Football

A new approach that might solve Chelsea's striking problems

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Most people will agree that Chelsea have one major problem position and that is up front.

Mourinho has three strikers at his disposal - Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba.

These strikers have much in common: they are all big names in their respective countries and at one time or another were the star name of the national team. They all scored relatively freely and were vital members of the teams they were previously at and, most importantly, none of them are scoring regularly now.

With every season that passes Chelsea fans hope for some sort of supersonic Torres revival and with the arrival of Jose Mourinho, who is known for his man-management skills, this expectation was at an all time high.

At times this season there has been evidence of a mini-resurrection of the striker who once struck fear into opposition defences but as a whole he has continued his indifferent, inconsistent and largely poor form.

"The Special One" recently said that the Spaniard is "not a very skilful player" and that to expect 25 or 30 goals from any of the strikers is unrealistic, however, he also praised his overall contribution and work rate.

Samuel Eto'o was an odd purchase and led to Lukaku's loan move to Everton, where he has flourished and scored more Premier League goals than all of the current Chelsea strikers combined.

Eto'o had spent the last couple of years in a Russian League which is far from the level required at one of the top clubs in England. He does not have the killer pace which made him so successful at Barcelona and Inter Milan and his best days are evidently behind him.

He has notched a few goals and has shown that he can be a thorn in defenders - and definitely goalkeepers - sides, yet he has not shown any sort of consistency and obviously lacks the sight for the final ball.

He has not shown that he is comfortable in the the current Chelsea system where the main job of the striker is to hold the ball up and supply the likes of Hazard and Oscar.

When Demba Ba moved to Stamford Bridge he was coming off the back of an incredibly prolific 18 months at Newcastle, however, he has not found this consistency in London yet. He has had some stunning moments to remember and has scored some screamers with volleys against Manchester City and United the pick of the bunch.

He is probably the best of the trio at holding the ball up but lacks the penchant for something special. He is a physical presence and can bully defenders into submission as he dd against Norwich in the league this season. Ba was always going to be a squad player and is a valuable and capable one at that. Unfortunately, that is where it ends for Ba as he does not have the instinct of a top class striker which is what is needed in this current Chelsea set up.

With all three strikers proving to be too slow, lacking goals and often becoming invisible in games, Mourinho will be hoping to sign an alternative in the next couple of transfer windows. The difficulty is that if a striker is to be acquired in January, he will most likely be cup tied for the Champions League if, as reported, they are going to attempt to sign Lewandowski or Rooney.

Also, with big games against Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham coming up, Mourinho will have to make up his mind which striker most deserves a place in the starting eleven.

It may pay off to play without a typical "number nine" in the upcoming fixtures but rather play a rotating forward line with Schurrle essentially playing as "striker". He is the most direct of the Chelsea forwards with players such as Hazard, Willian and Mata preferring to linger on the ball and look for the perfect through ball, whilst the German will test the keeper more often than not.

He has played well for Chelsea this season and works tirelessly to close down opponents which is what Mourinho likes his strikers to do. It is an experiment worth attempting as defenders will surely find it difficult to pick up a rotating quartet of Schurrle, Hazard, Mata and Oscar.

Not only will this be a more dangerous, direct and threatening attack than normal but it will most likely also become more flowing and attractive which - as we all know - is what Abramovich craves from his Chelsea teams.

It will not be a system that will click immediately but if it can be mastered it will surely provide Chelsea with the killer effect they want. This is something Mourinho recently addressed as the biggest problem and he will surely be looking at a way to solve it.

A suggestion, Mr Mourinho: Select players who can score goals and drop the "strikers" who cannot - if nothing else, it will show the people at the top how desperate this team is for a proper goalscorer.

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Fernando Torres
Demba Ba
Robert Lewandowski
Football

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DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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