Date:Thursday March 21 2013
The purpose of this article is to examine what type of attacker(s) we need taking into consideration the talent we would have in the club after the transfer window closes.
Do you need a prototypical Center Forward or do we need an auxiliary forward who would be capable of playing the wide forward role and through the middle as a striker but not necessarily as a CF?
My assumption is majority of Chelsea fans and probably Chelsea management will not agree with the last point.
The first notion or idea to refute is having 3 centre forwards is required for a club like Chelsea. It does not last and secondly, it would not be an intelligent move for Chelsea to be paying 3 strikers for one position. My point will mostly likely be refuted by citing the Manchester examples such as United and Citeh.
It is however imperative to note that Manchester United will mostly win the title this year with a strike force of RVP, Rooney, Chichirato and Welbeck. Out of these 4 players, only 2 are real center forwards in RVP and Chichi. Sir Alex has deployed Welbeck in other roles besides the CF position. Rooney is capable of playing the CF position, but in the last 2 seasons, he`s been primarily deployed behind RVP or Chichirato.
The last time Man U won the league, they had 2 primary CFs in Berbatov and Chichirato with Rooney occupying the position behind the CF. They of course had 3 strikers last season in Chichirato, Welbeck and Berbatov, but Dimitar only played 513 minutes last season in the EPL. Started only 5 games and featured in 12. Doing the math, Berbatov played an average of 13 minutes per game last season. Where is Dimitar now? He is at Fulham.
Man City`s season last year will also be cited as an example to support the argument of having 3 CFs in a squad. Man City had a strike force of Tevez, Aguero, Balotelli, and Dzeko. It could be argued that Tevez and Aguero are not out and out strikers. They are versatile enough to be deployed in the CF position or be paired with another striker. Balotelli, Aguero and Dzeko were the preferred CFs.
However, Tevez missed 3/4s of last season playing Golf in Latin America. Only from April did he feature more for Man City. Mancini preferred a flexible front two of Tevez and Aguero while Balotelli and Dzeko were on the bench. When Tevez was on vacation however, Dzeko and Balotelli started 16 and 14 games in the PL respectively last season. If you break Man City`s season into 3 periods (i.e. the first 13 games; the second 13 games and the third 12 games for a total of 38 games) last year, the record of Dzeko, Balotelli, and Aguero are as follows:
1.) Aguero - Started 11, 12 and 8 games respectively for a total of 31 games started. He played 2,600 minutes out of the available 3,400 minutes (76% of Man City games).
2.) Dzeko - Started 10, 4 and 2 games respectively for a total of 16 games started. He played 1,497 minutes out of the available 3,400 minutes (43.77% of Man City games).
3.) Balotelli - Started 4, 4 and 5 games respectively for a total of 31 games started. He played 1,326 minutes out of the available 3,400 minutes (38.77% of Man City games).
Tevez was excluded since his record will present an anomaly. Even at that, He started the most games after Aguero in the final 12 games of the season (8 games). I didn`t take the numbers for this season, but generally Balotelli featured in less games this season than Aguero and Dzeko and as the case is similar with Berbatov, he has departed.
Man City is currently linked with Falcao and Cavani as well. If they indeed complete the transfer of one of the above players, I`ll be pretty surprised if Dzeko remains at Man City given the speculations over the last 2 transfer windows.
If we consider other examples in Europe, most clubs have only 2 prototypical CFs. In some cases, only 1 centre forward.
This begs the question or why many believe Chelsea should add a CF in addition to having Lukaku and Demba Ba as our CFs (if Torres departs this summer) next season. Of course it would work if such CF begins to the produce the goods required for us to compete in the PL and UCL. But I strongly believe we would find ourselves in a situation similar to City and Man U have found themselves which is one striker refusing to sit on the bench whilst pursuing an exit out of the club.
Some can point to when Chelsea won the double under Carlo as another example since we had Drogba, Sturridge and Anelka. Again, Sturridge hardly featured in any of the PL games and only started getting game time under AVB in the wide right position. Prior to that, he decided to join Bolton because he needed game time just like Balotelli and Berbatov.
