Comment: Jose Mourinho must share the blame for Chelsea striker issues - he misjudged the Wayne Rooney deal and allowed Romelu Lukaku to leave

Following the defeat to PSG, the Chelsea manager claimed his side lacked 'real strikers'

Jose Mourinho has plenty of strikers at his disposal – it is just that he gives the impression he does not like any of them. An honourable exception for Samuel Eto'o, currently injured, but having just about kept his counsel on the subject all season, the pressure and demands of the final weeks have finally seen Mourinho crack.

The Chelsea manager's reaction to defeat in Paris on Wednesday night was to blame the lack of a goalscorer who could convert the half-chances his team created into goals, "real strikers" as he referred to them, casting an envious glance at Ezequiel Lavezzi, a "top striker" in the words of Mourinho.

His message was clear: the midfield had done what had been asked of them tactically, they had suffered from defensive errors at the back, but in attack there was no get-out-of-jail card. On Chelsea's good days, Mourinho is prepared to be charitable about his strikers, but losing 3-1 to Paris Saint-Germain in a Champions League quarter-final first leg was not a good day.

Mourinho has always struggled to cover up for the shortcomings of certain players, especially when it is his reputation on the line and the players are not those whom he has signed himself. There has been precious little encouragement for Fernando Torres this season, who, when he has been fit, has often been used as a last resort rather than a first option. Mourinho needs Eto'o back in time for the return leg in London on Tuesday but in the meantime he must face Stoke City on Saturday at Stamford Bridge, a game that Chelsea cannot afford to lose if they are to stay in touch with the Premier League title race.

It will be interesting to see how Mourinho approaches the subject of Torres and Demba Ba at his press briefing, knowing that however he feels about his strikers, he needs them in the short term.

It has been Mourinho's way all season to react badly in the immediate aftermath of defeat but then to back off later, when he has had the benefit of a cooling-off period. What he says at Cobham will go a long way to dictating the mood for the rest of the season.

Fernando Torres was not trusted to start in Paris and did little when he came on in the second half (Getty Images) Fernando Torres was not trusted to start in Paris and did little when he came on in the second half (Getty Images)
Nevertheless, the manager himself will have to take some of the blame. He drove the pursuit of Wayne Rooney all last summer, underestimating the resolve of Manchester United to keep the player, and overestimating Rooney's readiness to force his way out. It was Mourinho's decision to loan out Romelu Lukaku after pre-season, and although the Belgian's form has been hit and miss at times, he has scored 12 league goals, the same as Torres and Eto'o combined.

Ray Wilkins, the former assistant manager at Chelsea under Carlo Ancelotti, and who left just before Torres joined in January 2011, said on talkSPORT radio that he believed the striker's career at the club was over. "Torres has no future at Chelsea. I think he has seen his time out there," he said, adding: "Sometimes it is down to the individual. He needs to try and make something happen."

In place of Torres or Ba in attack on Wednesday, Mourinho selected André Schürrle, another one who has drifted in and out of favour this season. The Germany international conceded after the game on Tuesday that it had been a "very bad" result for Chelsea. "It is the worst time of the season to get these defeats. We know we have to improve in away games. I don't know what to say – we have to improve."

When did it go wrong for Chelsea? "Half-time. I think after the first goal for Paris we played well. We had the ball, we had possession, we had chances and scored with the penalty, 1-1. We had a shot against the post.

"PSG were always very dangerous, but we played very well in the first half. After half-time it was completely different. PSG had the ball and we were only running."

Mourinho suggested that Schürrle was picked for his ability to bring other players into the game. "I played differently, I could drop back," Schürrle said. "In the first half it was good. I had the ball at my feet and I could combine with the others and so this position was okay for me. But in the second half it was difficult because they had the ball most of the time and then you have to run that much."

All is not lost for Chelsea, not with Zlatan Ibrahimovic out of the return leg with the hamstring injury he picked up on Wednesday night. It is for moments such as these that Chelsea appointed Mourinho and the expectation at the club will be that, whatever the deficit, they should be capable of overturning PSG's lead and winning the tie.

Mourinho has focused much in recent weeks on next season after a summer in which the expectation is that he will sign the Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa. But as ever at the club, the mood can change quickly. Certainly they cannot afford to fade away in their two remaining competitions in the manner in which they have threatened to do in recent weeks.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Extras
indybest
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum