MANCHESTER/ LONDON/ STOKE: Jose Mourinho believes Didier Drogba’s influence will continue to be felt at Chelsea even though the Ivory Coast forward has called time on his second spell with the Blues.
Drogba announced his intention to leave Stamford Bridge before the 3-1 victory over Sunderland on Sunday that ensured Mourinho’s side ended their title-winning campaign in fitting style before being presented with the trophy after the final whistle.
Blues’ boss Mourinho insists the veteran’s legacy will continue to be felt because of his impact on the development of the club’s younger players.
“For these players to know him, train with him, live with him, play with him, share with him is fantastic,” said Mourinho. “He was very, very good for these young people: Eden Hazard, Willian, Oscar. They learnt from a good example. His was a fantastic contribution this season.”
Rodgers faces anxious wait to discover fate
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers conceded his job could be on the line after Liverpool suffered their biggest defeat since 1963 in the Premier League in a humiliating 6-1 loss at Stoke.
“I have always said if the owners want me to go, I go. It is as simple as that. But I still feel I have a lot to offer here,” said the Northern Irishman. “Last season when everything was working well you have the support of everyone, but performances like today do not help you. I am fully aware of that.”
Rodgers experienced the full ire of the travelling supporters as he walked to the tunnel at half-time with his side 5-0 down, and he was in remorseful mood afterwards.
“To start with, it’s an apology. I think everybody, all the supporters connected with Liverpool, will — like us all — be embarrassed by that and they deserve an apology,” he added. “This season has been a tough season, and in particular towards the end. In this period now, we’ve come up short.”
Walcott central to Wenger’s plans for next season
Arsene Wenger expects hat-trick hero Theo Walcott to play more of a central role for Arsenal next season provided that fitness issues and contract negotiations are finally resolved.
“I’ve always said that Theo can play in the middle because he has good movement and good finishing. And he did that well today,” said Wenger. “He’s a good scorer but he has been out for nearly a year. And, in a football, that’s a long, long time to be back at your best, to regain your sharpness and confidence.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2015.
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