Do we still need a CF really if we actually want to keep Lukaku and Demba Ba?
I think there is a reason the club has been looking to add the likes of Schurrle and Jovetic for the past 2 seasons. They`ve followed the model of having 2 Out and Out CFs in the squad - Torres and Ba, Torres and Sturridge, Torres and Drogba etc...If I was going to make a bet, I wouldn`t bet on the club making a 50mm acquisition of a Cavani or Falcao. I think they would apply that money towards a versatile forward at a max of 25mm.
Secondly, in spite of having a poor Torres and a Demba Ba who hasn`t replicated his form in Newcastle, Chelsea is still the second highest scoring team in the PL after Manchester United with 58 goals in 29 games (average of 2 goals per game) while conceding 29 goals (average of 1 goal per game). Man City with Aguero, Tevez, and Dzeko have managed to score only 51 goals.
I don`t think competing for the PL or the UCL is about the number of goals we score. Such analysis or statement will be incomplete without of course looking at the other side of the argument which is the amount of goals we concede.
If we actually examine the ratio of the amount of goals scored with the amount of goals conceded under our double winning campaign (under Ancelotti), under Jose Mourinho and the last time the Manchester sides won the PL, I believe the point will be made more clear. Please see as follows:
1.) Chelsea - Goals scored to goal conceded ratio in 2004/2005 season = 4.80
2.) Chelsea - Goals scored to goal conceded ratio in 2005/2006 season = 3.27
3.) Chelsea - Goals scored to goal conceded ratio in 2009/2010 season = 3.22
4.) Man U - Goals scored to goal conceded ratio in 2010/2011 season = 2.11
5.) Man City - Goals scored to goal conceded ratio in 2010/2011 season = 3.21
The worst of the above was Manchester United and it is no coincidence they were embarrassed in the UCL final that year and destroyed by A.Bilbao the following season without any improvements. Chelsea is currently worse than this with a ratio of 1.93 since we concede an average of 1.03 goals per game. Under our double winning season, we conceded 0.84 goals per game and under Mourinho, it was 0.39 and 0.58.
Finally, can we extract a minimum of 70 goals from an attacking group which consists of Lukaku, Demba Ba, Mata, Hazard, Oscar, Victor Moses, Marko Marin and the new attacker next season?
a.) Can we get 30 goals in the PL from Demba Ba and Lukaku next season?
b.) Can we get 30 goals in the PL from Hazard, Mata and Oscar?
c.) Can we get 10 goals from Moses, Marin and a new forward like say a Jovetic?
d.) Can we get 10 goals from our central midfielders?
d.) Can we get 10 goals from penalties?
e.) Can we get 10 goals from our defenders next season?
The above is around a 100 goals and I agree it is a bit too optimistic. Nevertheless, if you shave off 20 goals due to various reasons such as the Lampard situation (if his contract is not extended); what if Lukaku and Demba Ba do not perform and potential flops etc...I don`t think 80 goals will be hard task to ask from squad above. Based on our current form, we are on course to score 76 goals this season. If we score 80 goals next season and manage to concede 30 goals, this would put our goal scored to goal conceded ratio to 2.67. This is not bad considering the ratios of the past winners (including United in 2010/2011 season). If we increase that to 90 goals, we`d increase our chances of winning the title and competing in the UCL.
So I ask the members again, do we really need a Falcao or the equivalent?
Date:Thursday March 21 2013
The (Mourinho?) Central Midfield (Wednesday May 22 2013)
Luiz - A Mourinho Type? (Wednesday May 22 2013)
Shaw Interest Revived (Wednesday May 22 2013)
Cheeky Beggars! (Wednesday May 22 2013)
Benitez Linked to Stoke (Wednesday May 22 2013)
Out Through the Exit Door (Tuesday May 21 2013)
How will Mourinho use Mata in the CL? (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Best 23-man Squad for EPL 2012/2013 (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Lukaku on His Season Long Loan (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Cech on 3rd Place (Tuesday May 21 2013)
|1. Man Utd||38||28||5||5||+43||89|
|2. Man City||38||23||9||6||+32||78|
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