Jose Mourinho is still in the running for the Premier League and Champions League regardless of how much he protests. Winning either trophy would be a feat.
Silverware would reconfirm just how special the so-called Special One is with Chelsea completely outgunned when it comes to strikers this season.
Fernando Torres is a waste of space, Samuel Eto'o isn't getting any younger and Demba Ba is out of favour. Andre Schurrle is a support attacker being asked to play a role above his abilities and Romelu Lukaku was shipped out to Everton.
|Samuel Eto'o||Fernando Torres||Demba Ba|
|Total Contest / apps||2.32||2.58||0.20|
|Aerial Won / apps||0.32||2.71||0.67|
|Total Scoring Att / apps||2.63||2.17||1.27|
|Ontarget Scoring Att / apps||1.21||0.63||0.53|
With a total of 15 goals between them, you'll struggle to find the next Didier Drogba from that bunch, which is why a title would mean so much on Mourinho's CV if he were to win one this year. The fuss made over the Ivorian on his visit to Stamford Bridge with Galatasaray said it all, even though the festivities were due to his legendary status amongst the Blues' support.
Beating the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool to the league, or Bayern Munich and Real Madrid to the European title, without a top-class striker would be an incredible achievement. Barcelona might not believe that you need forwards to be the best around but given the quality of players leading the line for teams across Europe at present it's hard not to think they've lost the plot.
And given that they failed to get past Diego Costa's Atletico Madrid in their Champions League quarter-final tie, that may well be the case.
Practically every single one of Mourinho main rivals can boast at least one lead striker with a scary tally of goals and other abilities that are currently absent from Chelsea's squad.
Besides Atletico's Costa, the Portuguese must also contend with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge at Liverpool, Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo at City, Karim Benzema at Real and Bayern's Mario Mandzukic and Thomas Muller, who will be joined by Borussia Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski in the summer.
However, the Blues do have a group of attacking midfielders as strong as any squad at the top of the game, but with results slipping Mourinho needs to dig deep and find the solutions to prove just how brilliant a manager he is.
While he might have won the Champions League with Porto, kept Alex Ferguson quiet during his first stint at Stamford Bridge, and won the treble with Inter, none of these achievements would match a major trophy win this year without tools for the job.
Ferguson was rightly praised for carrying Manchester United to their most recent Premier League titles without a midfield. Mourinho should receive even greater compliments if he grabs silverware without a proper goalscorer.
After all, it's hard to push forward without a reputable forward, almost like trying to win a boxing match with one or more of your arms tied up behind your back, but Chelsea's returning manager is trying and has already almost succeeded in this totally unpredictable title race.
There is some hope. Going back to the Opta statistics above, Eto'o looks better value than the rest with his eight goals, 2.32 dribbles per game, higher number of shots per game and most efficient rate of shots on target. The issue is keeping him fit, but when he is available he must start. Mourinho seems to have come to that very same conclusion, and the Cameroonian has been his first choice forward whenever possible, especially for the biggest games.
Who knew Torres was a danger in the air? He often seems to be more of a danger to himself. Yet with 2.71 successfully won headers per game he's certainly doing something right. He's also been decent dribbling past opponents, completing 2.58 per game, but four goals in 24 appearances is shocking. The Spaniard's rate of 0.63 shots on target per game makes a lot of sense in this regard. Ba doesn't look much better on paper.
Imagine how unstoppable this Chelsea team will be come the summer when Mourinho is able to bring a proper striker in with the required quality to be the new Drogba. For the other teams fighting it out for the title, the Blues getting their act together and signing a real forward - it's almost not worth thinking about.
For now though, it all hangs on their manager and whether he can pull his biggest football miracle out of the bag yet.