Strikers or centre forwards (as they are mostly called these days) seem to be one thing that every Blues’ fan tries to guess on a typical match day. Many a time the guesses seem to be wrong than right! Such has been the state of Chelsea with respect to strikers ever since Didier ‘The Drog’ Drogba left.
Over the past years, José has worked with a lot of strikers notably Helder Postiga, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Benny McCarthy, Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Hernan Crespo, Andriy Shevchenko, Samuel Eto’o, Claudio Pizarro, Diego Milito, Gonzalo Higuain, Karim Benzema among others. On his second coming to the Bridge, José has come to meet arguably one of the poorest ‘strike’ force in Europe- Fernando Torres and Demba Ba. On paper they look a decent strike force but in reality they are the most laughable pair of strikers any top European team will have. I mean a TOP European team!!!! No wonder José made his intentions clear about his pursuit of Wayne Rooney, a far better option than the ones available to him. Eventually he’s had to settle with Samuel Eto’o, another kind of striker José likes; a direct one.
This means that in our current squad, there is Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba. Are we going to hear the commentators shout Toresssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!! Or maybe Ba, Ba, Ba, Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!! Better still, there could be Eto’oooooooooooooooooooooooo! As to what it (the shout) is going to be this season remains to be seen.
Fernando ‘Nando’ ‘El Niño’ Torres has seen it all at international level and his trophy cabinet looks massive- a World cup and back-to-back European Championship cup (2). At club level, he’s an FA Cup winner, and a Champions League and a Europa league winner. He’s also a KOP hero and to some extent a legend at Liverpool. Over the past three years at the Bridge, Nando has failed to deliver the goods by his constant inability to show the kind of breathtaking goals that forced Roman’s hand to take him away from Anfield. He’s scored a woeful 40 goals in as many as 142 games (so far) representing a mediocre 28.1%! Fortunately for him and unfortunately for most of us, José has decided to stick with him, at least, until January and I think he’s going to be the first choice.
El Niño prefers to be given the ball, force defenders to chase him and then beats them to it. He’s done it a few times at Chelsea and I wish that it could be more regular. He can beat defenders in the air and has a very powerful and a good direction of the ball once he’s in the air. Not very much of a skillful striker, he’s clever enough to beat defenders and keepers on a ‘typical Nando day’. His runs when he does them have always been timely and well calculated. The fact is, all that has been said about Torres have barely been seen during his time so far at the Bridge!
His movement and positioning in and around the ‘18’ has been lethargic and his eye for goal has left a lot to be desired. In his three games earlier in the season, he had only a goal but he’s really ‘come good’ in his last two games by scoring 3 goals. In his last game, against Manchester City, he really skinned the defenders with his runs. No, he’s not yet back because those are the kind of displays we (as fans) are expecting from him!
‘This is the season for Torres’, a common phrase used by the ‘Torres fan boys and girls’ has become as annoying as can be: frankly I hope it really is his season this time around!
Ba and Eto’o will have to compete for the second spot and we all know who that is…Demba Ba, who has not had much of a chance at the Bridge, has a lot to prove until January. For the simple reason that Nando has had greater chances than him, he can be given the nod to prove his worth in the squad. That notwithstanding, he’s really failed to convince most of us whenever he’s been given the chance. Apart from those 2 goals on his debut against Southampton in the third round of the FA Cup last year, he’s been nothing more than average. He gets offside as often as he does his prayers! Ba should know he’s playing for a top team competing for top honours not a mid-table or an ‘OK’ team! I know he’s got some goals in him and the better he lets them out, the better! Samuel Eto’o has won whatever there is in club football and he’s definitely going to be an envy in the dressing room!...hahahaha. José’s knowledge of how direct Eto’o plays probably convinced him to sign Eto’o after missing out on Rooney. Having slashed almost half of his salary to play at the Bridge, I don’t think any player will be hungrier than he is! His enthusiasm to play again for José and in the EPL is what really excites me.
Eto’o likes to play in between the lines, gets in behind defenders and has a wild shot. His passes are on point and the bends on his shots when he goes for placement are always a delight to watch. His experience also comes in handy. No need to really keep going on and on about Samuel except that I wish him an injury-free season. I don’t really expect surprises from him but just nods,yes nods; I know what he’s about. As they say, age is a just a number but I say age is just words! His celebration when he got his first goal against Norwich showed how eager he was to register his name.
My Line Up>>>> Cech, Luiz-JT-Cole-Ivanovic, Lamps-Ramires, Hazard-Mata-Oscar, Eto’o