Are Alvaro Morata, Olivier Giroud suffering from lack of service at Chelsea?
Chelsea has two strikers who cost a combined £88 million. Their names: Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud. The pair has totalled 16 Premier League games this season. They've registered a miserly two goals between them. In fact, the Blues' Frenchman is yet to score. When things like this happen, many different theories can be offered.
Glory is usually attributed to the team. So also should goalscoring. But that's not often the case. One player wears the biggest grin while getting mobbed by jubilant teammates. Those who put the ball over the line are heralded as heroes. Should they hit a winning goal, their names appear on the top tabloids. Fans won’t forget them in a hurry.
It’s, therefore, no surprise clubs are prepared to spend more on forwards than other departments. As a result, when frontmen don't score regularly, they are labelled as flops. Poor quality, low on confidence and what not.
True to the fact, strikers are signed to score goals. It's their job. When they fail, questions should be asked. However, if football is the team sport it's believed, then marksmen also deserve judging on the quality of service they receive.
Enter Morata and Giroud. Neither the Spain nor France international can be described as lethal goal-getters. Far from it.
Morata is averaging 0.2 goals per game this campaign. Giroud, meanwhile, averages..... wait, there's nothing to calculate here.
Week in week out, both the duo are afforded the pleasure of being as close to the goal-mouth action as possible. Yet, it’s very unlikely to see either celebrate scoring for Chelsea.
Could it be that Morata and his misfiring buddy aren’t receiving good enough service to deliver? This is perhaps true, although the Spaniard has morphed into a player who misses chances for fun these days.
The fact Morata and Giroud play in a team coached by Maurizio Sarri makes their woes somewhat bewildering. A manager who sets his side out to play expansive, one touch, attacking football; his strikers are expected to thrive.
Not this pair, though. Both are failing. So much so that when Morata scored his second of the season against Vidi in the Europa League, he cried while celebrating.
The men tasked with providing the Blues' assists include N'Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic. Others are expected to make a big contribution in that regard, too.
Eden Hazard is Chelsea's most creative player by far. The Belgian's effectiveness comes to the fore when dribbling, cutting inside and shooting. His role allows all the freedom necessary to do those three things. The problem is he sometimes runs himself to the ground as opposed to picking out teammates in a better position. Usually, it's either Morata or Giroud who miss out.
No doubt Hazard has become more selfish this season. With good reason, though, as he's capable of breaking the Premier League's 20-goal barrier for the first time in his career.
On the opposite flank, Willian cuts inside, dribbles and shoots just as much as Hazard. So, then, who is going to supply Morata and Giroud? Kante, Jorginho and the other midfielders are all more interested in pleasing Sarri by passing themselves to death.
Worryingly, of Hazard and Willian's total five assists this campaign, only once has a Blues forward benefited. That was Morata against Southampton.
There's an idea to suggest that Hazard and Willian don't trust Morata to find the net, even from gilt-edged opportunities. I say it's not their call.
Chelsea players must rally behind Morata and Giroud in order to help the pair find scoring boots.