Fernando Torres - The downfall continues
“Chelsea ready to replace Torres with Falcao”, “RDM ready to drop Torres from next match”, “Torres wants to return to native Spain”. These are the sorts of headlines featuring Fernando Torres which one can see almost every day. Life has not been kind to El Nino a lot. A record-breaking 50 million GBP signing has “not yet” justified his huge price tag and he is soon running out of opportunities to do so. I still remember his first shot at the goal for Chelsea, an almost grounded shot which Pepe Raina saved with his left foot. While watching the replay I could not believe that a 50 million pound signing could not score between the legs of the keeper. However, no one at that particular time could have guessed that this was just the beginning of the downfall of one of the most celebrated talents of the Premier League.
It was difficult for Torres to adjust to a new formation at Chelsea under Carlo Ancelloti. At Liverpool, he was used to playing with tactics customized to get the best out him as the lone striker. While under Ancelloti, Chelsea used to play with 2 upfront and Torres never really seemed comfortable playing alongside Anelka or Drogba. Statistically speaking, even the number of passes made by Malouda and Anelka to Torres were lower than the passes made to Drogba by them. When he finally did score against West Ham on a wet pitch, I as well as many Chelsea supporters celebrated as if we have won the Premier League. On came AVB and he brought in Juan Mata (who would soon be Chelsea’s talisman). Yet again there was hope that Torres will be back in form; it was hoped he would score 20 goals a season, but whatever AVB or the team did, Torres could not score. So AVB played him as a winger sometimes. Torres himself used to make midfield runs, try hard to win the ball back, doing everything to make up for his lost goal-scoring touch. His efforts and hard work were refreshing to see, but in the end, that’s not what Chelsea paid money for. He was signed to score goals and he was unable to provide them.
There have been talks numerous times by commentators, manager, players and Fernando himself claiming that he has hit back form and is ready for the top-level game. But the talks turned out to be too early to be honest. Torres till date, has been nothing but a shadow of his former self.
I have always supported Torres through his highs and lows at Chelsea – only lows actually, there have not been any highs for him here yet – but I have been utterly disappointed by him this season. It is not because he has not been scoring goals, that he has not done ever here, but because now I see a lack of effort from him on the field and a lot of rubbish interviews off it. He does not care to win the ball now if he looses it, does not care to make runs even inside the penalty box; he does not care to provide goal-scoring opportunities to his fellow team-mates either. Torres right now considers himself as the best striker in the world. He thinks that he ‘deserves’ to get easy passes and tap-ins in front of the goal. The way he stood in front of the 4th official showing him his bloody nose made him look like a La Niña rather than El Niño. Torres for me now, has been looking for excuses as a shield for his poor performances. Just a few weeks back, there was an interview with a Spanish daily where he mentioned that last season there were players alongside him on the bench that didn’t care about the team and didn’t give a 100% to their team; I fail to understand his logic of going public with such comments. This is just one of the unnecessary comments from him and honestly, I see ‘him’ not giving his all for the team right now. The boos he gets from his own team’s fans is proof enough of the frustration among the supporters because of Torres.
I am dejected, discontented and unhappy because of Fernando José Torres Sanz right now. But still I hope (against hope) that Nando will work harder than he does now and will realize that he is not the player he used to be, but he still has what it takes to be a winner – if he gets his attitude right. I hope that he will wake up now that he knows that he can be dropped from the side and he will change his style of play to suit his team and for his own good, and will score a lot of crucial and match-winning ( heck, tournament winning) goals for Chelsea this season. Till then, chin up Nando.