Fernando Torres may be the poster child, but it's a problem that seems to run a bit deeper than that. Chelsea are simply bad at finishing and have been for much of recent memory. Wasted chances and hopeful long shots have been the name of the game for much of the early season, just as they often were in seasons past.
We may have hit a low point in 2011-12 when Torres was taking 20 shots to score once and showed definite improvement last season both individually (Torres scoring with every 9th) and as a team (scoring with every 8th shot in the league), but this season we're back to being unable hit the broad side of the barn.
Enterprising individual(s?) at the quite excellently named Experimental 3-6-1 website have put together their regular update for shooting efficiency in the top leagues across Europe, and it only confirms what we've witness on the pitch so far:
Graphic: A look at how well the Premier League clubs have been attacking so far this season pic.twitter.com/oZWak1ZecI— Ben Mayhew (@experimental361) October 3, 2013
I do enjoy them calling it "energetically wasteful," which makes it sound almost positive, but the fact remains that we're second in the league in shots taken per game, while barely averaging over a goal per game. How very mid-table-ish. It's taking us fifteen shots to find the back of the net, which puts Chelsea in the top three of wasteful finishers among the 20 clubs averaging at least 15 shots per game (in Europe's five biggest leagues).
As Manchester United proved last season, there's no substitute for efficiency in front of goal. We'd do well to improve and try to emulate that.