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Mourinho explains starting Drogba ahead of Remy against Aston Villa

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

We spent much of last season, and the season before, (and the season before), complaining about our strikers.  Young or old, big or small, supposedly good or supposedly bad, none of them managed to truly impress.  Flashes of decent performances, cries of HE'S BACK, and a few acrobatic moves aside, it was not a pretty situation.

All that has changed.  A flurry of summer activity saw every single member of last year's trio replaced, and the results have been impressive.  Diego Costa is the hero we need and deserve, leading the Premier League goalscoring charts, the Premier League jimmies rustled charts, and every defender's blood pressure charts as well.  Meanwhile, his backups are no slouches either, with Loïc Rémy showing exactly why he's averaged 1-in-2 at both QPR and Newcastle United and even Didier Drogba managing key, if inconsistent, contributions.

drogba remy basic stats

Both have also been credited with 2 assists each.  Taking into account that Rémy only joined in September and missed about a month when he got hurt against Maribor, that's a decently even distribution of playing time between the two.  All of which led to a bit of a selection dilemma on Saturday.

"Didier is giving us a lot - it doesn't matter on or off the pitch, or if he's playing five minutes or more than that. We cannot expect him to be running, getting behind defenders and being very fast because as you know time flies. He gave us what we needed today. We thought we were going to be dominant, and they were going to be defensive. We needed a target man in the middle of their central defenders that could give more freedom to the other players. He did that for us."

"When the game became broken after they scored, Villa thought they could win and the game had more space. They brought their defensive line a little bit closer to the midfielder; Remy came on and obviously is faster and has more mobility. He gets behind defenders so we have to try to read the game and make decisions for the good of the team."

-Jose Mourinho; source: Chelsea FC

That's sound logic, and even though I would classify Drogba's performance on Saturday as barely bordering on what was actually needed, I suppose he got the job done(-ish).  In Costa's absence, and with two games in close proximity, we were always likely to rotate the other two strikers, so giving Drogba the game against a generally ineffective Villa side makes sense.

It would also make sense then to give Rémy the Everton game on Wednesday then, especially with Roberto Martinez's men likely to line up less defensively and with a higher line than Villa.

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