Michael Owen Believes Didier Drogba Changed English Football for Good

Michael Owen claims that the arrival of Didier Drogba changed the idea of how strikers were pursued in English football.


The Ivory Coast international moved to Chelsea in the summer of 2004 for a figure of £ 24 million, which was a huge investment of the player who had not been proven at the very top level. Yet, Jose Mourinho placed a lot of faith in the impressive skills of the striker to bring him from Marseille. It has proven to be one of the greatest decisions in the Premier league, as Owen thinks that strikers started adapting to the ‘Drogba way’ soon afterwards.

The English football has been used to the system of playing with two strikers at the top. This usually involved a physical forward like Emile Heskey and a small centre forward like Michael Owen. They used to complement these are extremely well. However, Drogba showed that it was possible to play with a solitary striker who could do the job of both.

This enabled the manager to add an additional played in the middle of the park, which made the team tough to beat. Since then, playing with a solitary striker has become the norm not just in England but across the world. For this reason, Owen says that Drogba has been a crucial player in the history of the Premier League.

“When I was growing up it was always two centre forwards. And it was always about how you could work together, how you could link together as a big man and little man. And I think the introduction, in my eyes anyway, of Didier Drogba at Chelsea, when Jose Mourinho played him upfront on his own, got a lot of people thinking, ‘We can get one big man to do a bit of everything’,” said Owen.