In a recent interview with Portuguese Television, Andre Villas-Boas has openly criticized Chelsea’s previous history with signing transfer flops Andriy Shevchenko, Mateja Kezman and Fernando Torres, but when you look at the stats, Villas-Boas has a valid point.
Speaking to TSF, a Portuguese broadcaster, Villas-Boas said:
“For me, there was a key moment for Torres: his sending-off against Swansea. He was playing well and he was motivated at the time, he had returned to the goals, also in that match.
“He scored in the 15th minute against Swansea and was sent off in the 35th minute and gets a three-match ban. There was also an international match in between, so he did not play for Chelsea for one month.
“I do not know how much that affected him but when he got back, we had two disappointments in terms of results and he returned to this disbelief in himself.
“We have been through the Torres situation before with Shevchenko and Kezman.
“We continue to work on his motivation, his specific movements on the field and his trust. There is only one atmosphere which will make him regain his trust, and that is a competitive atmosphere.” (Daily Mail)
But the competitive atmosphere is where Torres is letting down the club that spent £50 million pounds to secure his services from Liverpool in January 2011. Since then Torres has made 35 appearances and scored 3 goals which averages out as a goal every 11 matches or £16.6 million per goal.
Compared to Shevchenko and Kezman it makes for depressing reading, Kezman managed 4 goals in his 25 Chelsea appearances, which work out at a goal every 6.2 games, while Shevchenko has the best stats, managing a goal every 5 games with figures of 9 goals in 48 appearances.
The problem here is that players are being signed by people who have no real knowledge of football; it hardly takes a genius to work out that a player like Torres who thrives on a support striker isn’t going to be successful playing as a lone striker. Or that at aged 30, Shevchenko isn’t going to be quick enough to cope with the demands of the Premier League.
When Mourinho took charge of Chelsea, he by and large made his own signings; Michael Essien, Ashley Cole, Ricardo Carvalho and Didier Drogba are just some of the players that Mourinho brought in. Since he left, the manager has turned into a coach, doing the best he can with what the board provide him with. Unfortunately for the coaches that have been in charge of Chelsea since Mourinho left is that they have been left with a lot of square pegs to fit into round holes.
Yes, Mourinho was successful, but that’s because it was Mourinho’s team and he had his own players to play his way. The problem that Villas-Boas has, it he wants to play his own way, but doesn’t have the players do it. Would Chelsea be in this same position if Villas-Boas was allowed to sign players like Moutinho who was so influential in his Porto midfield?
Combined, Shevchenko, Kezman and Torres cost Chelsea £86.1 million pounds, and they have combined to give Chelsea 16 goals from 108 appearances. Giving them a goal to game ratio of 6.75 games, and when you look at that, it’s hard to disagree with Villas-Boas.
Do you think Villas-Boas and I are wrong? Tell me so, by leaving a comment or tweeting me @deanmears.