Sunday, 7 April 2013

Torres, Shevchenko...Falcao? Does Chelsea Need a Big-Money Striker?

Chelsea have a habit of spending big on strikers, and also spending big on players who have played well against them, and the lovely fellows in the press have attached our name to Radamel Falcao at seemingly any opportunity.  But what do we really know about this man from Colombia who absolutely destroyed us in the UEFA Community Shield Super Cup? And how does he rank compared to our last big name striker purchases, Fernando Torres and Andriy Shevchenko?

Andriy Shevchenko was long the apple of Roman Abromovich's eye. Despite the (alleged) pleas of a certain Jose Mourinho, our glorious owner went out and snapped the Ukrainian up from AC Milan for the princely sum of £30.8 million at the end of the 2005-2006 season. But, as with far too many "love at first sight" situations, the relationship soon turned sour. Mourinho preferred Didier Drogba to Shevchenko, and he would only make 48 appearances in blue and white before an unsuccessful loan to Milan and an eventual sale at the hands of Carlo Ancelotti. A 9-goal return was nowhere near enough to justify the then-astronomical sum we paid to bring him into the team. Nevertheless, many (including 13-year-old me) enjoyed seeing "Sheva" in blue - but no one could ever unseat the Drog, right?

Enter Fernando Torres. Words alone do not describe the burning anger I had against the speedy Spaniard during his time in Liverpool red. Everything he did seemed effortless - and the way in which he made us look like fools was aggravating.  Roman, as we all remember, was smitten - it only seemed a matter of time before he was destroying defences in blue. When it was announced that he would be joining Chelsea, I will admit that I was in rapture - if only because we wouldn't fall victim to his skill. With a well-documented price tag (and hamstring injuries), it's shocking no one saw what came next. Struggling for form against an increasingly resilient Drogba, Torres finished the 2011 season with only one goal - against West Ham, which endeared him somewhat to the fans who were growing disillusioned.  2011-2012 was a see-sawing dynamic between "being back" and "being shite" as he competed for minutes under Andre Villas-Boas, with his most memorable moment coming in Munich as he won "The Corner". This season has seen an inconsistent almost-renaissance - WhoScored notes that he has 13 goals in all competitions - but nowhere near the production we expected, especially with virtually no competition. Even worse, he's been overshadowed by someone who isn't even at the club.

August 31, 2012. Radamel Falcao stomps on the feelings of Chelsea supporters worldwide as Atletico Madrid roll his first-half hat-trick to a 4-1 victory. Inevitably, the rumour mill began connecting us with him, with claims of Fernando Torres or Thibault Courtois going the other way(the latter being entirely unfeasible).  Leading his team's scoring charts with 23 goals in league and European play, it seems sensible that Falcao would be linked to big teams, especially one lacking a "blue-chip striker". Lately, however, Falcao's vein of form has cooled off, and many are questioning his skills or if we even need another big-name striker, especially with Lukaku excelling on loan, Fernando Torres playing well and  Demba Ba just being wonderful at everything.  So where does that leave us?

In my opinion (and, really, the only reason why I'm writing about Falcao), the Colombian will NOT be joining Chelsea this summer. The risks are too great to merit the kind of spending it would require to bring Falcao to the club, especially in this era of Financial Fair Play. The return of Lukaku will likely end this speculation, and Demba Ba, as we have already noted, is wonderful at everything (including being an impact sub). What then, of Fernando? Many say that, with his obscene wages, it's time to off-load - if the money was right, I'd agree with them. But, at the end of the day, no one is going to pay that kind of money, so he will likely remain on our books until his contract ends.

As always, feedback and ridicule are appreciated. Keep calm and "Sing it Till May!"


  1. i think torres tries to much.
    he always takes too many touches in the box.
    he tries to score the perfect goal and he must understand that there is no shame in scoring a tap-in.
    as far as another striker is concerned i dont think chelsea need one.Good and sensible rotation between torres,ba and lukaku should be enough.
    maybe a younger non-superstar player should be bought just in case if there are some injuries.

    1. Hello Andi ! Hope your JEE preps are on track ; )
      I agree that with Lukaku coming in we shouldn't need another striker. But if Torres leaves, we "might" see a relatively new guy coming in. It promises to be a great summer.
      Hoping you see you post more.

  2. I have a feeling that if this 'Zorres' resurgence continues, then he'll end up staying. That wouldn't be a bad thing if he continued his form, though. A Lukaku-Ba-Torres strike force looks pretty strong. If at all we do buy another striker, I hope it isn't some big-money signing, but a relatively low-profile one. It would also allow a 4-4-2, with enough strikers to rotate. But that's a different discussion altogether.

    I'd love to see Feruz get some opportunities next year, but it's probably better for him to go out on loan (A Championship club, methinks).

    Keep up the good work, guys! There are quality writers on board here, I can see.

    1. Thank you, my namesake !
      For Feruz it's too early to draw him into the discussion, even I have high hopes from the kid.
      Keep reading and sharing your views !
      Cheers !