Thoughts on Torres & The Future

Torres himself came out shortly after the Champions League final to voice his discontent at his last 18 months at Chelsea, stating how he wanted assurances over his place in the squad. A few days later it was announced Drogba would leave and it looks like Chelsea (Abramovich) is putting everything behind Torres. Chelsea are a side tailored specifically to suit the style of play of Didier Drogba, robust, energetic, powerful and in your face, not the subtle runs in behind of Fernando Torres. Chelsea will need to instigate a playing style revolution to accommodate their record signing and it appears that may be under way.

 

The overstated ‘resurgence’

Many reactionary pundits have stated on multiple occasions that Torres is back, this is simply a massive over statement and at times the press have been almost patronising, further giving credence to the view that Torres is a shadow of his former self. When commentators credit his work rate and team play it is almost laughable, people mention his assists, but frankly a side does not pay £50 million for a striker to get assists against Genk or score goals against QPR.

His goal scoring, when it has happened, has been sporadic at best, and whilst I could never fault his work rate he simply does not fit into Chelsea’s style of play, and with confidence at rock bottom he no longer resembles his old self as he tries to hard and is over thinking his play, often reluctant to shoot. In his last full season at Liverpool he attepted 3.6 goals a game scoring 18 league goals, but this season he has attempted only 2.1 shots per game, demonstrating his lack of willingness to both get into postions as well as attempt to shoot, often more eagre to find a team mate.

At Liverpool he was caught offside once a game and at Chelsea just 0.3 times a game which arguably shows how he is no longer running in behind as he once did but coming deeper and deeper to get involved in the play, indicative of a player not trusting his natural instincts. It is not his fault, Chelsea do not play a style of play that caters to him which is why it was such a bizarre and ill thought out signing at the time.

 

The future for Torres

With his confidence clearly so low it is perhaps time for Chelsea to admit that it is not working. A fine player in his own right with a great record for Liverpool as well as for Spain (prior to joining Chelsea) but now his career is at a cross roads, at 28 this is his last chance to find form again or he will be remembered for just three good Premier League seasons whilst at Liverpool.

As stated the style of play Torres suited at Liverpool was quick balls in behind with the majority of his goals coming from him latching onto through balls and leaving defenders for dead with his pace. The way the club sign is crucial here. Chelsea need to bring in a deep-lying playmaker in the mould of Xabi Alonso in order to create faster transitions from defence to attack which will allow Torres to get in behind. Currently Chelsea’s build-up is either very slow or simply long balls to Drogba. Torres does not hold the ball up like Drogba so the alternative is the fast passes in behind back fours, utilizing his movement, for which a player like Modric will be required. Chelsea are not a possession based team with current personnel, of the top 40 passers in Europe in terms of passes played per game none are Chelsea players which is worrying for a side were crowned the best team in Europe.

Currently the Chelsea side is powerful rather than precise, and a few new additions could help this. The club have assured Torres that he is now the focal point of the side with Drogba leaving which implies who is ever is made the new manager will be mandated to create a style of play tailored to Torres. An influx of created players would contribute to this and currently it appears that Chelsea have won the race for Hazard who will provide plenty of energy and spark in behind Torres.

 

Conclusion

New signings are not necessarily going to totally remedy the problems Torres faces such low confidence that it may be difficult to re-find his self belief, especially if he spends a lot of the Euro’s on the bench. However they will help move Chelsea away from their Drogba-centric style of play to accommodate the more subtle style associated with Torres.

Chelsea do need to invest in a Alonso style play maker to make sure there is a fast supply in behind opposition back fours. The additions of Hazard and potentially Hulk will go some way to moulding Chelsea into a more fluid attacking side that can help benefit Torres but only time will tell whether he can regain some much needed confidence. If he doesn’t this would be a very, very expensive attempt at accommodating a player. Needless to say which ever manager takes over their brief will be to get Torres firing.

 

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7 Responses to “Thoughts on Torres & The Future”

  1. No matter who comes to occupy the coaching seat, should take it upon himself as a massive task to bring out the best in torres.
    The team especially the midfield should built to suit torres.
    If it takes bringing alonso, luka modric, then let’s not sleep over it.

  2. You shouldn’t be writing this… if u had wrote this sometimes last yr it would definitely make he headlines i guess u are watching a different Torres.. Chelsea is a team where anybody can score.. would you rather let Torres score and watch Chelsea loose?? This same Torres was the one behind the only corner kick that brought chelsea back against Bayern also did he score against Barca. What else do u want him to do.

  3. Great post mate. I agree with all of it. I hope Torres does it this year and I think he will. He is such a likeable character you gotta really feel for him. Proper wingers playing on wings, central attacking creative midfielder and I don’t think Torres will have to go out of position anymore. He was a great winger most of the season, let’s see how he does back in his striking position. If we do retain Di Matteo and play defensively still, at least we will have one helluva counter attack.

  4. Josh McEachran. I still think his best position is the no. 10 role but I doubt he’ll be kicking Mata out the side any time soon. People who write him off because he couldn’t get games at Swansea lack perspective. Also Lamps is transitioning into that deep lying role nicely and De Bruyne could slot in there. If we’re patient and avoid rash spending, Chalobah could be ready to make the step up soon enough. I think we’re ok if we continue with the double pivot midfield Robbie had been using.

    Then there’s the support of Mata, Hazard, Marin, Ramires, Piazon and possibly another player that’s hopefully not more than 25mil.

  5. I think the addition of Hulk was a tad bit more there, but I think its one of the best additions to the squad. Can’t wait for my Hulk blues jersey!

  6. A deep lying playmaker would be GREAT, i.e. Xabi Alonso, but I do not see a viable option on the market. This means that Chelsea will need to play almost tiki taka-ish, with tight passes being exchanged around the final third leading to quick break aways. However, with Hazard, Hulk, and Mata, Torres might as well be playing for Spain with the flair, creativity, technical ability, and pace surrounding him. Torres can, and should, score 20-25 goals this season, as I predict the following lineup:

    Cech

    Ivanovic Terry Luiz Cole

    Mikel/Meireles/Romeu Lampard

    Hulk/Ramires Mata/McEachran Hazard

    Torres

    World class

  7. When Torres was at Liverpool, he was world class. He scored plenty of goals and there where no complains about him. If Chelsea want the best out of him , use a similar system to what Liverpool used. He always played with gerrard in which he was a Centre forward, while torres was the striker. Play someone just off torres, lampard? Mata? Hazard? Hulk?
    Chelsea will be scoring plenty of goals then.