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Sweep the leg, Andre: Mourinho throws Schurrle under the bus; or does he?

Clive Brunskill

Twenty-two shots. Two blocked.  Six on target.  Sixteen shots from within the penalty box.  Five on target.  Zero goals.

It's not pretty.  It's not unsurprising.  It is disappointing.

Chelsea befell an all too familiar finishing disaster Saturday night at Goodison.  Three-four easy chances went begging in front of Tim Howard's goal, while a tragicomic sequence of post-giveaway defending saw Everton grab the one and only goal in first half stoppage time.

The big theme of Mourinho's post-match presser was a lack of "killer instinct" and he singled out chances missed by Samuel Eto'o, Ramires, and André Schürrle.  It's only fair, the three of them combined had more attempts (12) than all of Everton's starting eleven plus three substitutes used (11).  That being said, Mourinho also made sure to frame these comments with an introductory line of not blaming individual players (which of course does not seem to have been picked up by any written reports, not even Chelsea's own).  He was simply describing what we all witnessed.

Yet one of the first quotes that made the rounds was courtesy of the BBC who, in a turn befitting the Daily Mail far more than an outfit of the BBC's reputation, painted a picture of José throwing Schürrle under the bus.  In their Premier League live text commentary, this is the only item they carried from Mourinho's post-match comments:

Managers usually give multiple post-match interviews, but I've yet to find one where the Chelsea boss singles out Schürrle for missing "three good chances."  The one posted by the BBC themselves in their match report certainly does not have anything of the sort.

So what does it all mean?  Mourinho's main point was that if we continue creating 22 shots, more often than not, we will score and probably score more than just one.  While it didn't happen on Saturday, the goose-egg on the scoreboard came as a result of three or four spurned clear cut opportunities.  Rather than blaming the players - although Schürrle's pass was a bit slow, it wouldn't even have had a chance to be slow in the first place had the the young German not gotten into "a fantastic position" - Mourinho seems confident that it was simply a bad day at the office for both young and old.

We train movement and attacking organisation, we train finishing in situations we think we are going to have. The players are good so soon we will score goals according to the production of the football we have.

-José Mourinho; source: Chelsea FC

Soon!  Hopefully "soon" isn't going to make us wait too long...

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