Didier Drogba has admitted for the first time that Fernando Torres's arrival from Liverpool was initially uncomfortable for him as his own place in the Chelsea team was threatened, but he now accepts that the manager will inevitably rotate the strikers.
Drogba played all of the game against FC Copenhagen in the 0–0 draw that confirmed Chelsea's place in tomorrow'sFriday's draw for the Champions League quarter- and semi-finals.
Torres began on the bench on Wednesday, replacing Nicolas Anelka late on, and Drogba said: "It's a new situation, but I've been in this situation before. It wasn't easy the first week [after Torres joined] but that's normal. Today I know that we're doing this for the best of the team. The team is more competitive. Everybody talks a lot about my future but I'm enjoying it and I'm happy to be here.
"It's a new formation and we have a lot of strikers, but I can't complain, I'm not the only one doing the turnover [rotation]. Salomon Kalou is not playing, [Florent] Malouda is not playing, sometimes Anelka, sometimes me. This time it was Nando. I think it's good for the team. A team like Chelsea must have a lot of players to achieve a lot in a year."
There is speculation that, at 33, the Ivory Coast striker may move on in the summer. Yet while Drogba did not say whether he has discussed his future with Carlo Ancelotti, he has spoken to the manager regarding his place in the immediate plans. "Yes, of course. It's important. The communication is important," he said. "The communication is what makes a player feel profitable in every situation and I'm really happy [with the upshot]."
Drogba also denied Chelsea are keen to avoid Barcelona, the hot favourites. "At this stage of the competition whoever you get you have to deal with it and try to go through. If we get Barcelona, or Manchester United or Inter Milan," he added. "It was great to get to the quarter-finals and now we wait for the draw on Friday."
Chelsea were eliminated by Inter in last season's round of 16, and Drogba added: "Don't remind me. I think, for a team like Chelsea, we have to be, minimum, in the semi-final every year. Last year we lost against the winners – it was not that we were happy to lose – but it makes things a bit better.
"You need to keep trying, so you have learnt from the past. I think it's little details in the Champions League, it's all about details and also we need a little bit of luck to win it. We didn't have it in the last final [against Manchester United in 2008] but you have to do everything to have luck on your side so, hopefully, this time we're going to do it."
Chelsea's chief executive, Ron Gourlay, meanwhile, denied that the club will soon be announcing a ground move to Earls Court after Mark Lawrenson, the BBC pundit, had made the claim on BBC Radio 5 during the Copenhagen game. "That's news to me. I can tell you there is no move imminent," he said. "We're always looking at our options when they come along. Some doors get closed and others open again further down the line."
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