I think we can all agree that Falcao’s attitude on the pitch is admirable. He looks like he genuinely cares and if the rest of the squad had the same appetite we arguably might not be in the pickle we’re in now.
But all that charging around and spent energy doesn’t count for much when the goals aren’t coming and the touch is not what it was.
I decided to scratch (only a little) beneath the surface of Falcao’s recent history.
Here are 3 stats that might scare most Chelsea fans
- Falcao has played only 18 games worth of football since cruciate ligament surgery in January 2014
- He has played just over 33 games worth of football since May 2013 (!)
- He’s scored just 16 goals in that time (9 of which were from September ’13 to January ’14 – almost 2 years ago)
It doesn’t scream ‘the answer to all of our goalscoring problems’ does it? The biggest flag for me is the recent injury history – more on that shortly.
Next I decided to dig into his stats since he arrived at Chelsea, this is what he’s given us so far:
7 appearances (1 start, 6 from the bench)
Pass Completion: 76.9%
Dribbles (per game): 0.3
Shots (per game): 1.3
Key Passes (per game): 0.3
Underwhelming to say the least. Let’s compare that to his time at Man United:
26 Appearances (14 starts, 12 from the bench)
Pass Completion: 86.2%
Dribbles (per game): 0.5
Shots (per game): 1.5
Key Passes (per game): 0.7
On the face of it, he was performing better at Man United.
What will it take to get the ‘real’ Falcao back? Let’s be quite clear, this guy is a world class striker. Unfortunately there’s a big BUT…
This is a player that needs to play regular football. The longer he remains a bench player the more his career will plateau and tail off.
Falcao is a 29 year old that had cruciate ligament surgery 6 months before he joined Man United. Since then, he hasn’t played week in week out for any side. If he has ambitions of being the striker that scored 28 goals in 34 games for Atletico Madrid then he needs fitness and confidence.
I’m sorry to say that I just can’t see him getting that at Chelsea.
Jose just doesn’t seem to trust him quite enough to lead the line. Even in Costa’s absence.
So what’s the point in having him. We’ve got a rusty forward sitting on our bench that, at this moment in time, is a shadow of the player he used to be.
He has never returned to full match fitness with a consistent run of games since his cruciate ligament surgery. Of course he’s going to be off the pace!
A classic Catch 22.
It’s not that Falcao’s attitude is wrong, it’s not that he isn’t a world class striker. It’s just that he needs a place to play football, and given circumstances at The Bridge right now, I fear he won’t get the opportunity.
I wonder what the plans are for January, but I’d expect a bit of a shake up and Falcao may not be one of the names in the squad come the close of the transfer window.