Jose Mourinho is clearly frustrated with his lack of striker options at Chelsea. He can't stop talking about it—be it to the boss of a Swiss watch company or to reporters after Wednesday's 3-1 loss at PSG
Mourinho says he started Schurrle up front because he is not happy with his strikers' performances, so he has to try things. #CFC— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) April 2, 2014
Don't be fooled. It's a situation he has completely manufactured himself, and here's how.
Mourinho will tell you he needs a Diego Costa, Radamel Falcao or Edinson Cavani to lead his line. However, there's a striker he decided to send out on loan who offers precisely the kind of physicality and goalscoring prowess he's badly lacking right now.
Lukaku has scored 12 goals in 26 league games for Everton so far. That goal tally would be around the 20 mark if Lukaku were being supplied bullets by the creative midfield talents of Oscar, Andre Schurrle, Eden Hazard, Frank Lampard and Co. at Chelsea.
It's my belief that Mourinho's decision to jettison Lukaku was based on a single moment—his missed penalty against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Super Cup back in early August. I think that's where the doubt took over and he decided this was not a player he wanted around.
Did Mourinho get Lukaku decision wrong?
Whatever prompted it, Mourinho is paying for that judgement. His frustration with the situation—barbed comments and all—is largely motivated by Mourinho feeling angry with himself. It's a problem he created.
I also think he's been disrespectful to Fernando Torres.
With that said, Torres has been struggling at Chelsea from the very start. I think he felt hurt that Didier Drogba was Chelsea's top man when he arrived and was upset with playing second fiddle. His body language has been bad for a while now.
I know from firsthand experience—I played with Alan Shearer, Ian Wright, Robbie Fowler and Bryan Roy—that strikers operate in an alpha-male culture. If you're not a strong enough character, you fall away.
Chelsea should have cut their losses on Torres after his first season. Samuel Eto'o arrived having been playing in the relative backwaters of Russian football. Demba Ba is not of Champions League class.
If only Chelsea had a striker who were up to task this season. Oh wait, they do—he just happens to be playing for Everton.