There are a few reasons to Chelsea not really living up to the preseason expectations, that go beyond the fact that this was in less than perfect thinking by Roman Abramovich and others when building the squad, but Fernando Torres and strikers in general not scoring goals seems to be the main one.
While Chelsea are second in the league this season with 55 goals, only 10 of them have come from their strikers. Fernando Torres, the always disappointing £50 million man, has scored only 7 league goals on 23 starts and four more appearances coming off the bench. He started out rather well, but hasn’t scored a league goal since December.
And beyond Torres? Only two more goals. Roberto Di Matteo and Rafa Benitez didn’t really count on Daniel Sturrdige, who was also injured early in the season. He replied with only one goal, as Chelsea have played with one striker in the lineup all season, and until Demba Ba came, only one in the squad. Demba Ba has started four times so far and coming two more off the bench. He has only one goal.
Frank Lampard (11 goals) and Juan Mata (10 goals) have scored more than all the strikers combined. Chelsea have a very impressive attacking midfield to boast, but taking a closer look at the distribution of their passing – completing 454 short, 60 long, 22 Cross and only 1 through pass per game, you can see why, possibly, strikers aren’t doing so well. There is not a lot of focus on them, although with Torres, you also know it has a lot to do with his off the ball movement, which has lacked depth as his confidence continues to shatter.
Not all is bad for Chelsea – otherwise they wouldn’t be at third. Their defense is tied for second best in the Premier League, allowing 30 goals in 27 matches, with Arsenal tied and Manchester City the only club better (24 goals conceded). Still, not seeing a striker score a single goal in February means things, individually and the system of play, aren’t quite right. The scoring output of their defense, 9 goals, is tied with what their strikers are giving them.