continuing to improve defensively.”
Montreal were already two goals down before the referee blew the whistle for the first half in the game filled with fights and interruptions. The return leg is in Quebec next week and it already promises to be one tough encounter.
Didier Drogba says that his physical condition is improving and he may be ready to start the upcoming game for Montréal Impact.
So far, the former Ivory Coast international has been involved only as a substitute in the last two games. A sore knee has prevented Drogba from making an impact in the 2016 MLS campaign so far. The club also took a precaution with regard to the striker by not utilising him in the opening four matches since it was played on artificial pitches. Four out of the first five games for Montréal Impact were set to be played on the artificial pitches.
Due to cold weather the start of a campaign, clubs closer to Canada are forced to play indoors on plastic pitches. Drogba made his debut for the 2016 campaign by coming on as a substitute against FC Dallas. However, he was unable to prevent Montréal Impact from losing 2-0 in the game. His next appearance was also as a substitute against Chicago Fire. This time around, his presence was much more useful for the team as they managed 2-1 win over Chicago. This comeback victory was aided by the equaliser by Drogba. After scoring 11 goals in 11 appearances for the club last season, Drogba will be looking to play on a regular basis from here on.
“I’m improving. It was good to play those minutes, but now I need to push in the training sessions to make sure I’m ready to start.Maybe not 90 [minutes], but at least start and play 60 or 70. It depends how long I can rely on my legs. It’s a good rivalry, I can see our fans are really excited about it. A derby is there to be won. We have to win. But at the end the day it’s only three points,” said Drogba.
Former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku says that the expert advice from the likes of Ian Wright and Didier Drogba has been a major assistance towards improving his career.
Lukaku was dubbed as the next Drogba when he was coming through the ranks at Anderlecht. The Belgian international then joined Chelsea in the hope of living up to his tag name. Even though his time at Chelsea was unfruitful in terms of number of appearances, Lukaku developed as a player. He is now regarded as one of the top strikers in the Premier League – after 12 months of leaving Chelsea on a permanent basis.
Lukaku has just scored more than 25 goals during the 2015-16 campaign. More could be on the cards since Everton are involved in the latter stages of the FA Cup as well. The striker recently spoke about his desire to be involved in the Champions League once again. It has sparked speculation that clubs like Manchester United and Real Madrid could offer a massive contract for him. Only Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane have been able to score more than Lukaku. At 23 years of age, the striker has been able to dominate games already and he has attributed the advice from Drogba as a reason towards this improvement.
Lukaku played with Drogba for one season at Chelsea.“I think I answered the question well enough: ‘What can Romelu do, and what can’t he do?’ I spoke about it with Didier (Drogba) and Ian Wright; they gave me a few tips.I changed my game enormously since last year. I am sometimes too introverted. I’m too afraid to ask for the ball and try. If it does not work, I have to try again, continue until it works. This is what has increased my number of goals and assists,” said Lukaku.