With Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba’s combined transfer fees at a mean £74 million, you’d have thought Carlo Ancelotti would be demanding goals galore from his multi million pound strike force, but not so according to the Italian manager.
Torres, the Blues’ marque January transfer window signing from Liverpool, is yet to find the target since moving to Stamford Bridge, while his new Ivorian team-mate has fallen out of favor with Ancelotti, after scoring just six league goals since his opening day hat-trick against West Bromich Albion.
The former AC Milan boss has preferred to partner his new £50 million acquisition with Nicolas Anelka, leaving Drogba out in the cold, but Frank Lampard says the forward is as big an influence off the pitch, as he is on it.
Lampard said: “He has been brilliant. He’s been a mouthpiece in the dressing room, saying: ‘Come on, lads!’
“His reaction has been brilliant. It’s huge for us that we have got Fernando Torres and Nicolas Anelka – then we can still bring him on.
As for Torres, whose last league goal came in January, Ancelotti is also delighted with his contribution, even if it hasn’t yet included scoring that first Chelsea goal.
"I ask them to play for the team. Torres did a very good job with that. People judge him on the goals he scored but I have to look at different things about his performance.
"He worked for the team, put pressure on the defenders, moved well in front and worked hard.
"That's enough for me. Ask him, not me, if it will affect him but I don't think it will. I'm not asking him to score."
So while Chelsea’s victory over Manchester United came without key inputs from their big money forwards, those close to the players realise their importance.
And if those contributions, however minor, lead to Chelsea winning that elusive Champions League title, or even catching United in the Barclays Premier League table, no-one on the Kings Road will be complaining.
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