In the community shield on Sunday we saw a Chelsea side that lacked an offensive threat due to the injured Diego Costa.
While the stats from last season show that Remy actually takes fewer minutes to score each goal than Costa, that’s at least in part down to coming off the bench against weary opposition.
But other stats show the true value of Costa. He averaged 2.9 shots per game compares to Remy’s 1.6. Costa (1.3) won nearly twice as many aerial duels per game as Remy for Chelsea (0.6), made more than five times as many key passes (1.6 to 0.3), completed nearly three times as many dribbles (1.1 to 0.4) and was fouled twice as often (1 to 0.5).
More importantly Costa is the only one of the suited to play as a lone striker in Mourinho’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation. At QPR, Harry Redknapp decided that Remy could not play as a lone striker and needed a strike partner. At Chelsea, though, he is asked to play as a lone front man and as a consequence, often looks lightweight. In the Community Shield, he was ineffective – and offside four times in the first half.
Falcao, who replaced him at half-time, was little better, continuing the sluggish form he showed at United last season and in the Copa America for Colombia, whose coach Jose Pekerman has also reached the conclusion the striker is no longer good enough to play upfront by himself and can only be used in a front two.
In the Community Shield, the best that could be said of Falcao was that he touched the ball 27 times, 17 more than Remy had in the first half. Neither, though, convinced. If Diego Costa’s hamstrings are as vulnerable as they seem, Chelsea’s striking options look thin.