Jose Mourinho admitted that he does not know how he his goal-shy forwards to start firing but was reluctant to criticise their effort even though he’s frustrated with their failures in front of goal.
Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba all featured in the 3-2 loss at the Britannia Stadium against Stoke City at some time or another but the failure to find consistency in the front-line is just one of the problems Mourinho has been faced with this season.
The trio have managed just four Premier League goals between them so far and have been made to look especially bad as on-loan Everton forward Romelu Lukaku has outscored them twice over by himself already.
When asked how Mourinho plans to get his strikers to start finding the net, he replied:
“I don’t know.
“I think they are players trying to give everything to the team, and working hard and fighting hard. When players try to give everything, I cannot criticise them.”
However, he was critical of them not being able to kill yesterday’s game as well as previous matches when chances have been wasted:
“I could see the defeat coming, because, after half an hour, we should have been winning by three or four.
“When you play so well and it is so easy and you find spaces, and three players behind the front men were playing so well, then you have to kill the game.
“It was exactly the same for us at Newcastle and Everton. Chances, chances, but when you don’t score enough goals and, on top of that, you make defensive mistakes, it is not good.
“You cannot afford to make mistakes if you need to win with just one goal. I cannot criticise my players for mistakes – you can, but I cannot.”
Although everyone at the club has done their best to give the likes of Torres, Ba and Eto’o their best chance by spending vast amounts of cash for the best creative talent available whilst standing by – Torres especially – during testing times, there has to be a time when it has to be accepted that enough is enough.
The club has definitely done its bit, the fans have shown tremendous patience and the team has created a host of chances – the numbers do not lie – so there is no hiding place for our attackers. I think the club and the fans alike deserve better, and am wondering if Mourinho believes the same despite his public denials of January recruits.