Lost in the buildup to the 0-0 draw with Sunderland was a brief tidbit from Jose Mourinho regarding a certain André Schürrle. The German has been in the doghouse with both manager and fans in recent weeks, but the boss has explained just what's been going on, and I think we can have a little more sympathy for the poor guy as a result:
He was very ill. He was back here and he took a good two weeks, because it was a bad one. I think that affected him a lot from a physical point of view.
When he started training again he had a fragile body and, as a consequence, a fragile brain. But now he’s coming step by step.
We don't normally think of an illness -- at least, not something like the flu or a cold -- as having a major impact on athletes' performances post-recovery, but the effect on one's body can obviously be fairly substantial, and if Schürrle lost a lot of weight and couldn't train effectively for an extended spell it's no wonder he's looked lost when he has managed to get onto the pitch.
At any rate, Mourinho says this rough patch is behind him, so let's trust that Schürrle goes back to his fun-loving, goal-scoring self in short order. I'd rather the attacking midfield band be challenged for their starting roles than not.