An inability to finish.
Analysts are talking about it, fans are frustrated by it and the 19 other teams in the Premier League are puzzled by it. Those simple four words basically sum up Chelsea's major problem during their 2013/14 campaign.
Jose Mourinho, the self-proclaimed "Special One", brings his counter-attack offensive scheme wherever he goes. It certainly worked in 2005 and 2006 when he managed Chelsea to back-to-back Premier League titles with the help of Didier Drogba's fantastic goal-scoring ability.
The harsh reality is that he does not have a Drogba now, a player capable of finishing from set-pieces, who could create for himself, but most importantly, finish on the counter-attack.
Until he has a forward option that showcases these qualities on a consistent basis, Mourinho simply can't sit back and let wave after wave of opposing offensive attacks crash against the Blues' back-line, as strong as they may be.
Mourinho has alluded to the fact that he isn't interested in going for any big signings once the transfer window opens on January 1, but if there is one man in all of Europe who has the ability to bend minds while also changing his own, it's Mourinho.
So let's be realistic with ourselves: no one has seen the real Fernando Torres since he packed his bags and made his record move to Stamford Bridge from Liverpool in 2011, Samuel Eto'o was an overpriced and foolish summer purchase, and Demba Ba may as well pitch a tent in no-man's land and live out the rest of his days as a football-less hermit.
Each of the three aforementioned options have shown bits and pieces of what they can do on the pitch, but it would be blasphemous to assume that either of the three men have even played remotely close to the cost of their acquisition. That's basic economic principle.
There are three specific men that owner Roman Abramovich and Mourinho should target once the transfer window opens, in order of how realistic the move is and how they would fit Chelsea's style:
1. Jackson Martinez
A pure finishing genius, the 27-year-old Colombian would be an ideal fit for the Blues' attack. His 6' 1" size and physical nature not only allows other outside wingers ( ofwhich Mourinho has an abundance at his disposal) to play off of and through him, but he is also able to muscle defenders away to finish inside the penalty area.
He's already been tabbed for a move to Stamford Bridge due to his ambiguous contract situation at Porto and I wouldn't be surprised to see him at the front of the Chelsea attack come January.
2. Robert Lewandowski
This would be a no-brainer for Chelsea. Lewandowski was arguably one of the top five best players in Europe last year, leading Borussia Dortmund to the Champions League final. His scoring ability is unquestioned and his pace and vision make him a nightmare to match-up with on the break.
The 25-year-old Polish international would make a massive impact in the Premier League for Chelsea.
3. Radamel Falcao
Although this move has been reportedly ruled out by Mourinho earlier this month, something could still happen with the unsettled AS Monaco striker. The 27-year-old Colombian is absolutely lethal from anywhere in the offensive third and his speed and awareness would certainly not harbour the Chelsea counter.
He's deceptively strong and acrobatic and has a great knack for being in the right place at the right time. Although they would probably end up overpaying due to his gigantic move to the French club this summer, this is still a very real possibility for Mourinho and the club.
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