There are quite a few problems Jose Mourinho has to deal with going into the next league match with Chelsea, and one of them is at striker. The answer? Considering the limited talent pool he has at the position, there’s no doubt it should be Fernando Torres.
Chelsea have had 7 players score goals for them in the various competitions they’ve played in, which includes the Premier League, League Cup, Champions League and Super Cup. Fernando Torres, up until now, is the only striker to find the net at all, scoring once in the win over Swindon and before in the match with Bayern Munich.
One quick look at the scoring chart for Chelsea, a month and change into the season, shows they’re struggling putting the ball in the net. Not having one clear go-to-guy or target man isn’t a problem necessarily, but it looks as if Chelsea, right now, have one because there’s no one to really rely on.
Oscar has been the team’s top scorer so far with 3 goals in all competitions, and the only player with more than one in the Premier League. However, the Brazilian isn’t a consistent poacher or finisher, and unless there’s a lot to him we haven’t seen yet (which isn’t that unreasonable considering his age), relying on him to finish isn’t the most bullet proof plan Mourinho has had.
Plenty of words have been used on the Juan Mata situation, but the truth is that Chelsea need scorers and creators. With Eden Hazard seemingly limited by some sort of tactical role, Mata is the best facilitator and probably finisher Chelsea have. Kevin de Bruyne won’t be getting too many chances, and Willian isn’t the sort of player who scores goals or puts people in front of the goal too often. The Brazilian scored 37 goals in 222 appearances for Shakhtar, and only one in 15 matches when he was with Anzhi.
Samuel Eto’o? Hard to decide yet if he’s one huge arrogant mistake from Jose Mourinho or is there still too much rust on a striker that will soon prove his worth. For now, we’re seeing a slower version of Eto’o, who seems to lack the right kind of scoring instinct he had in the past, missing incredible opportunities because he keeps reacting too late to the developing situation.
Fernando Torres is never going back to his form from 2008-2010, but he doesn’t have to be that good in order for Chelsea to begin. Even without Mata, Chelsea’s strength lies with its attacking midfield trio, no matter the names featured there. All Torres has to do is be wise in his off the ball movement and wait for the opportunity. He’ll get two or three of them as long as he doesn’t enter those moods of his, when he sinks into himself and looks like he can’t wait for the match to be over.
Chelsea have a central midfield problem that’s probably a lot bigger than their striker issue, but Mourinho has less options to handle that one than he does with the man upfront. Fix what you can, not what you can’t. Torres starting instead of Eto’o because of his ability this season and the better understanding he has with Hazard, is a step in the right direction.