Torres out, Remy in - as Mourinho Finally Molds Chelsea's Attack to His Liking
Jose Mourinho inherited an "undesired" attack on his return to the Bridge. But with Eto'o, Ba and Torres all gone, and Costa, Drogba and Remy nicely settled in their place, he now has an attack tailored to his liking.
Out with the Old
Jose Mourinho won the the premier league with Chelsea in his very first season in-charge in 2005. He was unable to repeat the feat on his return to Stamford Bridge for a number of reasons. An inconsistent strike force was certainly one of them as Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto'o, and Demba Ba were only able to score 19 of the 71 goals scored by Chelsea in the 2013/14 premier league season.
Chelsea fans chanting for Torres
The failings of Fernando Torres in Chelsea is as mystifying to the club and its fans, just as it must have been to the player himself. One can easily go on and on about how potent a strike force he was at Athletic Madrid and Liverpool before he set foot in Stamford Bridge. Although his measly 20 premier league goals in 3 and half seasons for the club does no do justice to his caliber; it is, sadly, a true reflection of how much his form dipped while he donned the blue color of Chelsea.
Truth be told, regardless of how bad Torres' form was in his time at Chelsea, the Spaniard enjoyed unwavering support from managers, players, fans and just about everybody that know a thing or two about football. This certainly was the high point of Fernando Torres' time at Chelsea - walking off the pitch every single game to the same level of support week-in, week-out.
Fernando Torres was initially the first choice striker when Mourinho arrived at Chelsea last season; but saw his position overtaken by Samuel Eto'o, whose overall performances were much more consistent than the Spaniard's. With Demba Ba impressing the manager coming off the bench and scoring crucial goals, like the one against PSG in the Champions League quarterfinals, the stage was set for the £50m man to pack his bags and leave.
Arguably the best of the bunch, the well decorated Cameroonian was a last minute signing last summer to boost Chelsea's front line following Mourinho's unsuccessful attempts to get Wayne Rooney from Manchester United. It did not take long for the former FC Barcelona man to settle in winning the fans over with a series of well crafted and vital goals in big games, notable of which was a hat trick against Manchester United.
In all fairness, Eto'o's 9 goals from 16 starts in his first time in the Premier league is not bad for an aging striker brought in as a backup. And judging by the fact that he had battled with his fitness all through the time, many had expected to see the African at the Bridge for at least one more season.
Any plans of a contract extension was thwarted by misunderstandings resulting from a comment made mockingly by his Portuguese boss about his age towards the end of the season. Eto'o has since responded to the comments and even went as far as mocking his boss with an unorthodox goal celebration. He has since moved to Goodison Park where he reunited with a former Chelsea faithful, Romelu Lukaku.
Bought in the January transfer windows in 2013, Demba Ba was brought in as a back up to a misfiring Fernando Torres who that able to manage only 8 goals in the 2012/13 season. In all his time at Chelsea, the Senegalese forward never fully got the chance to prove his worth as his playing time was often restricted to off the bench appearances, often for 20 minutes or even less.
To say that Demba Ba flopped at Chelsea is to be unfairly critical of the forward, for unlike Torres that was given the opportunity to redeem himself time and time again, Ba barely kicked the ball in all fairness in his time at Stamford Bridge.
He has since moved on to Turkish side Besiktas. And true to the striker he really is, he has already found the back of the net thrice in 4 matches.
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In with the New
Diego Costa & Didier Drogba
Jose Mourinho made no secret of who he wanted to lead his attack in the 2014/15 season. And with Didier Drogba free from his contract with Galatasaray, Chelsea jumped on the opportunity to reunite the Chelsea legend with the club where he made a name for himself.
While Diego Costa has already began stamping his authority on the league with man-of-the-match performances in almost every game he has played so far, Drogba, who signed a free one-year deal, is satisfied with making cameo performances from the bench providing the balance the team needs at the end of matches.
Jose Mourinho has just what he wants in Costa and Drogba. But with both players carrying knocks and battling fitness, a third and final attacker was required.
Chelsea ends their transfer business with the acquisition of the French International, Loic Remy, from fellow London side Queens Park Rangers. The former Rangers man who spent all of last season on loan with Newcastle United joined the blues for a reported £10.5m. The French international have spent 2 seasons with 2 different clubs in the premier league, starring in 42 games and scoring 20 goals in the process.
Remy's arrival at Stamford Bridge comes only days after the departure of the man he was brought in to replace, Fernando Torres. And with Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba, the other two Chelsea strikers from last season, having already parted ways with Chelsea, in Diego Costa, Didier Drogba, and Loíc Rémy, Jose Mourinho has made a complete overhaul of the strike-force he had last season. He now has just the right men he wants to get his season up and running.