As an asset Drobga is very high yield. He's arguably the most compete centre forward of the past decade, one of the best headers of the ball in the world, brilliant in defence, world class at winning direct balls then maintaining possession, excellent in link up and positioning, never underperforms in big games (outside of SB, the stadium Droggles has scored most at is Wembley), and can score goals for fun. Have I missed anything?
But Chelsea play more than 50 games a season, not all of these are equally important. And whilst Drogba is superb when fully motivated he's not always fully motivated - it was very funny to see him joking with Pardew after the second Cisse goal but honestly if that was an FA cup final we know he wouldn't have been so flippant. When Drogba is on the pitch we play much more directly which, whilst it isn't a bad thing, has hindered the tranisition of the team towards a new style. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing as this style of play works but it's going to work less and less as his abilities decline. And if we're not starting with Didier then using him as a substitute isn't going to work very well because it never has.
But there are two more important reasons for not renewing his contract:
1. Drogba costs a lot. Financial fairplay rules haven't counted his current contract of around £125,000 a week but they will once he renews. And that's a massive amount of money to make up through other revenue. Drogba has big political ambitions and will aim to use his final years to continue to make money for his foundation and for any future political moves, in a similar way to Samuel Eto'o. So he won't be comprimising on his salary. Given we have another striker who's earning even more than that can we really afford to keep both on?
2. Drogba eats competition. He always has done, whilst he's been at Chelsea we've had so many strikers - from Crespo, to Anelka, from Shevchenko to Torres - yet Drogba has always managed to make himself indispensible. As anyone who works knows that an enviable talent! But the reason this is important is that Torres also wants to be the key man - which is why the weird interview Pepe Reina did at the weekend held a grain of truth for me: Fernando Torres wants to be seen by the club as the best striker at Chelsea. Whilst Drogba is there I don't know if he can do that, especially as his team-mates (and manager) don't yet trust him at the big occaisions.
If Drogba does leave I think I might well up, for me he's been as central to our fortunes as Cech, Terry or Lampard and is a more iconic and charming figure than any of them. But I think for the good of the club and for his own future he should win us the Champions League and ride off into the sunset to Shanghai. To play under Nicolas Anelka. Wonderful.