It’s a question that’s plagued football pundits all around the globe for nearly a year. How does a man go from playing world class football week in week out, only to move for an amount Super villain’s deem pricey and then turn into the walking talking definition of mediocrity? I am talking about Fernando Torres, a man whose conundrum of not being able to rediscover his form is now starting to bore people. When he first moved and had the terrible run of not scoring for 903 minutes in a Chelsea shirt usual statements were made; “He needs time to settle” or “The price tag is weighing him down” and he got away with his poor form slightly. Recently it looked as though Fernando had managed to get that confidence back, the swagger he had that made him essential to that Spanish squad that made the Harlem Globetrotters look like Kidderminster Harriers, seemed to be returning.
That game against Man U showed the two sides to Torres for Chelsea; his goal was lethally taken and finished as clinically as the Joker’s magic trick in the Dark Knight, but we also saw the miss of the century as with the open goal gaping thanks to some stunning skill, Fernando scuffed his shoot when he should of taken his time and slotted the ball home.
Chelsea fans may have worried that would set him back after just finding his scoring boots again but against Swansea he started like a rocket that just did a massive line of Columbian cocaine by scoring a lovely volley on the turn. The problem was though he then went in two footed on Mark Gower like a rocket that just did a massive line of Columbian cocaine and was given a straight red. Due to the resulting lack of games Fernando has come back from suspension looking hopeless, lost and confused. His only contribution against Wolves came toward the end when Chelsea were on the break with a three on two situation, his pass was not only wrong but it had no conviction to it, as if Fernando had finally given up. Couple this with the glaring miss against Blackburn in the dying embers of the game and its not looking good for El Nino.
It’s an obvious statement but only because it’s glaringly true that Fernando Torres has no confidence and it’s starting to get to the stage when he may never be able to regain it whilst wearing Chelsea shirt.
The problem may well lie within the influence of Roman Abramovich in the transfer. It didn’t take a mastermind to see that Torres wasn’t necessarily needed at Chelsea. Their standard trident like attack involving a combination of Drogba, Anelka, Kalou and Malouda usually had one on the wing using their blistering pace, Malouda, one on the other side that would drop his shoulder to come inside and find the finishing pass, Anelka or Kalou, and then the big strong centre forward that would hold up the ball and bully the defenders, Drogba. The only person you could see being replaced was Drogba and everyone in football knew he would not go without a fight and a hissy fit. When Roman decided he wanted to have another super star within his team he didn’t think about the fact the Fernando would not only have to win over his manager but also his team mates and risk dividing a dressing room into people wanting Drogba to play or Torres.
Ancelotti tried with playing a four four two with Torres and Drogba up front but that worked as well as a coalition government between the Tories and the Lib Dems. This season AVB has tried with Fernando and whenever a fellow pundit, manager or player is asked about the problem they all say “He is world class and he will start playing again” but when?
He has had nearly a year at the club and no game winning contribution at all and managing only three goals. That works out as just over £16 million per goal.
Roman Abramovich is a very impatient man when it comes to his managers and of course if he did decide Torres had his chance and wanted rid it would not be his decision and the fact he is still there and getting a chance shows that the power is rightfully with AVB to an extent but if Chelsea don’t start to perform soon and Roman gets the itch, will the next manager be willing to be as patient with Fernando as the others. Every time a match is played and Torres fails to score or do anything of any real merit, it seems the chance of him finding that Midas touch that defined his time at Liverpool becomes less visible. Speaking as a neutral I hope we see the man with the golden locks banging them in soon or we may never see him again.
The comparisons to Andriy Shevchenko are endless except the main thing to remember is that Shevchenko actually started his Chelsea career quite well, scoring on his debut that ended in a two one loss to Liverpool in the Community Shield. After that though he managed just eight more goals in his two seasons involved with the Chelsea first team. It’s not just Shevchenko that has had his career stall at Stamford Bridge under the billions of Abramovich either, look at Scott Parker, Shaun Wright –Phillips, Wayne Bridge, Asier Del Horno and Geremi.
Each of those players has moved onto either reignite their career like Parker or happily accepts life in footballing wilderness like Bridge. The point being that Torres needs to start playing soon or people will start to ask questions about the transfer away from the club. Chelsea are a few bad results away from crisis and when that happens a new shipment of players is only round the corner. Torres must impress soon or expect to be the answer to many a pub quiz question in the future.
By Tom Johnson. You can follow Tom on Twitter @Teej23F.