Chelsea: A Reliance On Ba, Torres & Eto'o Upfront Will Cost Us A Title
Day fourteen of the January transfer window, and so far no forward has entered the house that Roman built. Sadly for Chelsea fans, no forward has been evicted either (yes Demba Ba, we are looking at you.)
‘They look like they are playing with ten men.’ ‘How on earth did they miss that?’ ‘Chelsea simply cannot close games out.’ ‘With a forward who could score they would be ten points clear.’
Just some of the more printable comments that pundits and Chelsea fans alike have managed to utter in the first half of the season in despair over their forwards and the collective misses that keep being racked up.
Times are stressful for Chelsea fans, with three points never being quite guaranteed, and games not being closed out.
Just to make it clear, before anyone tries to express discontent at the moaning and play the £50 million price tag card or worse Roman’s roubles here, let’s be clear. Sometimes you buy an expensive purchase. More often than not it works out fine. If not, usually you keep the receipt and take it back.
Well Roman not only lost the receipt but felt the need to bring in another two idiots to contend for the donkey’s role in the Christmas nativity to boot. Yes, Chelsea have money. In fact, they have pots of it. Blah blah blah.
Manchester City have money. They also have a Sergio Aguero, an Alvaro Negredo, their ‘super sub’ Edin Dzeko (who quite frankly Chelsea fans would cut their right arm off for) and the forgotten £22 million man Stevan Jovetic.
Paris Saint Germain also have money. They also however are proud owners of the ego that is Zlatan and what should have been a summer target, Edinson Cavani.
Monaco have pots of cash and Ramadel Falcao. To be fair they also have the Tinkerman, so no need to be too envious of them quite yet...
Hell, the only club who should actually be given more sympathy than Jose’s for their striking woes is West Ham – and boy, do they have it bad.
Back to the point in hand. The summer produced the return of Jose Mourinho. It did not however produce the purchase of a world class forward – when there were at least five potentially available. Instead, Jose chose to wind up Manchester United, anger and confuse the already dim light bulb that is Wayne Rooney and bring in a man who was effective roughly around the same time as the Nokia 3310.
A title winning forward Samuel Eto’o is not. He is not even someone you can really rely on to come from the bench and score. Yes, he netted the winner against Liverpool, but quite frankly, the amount of chances the sensational Oscar, Eden Hazard et al create, there should be more goals. Far more.
The situation is pretty much summed up by Chelsea fans actually celebrating the fact that Fernando Torres has now managed to score in two away league games – after failing to do so for 13 months. Yes, that was not a typo – thirteen months. Astounding, and not in the Cristiano Ronaldo way.
The less said about Demba Ba the better, but the words 'big fish, small pond' come to mind when you consider his success at Newcastle. A move to the eternally trophyless Arsenal would probably bring the best out in Ba, but a future at the Bridge? That would be a no.
Quite frankly there would be few eyebrows raised if Chelsea’s three front men were up on fraud charges. After all, they do bill themselves as strikers on their club website, and correct me if I am wrong, but I always had the impression that the definition of a striker was to score goals.
Yes, to buy in winter is a risk (Fernando did provide one thing with his lesson there) but to leave it down to chance or to hope that the creative maestros in the middle of the park can pull it out of the bag time and time again is an even bigger one.
Do we want to come to the end of the season and hear the words ‘if Chelsea had a forward they would’ve won the league?’ About as much as we want Rafa Benitez back I would wager.
Day fourteen of the transfer window, and the Blues need to pull their finger out.
Rebecca is a writer on LaFootyettes. Follow Rebecca on Twitter, @rebeccaknight01.