Ivory Coast manager Sabri Lamouchi has sent out a warning to former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba saying that the 36-year-old should not take his first-team spot in the team as a guarantee. Drogba is expected to be a starter at the World Cup 2014 for the Ivory Coast team, who start the campaign with a match against Japan. After years of underachievement even with the likes of Drogba leading the line, it looks like Lamouchi is ready to adopt a different approach. Further, at 36 years of age, Drogba is past the peak of his career.
This coupled with a lack of a club in the summer is likely to put Drogba as the second choice striker in the team. Unlike in previous years, Ivory Coast have a wealth of strikers capable of replacing Drogba. Swansea frontman Wilfried Bony is one of them. Bony comes under the World Cup on the back of an impressive season with Swansea in which he scored more than 20 goals. In contrast, Drogba has struggled to live up to his expectations at Galatasaray. He has left the Turkish club after his contract came to an end. Lamouchi says that reputation alone will not be enough for Drogba to get a first-team spot and that he has to show he is worthy of it.
“There is no favouritism here. Before me, nobody had dared put Didier or Kolo (Toure) on the bench. I did it against Tunisia and we won 3-0. It was not to assert my power, but just to show that at certain moments, status is not enough. Some said that I was brave, others that I was crazy. This is certainly proof that I am under no pressure to pick certain names. I don’t want to treat my players like that,” said the Ivory Coast boss.