Jan Molby

Chelsea won’t win the title with Torres

Jan Molby

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Chelsea's downfall this season will be having Fernando Torres as the main striker, and an over-reliance on their other attacking players.

I do not fancy Chelsea to win the Premier League title this season, because I always felt that their season would hinge on whether Torres could score 20-plus goals, and that is not looking at all likely.

The striker should be pretty close to 10 goals already at this stage of the season, and he's not looking like a man capable of leading a team to the Premier League title in such a crucial position.

It is very unlikely that Chelsea will go out and spend big on another forward in January, and so they look set to be stuck with Torres for the entire campaign — it will be a test of patience for the supporters, but this will not be their season.

The plan was never to have to play Oscar, Eden Hazard and Juan Mata in every game, but without all three, Roberto Di Matteo's side have really struggled and the manager is clearly very aware of this dependency.

Without the trio, Chelsea look a very average side indeed, and that is a real concern for the club with such an over-reliance on young players that should not be playing all the time.

To be frank, it has almost become a three-man team.

Having said all of that, it certainly is a very exciting time for the club with such young talent being introduced to the team, and a bright future lies ahead with Mata, Hazard and Oscar the inspirations.

It's flat-out attack at all times for Di Matteo's side at the moment, and they have big problems defensively — the back four do not take responsibility or pick up the players they are supposed to be marking.

They have been involved in 73 goals in 18 matches so far this season and, while that is very exciting for those who don't support the club, it is not a statistic to associate with a title-winning team.

Chelsea give away a lot of goals, and they have been pretty shambolic at the back for most of the season so far — teams will certainly look at it and think that they can give them a good game, despite their wealth of attacking talent from midfield.

The current top three of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea are nailed on for the Champions League places, but the fourth spot is up for grabs. A lot will depend on how the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham use the January transfer window.

Brendan Rodgers has taken the last couple of Europa League matches pretty seriously, but now against Anzhi Makhachkala he has rested a number of players with all the travelling involved and due to having a weak squad.

There is no doubt that Rodgers is focused on gaining some momentum in the league and putting together a good run, and their Europa League campaign will have to suffer as a result.

The board have to release the cash to allow Rodgers to sign a forward in January, because Liverpool have been desperately short of firepower this season beyond Luis Suarez and the club will not progress if the problem is not addressed.

I look at this Liverpool squad and think they will finish between sixth and 10th in the table. They are far too inconsistent, and their defence has not been at all reliable, coupled with a lack of potency up front.

There is a real sense of frustration around the club at the moment, but I think there will be patience with Rodgers as he is having to work with limited resources in terms of his squad. He is moving things in the right direction.


It was a real surprise to see Jack Wilshere thrown back into the England squad so prematurely for the Sweden match, and I think it is a mistake.

We all know from experience that, when a player has been out for that amount of time, there is always likely to be an injury that follows.

Through fatigue and having to suddenly subject the body to playing at the highest level after a lengthy lay-off, it is of the utmost importance that a young player such as Wilshere is not immediately overloaded.

For Wilshere to come back and play at that level and tempo, there is always the likelihood of a calf, hamstring or knee injury, and he needs to be protected very carefully at this stage of his recovery.

Arsene Wenger will be absolutely furious at the situation as Arsenal are desperate for fit players. The last thing he would want is to see Wilshere taken away from the club's medical staff and facilities, and to be travelling unnecessarily on England duty.

As a manager, he will have planned the minutes he is set to play and closely monitored his training; from experience he will need at least 10 weeks before he is back to full match fitness. England should not have recalled the midfielder at this stage for a friendly.

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