Didier Drogba is not getting the star treatment in Montreal. Impact manager Mauro Biello has seen to that.
After the club cemented its place in the 2016 MLS playoffs with a 2-2 draw with Toronto FC, Biello openly explained why Drogba was nowhere to be found on the matchday roster.
Drogba, 38, has not played in the last two matches and has been dealing with tightness in his back, but Biello told reporters that he was fit to play–but refused to come off the bench, leaving the manager with no choice but to leave him out altogether. Matteo Mancosu continued to get the start in his place, and it remains to be seen how Drogba and Biello will react ahead of the season finale at the New England Revolution on Sunday.
"I just want to put things clear," Biello said. "Didier wasn't selected to start the game, and I spoke with him [Saturday]. He didn't accept the fact to come off the bench, and in the end he didn't want to be in the 18. Yes there's a little bit of tightness in his back, but he was capable of playing, and he said he didn't accept the fact that he was coming off the bench. The club is going to take care of the situation.
"Why hasn't he been in the starting 11? If you see the performance from Matteo, I decided to give a different look to the team, to add a little bit of energy up front, the ability to transition quickly, and for me this is basically the decision. The ability to put a little more pressure on their back line ... to have Didier come off the bench, which is also an excellent tool to have and to come in late in the game and give me a free kick and bring his presence. I made a decision to change things up, and that's it."
Drogba has 10 goals and six assists in 22 games (18 starts) this season, after taking MLS by storm upon his arrival last summer, scoring 11 goals in his first 11 games.