Following his sides dramatic and shocking quarterfinal exit to Sunderland in the League Cup on Tuesday night, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is perplexed but his teams inability to finish the opposition off.
This season, Chelsea have dominated large spells of many games but failed to land the killer blows when they’ve been on top. They’ve lost to the likes of Everton, Stoke and Newcastle in the PL, as well as defeats to FC Basel and now Sunderland in the Champions League and League Cup.
Many will point that the lack of a true poacher up front is hurting the Blues.
Mourinho, whose team attempted 17 shots but scored just once on Tuesday, is incensed with his sides slack finishing and lack of ruthlessness.
“It is the same story of Stoke, of Everton, of every match we lost,” Mourinho fumed to British TV afterwards. “We never lost a match because the opponent is stronger than us. We don’t kill the opponent, we give them life. It’s always the same.”
Just think how far ahead Chelsea would be if they had that “killer” instinct Mourinho alluded to?
As it is, they go into Monday’s crunch London derby against Arsenal at the Emirates just two points behind the Gunners and a win will send them top of the Premier League table. They’ve already lost to Stoke, Everton and Newcastle away from home in the league this season, but on each occasion they’ve beaten themselves with silly defensive errors and haven’t finished numerous chances they created.
Chelsea’s continuing struggles up front has been the storyline of the season for them. At time Fernando Torres has resembled a world beater, other times he looks lost and confused. Inconsistency has riddled the Spaniard and then the likes of Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba, both of whom aren’t really Chelsea caliber due to Eto’s age and Ba’s lack of experience at the top level, are the supporting cast who barely get on the score sheet.
Mourinho should be pleased that his side are one victory away from leading the standings. But in January they must strengthen up front. Otherwise the ‘Special One’s’ homecoming won’t be anywhere near as…um, special, as it should be.