Deconstructing Chelsea’s Loss Against QPR: Will A Striker Fix Chelsea’s Long Term Problems?

Two things are very clear about this year’s Chelsea squad; they are very talented and very inconsistent.

At times watching Chelsea you think you are watching the best squad in the world and other times it’s like watching the worst in the league.  Last night was very evident of this as Chelsea shockingly lost to QPR, at Stamford Bridge.  Yes, the squad chosen did not include Chelsea’s two best players, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard but they still had plenty of talent to outmatch the Rangers.

Watching this match was dreadful for any Chelsea fan, or football fan for that matter.  All throughout the match it looked like the Blues were trying to figure out an impossible puzzle with the wrong pieces.  The ball moved slowly, hardly any shots were inside the box or even near it and the whole squad had no real passion in their play.

If you ask most Chelsea fans what the problem was, they would say it’s striker Fernando Torres, and they would be wrong.   This is not saying the Spaniard played well by any means, but he is not the problem and replacing him is not a permanent solution.  If you look at all of Chelsea’s goal scorers this season you will learn one thing: They have one of the most balanced attacks in the world.  With the addition of Demba Ba, they now have 3 of the top 10 goalscorers in England in all competitions.  Defenders Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic and David Luiz are 3 of the best scoring defenders in the world.  Not to mention Chelsea have the deepest depth in midfield of any club including the likes of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Oscar, Marko Marin, Ramires, and Frank Lampard.  Fernando Torres is not what he was at Liverpool but he isn’t that far off.  Ever since Rafa Benitez has taken over, his goal production has improved drastically by scoring 7 goals since his time of working with his former manager. The QPR match was a case of simply being outplayed and taking the competition too lightly.

Bringing in Demba Ba is certainly going to help the squad and make Chelsea an all-around bigger threat going forward, but a striker is not the underlying issue.  If you take a look at all the top cubs in the world, they have one major similarity.  They are all full of veterans who lead the squad and groom the young players into the club’s next crop of champions.

Chelsea reportedly has decided going forward they will not offer contracts to players over the age of 30.  Frank Lampard is the player at the moment who is falling victim to this.  He has been the heart and soul of Chelsea for 11 years now and Roman Abramovich has yet to show him respect.  Chelsea management needs to take a look at how Manchester United deals with their veterans and learn from it.  United have kept the likes of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes around, and look what it has brought their club.  They have proven that veterans are the key to consistency and young talent wins titles.  Chelsea certainly has the talent to compete with any club, but until they gain consistency through veteran play, they will find it hard to compete for many titles.

Eric Overbey writes for and is on Twitter at @ericoverbey.

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