After witnessing some of the coolest finishing you will see all season yesterday, is it finally time for one German to step up and take the reigns at Chelsea?
Reading Jose Mourinho’s comments after the 3-1 victory away at Fulham on Saturday afternoon, you could be somewhat surprised at his choice of words. I believe it could be the way Mourinho used the words, but he described Andre Schurrle as ‘cold blooded in front of goal’. I think it’s a compliment!
We all know what he is trying to say as we watch the highlights from the match and witness some cynical, prolific and casual finishing making the game look easy. The tall and fast German winger was compared to Cristiano Ronaldo before he joined Chelsea, but he has never really stepped up to the mark.
But has he now found his calling card at Chelsea? Playing like a natural goal poaching centre forward yesterday, making intelligent runs off the last man all day long and causing a nuisance to the Fulham backline.
The role of centre forward is not a role that he is unfamiliar with, having played there previously and once before with Chelsea. Admittedly he did not shine that particular day, however he has shown his clinical finishing abilities in a blue shirt before in a number of games this season.
Every player needs time to settle and perhaps some Chelsea supporters have been harsh on the young German and writing him off as another failure already, like his compatriot Marko Marin previously. But Schurrle has a determination, a look in his eye, something that spells out that he is not prepared to give up and failure is not an option. This particular trait has not gone unnoticed by the Chelsea contingent, who were heard singing his name loudly at Craven Cottage yesterday.
More comments from Mourinho this week states that he is clearly unhappy with his current set of strikers. With Samuel Eto’o being left out yesterday and Fernando Torres not really doing it once again, are we about to see a ‘Thierry Henry’ situation? Will Schurrle now be used more as a centre forward than a winger? I think we will, I think Mourinho has recognised what a great centre forward Schurrle can be and those comments evident that. Henry started at Arsenal as winger, but then became one of the best centre forwards the Premier League has witnessed; Schurrle has the capability of doing the same.
He makes the perfect runs, something that the likes of Hazard, Willian and Oscar will thrive on playing behind him. None of our other strikers make those runs. Torres will try and mix it up, Demba Ba is just not good enough and Eto’o drifts wide and deep far too often. Schurrle is cutthroat or ‘cold-blooded’ as Jose says and that is the type of player that Chelsea are so desperately seeking to lead the front line. I feel that Schurrle can be a temporary fix to an on going problem, play him up top, let him make his runs and frighten the opposition defences, because you know if he gets one on one, he will not be taking any prisoners in a cold blooded way.
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Simon Phillips – News Editor