Samuel Eto’o finally found the net for Chelsea on Saturday during the 4-1 win over Cardiff at Stamford Bridge and the club are confident that the Cameroon legend will kick on from here.
The 32-year-old arrived in the summer from Anzhi Makhachkala on a free transfer to a mixed reception. Many argued that he’ll be unable to replicate his former glory at his age after playing in a league they didn’t rate whilst others said that he still has plenty to offer and his previous relationship with Jose Mourinho could prove valuable.
It took him six games to score for the Blues but he’s finally off the mark and a goal can do wonders for a forward’s confidence. He was a little unlucky not to score a couple on his debut and since then he’ll be looking at several chances that he could have and should have taken better, but now he’s started he may not be so tentative as he had been previously.
Eto’o is still new in the Premier League despite his vast experience over a successful career and he has already admitted that he was taken aback by the physicality of the English game, and he promised to adapt.
Chelsea’s assistant coach Steve Holland reckons that Eto’o, after getting started, will now be hard to stop:
“It will be good for Samuel’s confidence, it’s always good to get off the mark, no matter who you are.
“He was very intelligent with his runs [against Cardiff] and combined very well throughout.
“The goal was one we have seen many times in training but the first time the supporters have seen it in a game. I’m sure that we will now see it again and again because he has that quality.
“He is getting sharper. Class is permanent and you don’t have the career he has had without having that class.
“Physically, there is a big difference in this league to the one he was playing in and it has taken time for him to adjust.”
A lot has been said about Chelsea’s options in front of goal over the past few seasons as Fernando Torres and company have struggled to consistently find the net. Already we’ve seen some general improvements in play as Torres was looking sharper before his injury and the hope is that it won’t have slowed him down too much and Demba Ba has looked no more a goal-threat than he did before, but did make a nuisance of himself during the Norwich game.
From now until the end of January we’ll likely be linked with a number of forwards but for now we’ll have to work with what we have and having a striker that’s hitting the mark regularly can really drive teams onto winning titles, will either Eto’o or Torres be capable? That remains to be seen but it seems as though the staff at Chelsea are confident in their players and are trying to give them every chance by standing by them publicly.