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By ESPN Staff
Dec 10, 2006

Drogba shrugs off jibes over theatrics

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba is adamant no-one can tell him whether he is a diver or not.

The Ivory Coast striker was criticised by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger who suggested that Drogba had been 'a bit theatrical'' during the pulsating 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Drogba, who has scored 14 goals this season and recently signed a new four-year contract with the Barclays Premiership champions, has often been accused of diving since he arrived in England.

But the Chelsea striker, who missed two gilt-edged chances to help the Blues take all three points against their London rivals, insists nobody can say whether or not he stands up.

The Chelsea forward has managed to silence his critics this season with some fabulous performances and he says much of it is down to being fresher.

'I am more fresh than other seasons. In my first season I had only seven days. Last year I think it was only 15 days, maybe 20,'' said Drogba, speaking prior to the clash with Arsenal.

'This year it was one month. But I want to say this. I always give 100 per cent for my team and nobody can say whether they think I stand up or not, that he's not giving 100 per cent.

'Not since I've been at Chelsea can anyone say that.''

While Drogba has been in top form in front of goal this season, his partnership with £30million striker Andriy Shevchenko has yet to reach the same heights.

The lack of cohesion between the front pairing has led to suggestions that Shevchenko has failed to adapt to the English game and wants to return to AC Milan.

The Ukrainian star, who has scored six goals in all competitions since his summer move, has vehemently rejected such talk and insists he will find the kind of form which made him such a hero with the Italian giants.

However, he had another poor game against Arsenal and although he was hauled off in the second half by coach Jose Mourinho, Drogba is convinced the pair can be a hit.

Drogba added: 'I think he needs to adapt to the way the team plays and to the league.

'That is not the most easy thing to do. But it is going well, he makes them for me to score and I make them for him to score.

'Sometimes it is difficult to find each. I want to do something, he's suspecting something else but that comes with time.'