"The machine started, and it didn’t stop" - Chelsea legend Petr Cech heaps praise on latest Premier League Hall Of Fame inductee

Peter Cech lauds latest Hall of Famer Didier Drogba
Peter Cech lauds latest Hall of Famer Didier Drogba

Chelsea legend Petr Cech has showered praise on fellow club icon Didier Drogba. He also shared the story of how the legendary goalscorer recovered from his slow start to life in England.

Drogba, who has become the latest Hall of Fame inductee alongside the likes of Sergio Aguero and Wayne Rooney, is a true-blue Chelsea icon. The Ivorian star joined the London club from Marseille for £24 million in 2004. He helped the Blues bag four Premier League titles and one Champions League trophy, among other honors, over his two spells at the club.

🚨 OFFICIEL ! Huit joueurs intègrent le Hall of Fame de la Premier League en 2022. 👏🇦🇷 Agüero🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Scholes🇨🇮 Drogba🇧🇪 Kompany🇩🇰 Schmeichel🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Wright🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Rooney🇫🇷 Vieira

Drogba helped Chelsea to the Premier League title in his debut season itself, scoring 10 goals in 26 appearances. Adjusting to the new league and dealing with a groin injury, the initial few months in England were tough on the African star.

However, through consistent efforts, he beat the odds and emerged as a force to be reckoned with. Recalling Drogba’s first season and the blinding spell that followed, Cech told Chelsea's club media:

“He started slower than some people expected. I think it was the difference between the leagues, because the Premier League was far more physical, and the referees had a different approach to it. You had to find a way to beat your opponents. Some teams at that time were really physical, with bigger, taller players than him.”

Cech added:

“He also injured his groin at the beginning and that held him back a little bit, but the moment he got going, nobody could stop him. The machine started, and it didn’t stop until he retired. We all know how he became a legend in this club, this league, and in world football.”

Drogba scored only twice in the first 15 games of the 2004-05 Premier League season, missing six matches due to a groin injury. The former striker then bagged eight goals, including two braces against Middlesbrough and Portsmouth, in the next 18 league matches he featured in. Overall, he played 381 games in all competitions for the Blues, registering 164 goals and 87 assists.

Romelu Lukaku cuts a frustrating figure in Chelsea’s defeat against Arsenal

Romelu Lukaku, who rejoined Chelsea from Inter Milan for a club-record fee of £97.5 million last summer, produced another sub-par showing in his latest Premier League outing.

In Wednesday’s (20 April) 4-2 defeat against Arsenal, the Belgian neither managed to get a shot on target nor did he create any goalscoring opportunities. He also lost four of his seven duels, completed only 12 passes, and lost possession four times.

If you ever feel useless just remember that Chelsea bought Lukaku two times and he flopped both times.

The stage was set for the former Inter man to do something of note against the Blues’ local rivals. Instead, he disappointed the club’s season ticket-holders at half-filled Stamford Bridge (due to sanctions) and went off to loud boos and jeers.

Following his abysmal outing against the north Londoners, it'd be surprising to see him start in the vital clash against West Ham United this Sunday (24 April).

Also Read: "He'd be overachieving" - Gary Neville points out what Erik ten Hag will need to achieve in his first two seasons as Manchester United boss

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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