Luiz Felipe Scolari reveals Didier Drogba conflict
Former Chelsea boss says he "struggled to control" dressing room during his seven-month stint in London
Luiz Felipe Scolari has admitted he struggled to control the Chelsea dressing room and wanted to sell Didier Drogba after lifting the lid on his difficult spell in charge of the Blues.
The 62-year-old Brazilian manager, now at Brazilian side Palmeiras, said there was disharmony amongst the team during his seven-month stint at Stamford Bridge during the 2008-09 season.
Scolari, who was replaced by Guus Hiddink in February 2009 after a poor string of results, revealed he found it difficult to control Drogba and admitted he fell out with the Ivory Coast forward during his time in London.
“I didn’t leave Chelsea because of sabotage from the players, but it is true that it was difficult to control the dressing room,” said Scolari.
“In the dressing room at Chelsea, there were many big stars and good players but their behaviour was very different.”
“Drogba believed he was the star in the squad and I did have conflicts with him. That was my first problem because [Nicolas] Anelka did well in his absence and scored many goals.
“When Drogba came back he wanted to go straight back into the team but I said no.”
Scolari, who led Brazil to World Cup glory in 2002, also revealed he tried to bring both Robinho and Adriano to Stamford Bridge.
“I wanted Robinho, but it wasn’t possible,” admitted Scolari. “I also wanted Abramovich to change Drogba for Adriano at Inter, because it was easier to control him than Drogba.”
And the former Chelsea boss claims Michael Ballack became “jealous” of midfield rival Deco after he brought the Portugal international to west London in 2008.
“Ballack wanted to be one of the owners of the dressing room and the relationship with the German was not easy,” he said.
“He seemed jealous of Deco, did not want his arrival and I had to explain that I was the coach and it was up to me.
He added: “I wanted Deco to work it out with Ballack, but it wasn’t possible. They didn’t speak to each other.”