Is Torres Feeling The Love?

I was in a cab when I heard we’d signed Andriy Shevchenko. I remember it because I’d been saying for two seasons we should sign him.  I remember how I took the absolute piss out of the other passenger in the cab with me – a Milan fan who’d sworn all along Shevchenko would never leave AC.  More than that though, I remember how it felt – I can even imagine the look on my face when it came through on the radio.  I’d seen plenty of what Sheva could do and been to the San Siro enough times myself to know what an important player he was – and suddenly he was a Chelsea player – bloody overjoyed just doesn’t cover it.

Needless to say then, I was gutted the way his spell at Chelsea went.  In fact, the longer it went on, the more painful it got. For those who know anything aout the 7 stages of grief, well that was me, I did the lot.  From doing my best ostrich impression, through arguing with everyone around me (except the big man upstairs, who of course I was still bargaining with by way of a few Hail Mary’s), right up to downright sulking. I held off the acceptance bit, right up until I realised it was more cruel for us to keep him.

Sort of a standing joke for us though really – Stamford Bridge is where strikers come to ‘end’ their careers. Shevchenko certainly wasn’t the first player whose goals seemed to dry up the minute he pulled on a Chelsea shirt (he was just the most expensive) and he wasn’t to be the last either…..

A couple of years and an extra £20million later, Step up Fernando Torres.

Similarly to Shevchenko’s signing, I remember where I was when our £50million signing was announced – mainly because I’d hardly left the room during the transfer window. Glued to SkySports and the internet, I spent the whole night dreading another ‘Robinho’ fiasco, crossing my fingers whilst frantically updating the blog, being wound up by an opposition supporter on msn, whilst trying, in turn, to wind up as many scousers as was humanly possibly in a day.

And then, whilst not in the realms of Shevchenko (mainly because he’d come from Liverpool so not a player I’d ever particularly cared for), I still remember how I felt.  Not elation exactly but close enough to feel a bit smug. We’d got our ‘big’ signing. After the embarrassment of Robinho (little did we know!) and the utter disappointment of United getting Berbatov – it was our turn – and I knew they didn’t like it.

You see, not only had we just signed Fernando Torres – whose career of course, we were going to resurrect – but we had the strike force of Didier Drogba and Torres combined! Imagine that! Of course it made the opposition unhappy, but whilst they were left pretty deflated from that particular transfer window, Stamford Bridge was awash with happiness – and ‘awash’ is certainly an apt description considering the hard-ons it undoubtedly induced.  Unfortunately for us though, this isn’t something that’s been reciprocated so far because, over the last 12 months, the only thing stiff about Fernando Torres has been his ability to finish.

Similarly to Shevchenko, I’ve refused to believe Torres needs to go and right before the United game, I was still at the point where I could only see his every move through blue-tinted glasses. Even on the tube, I almost accepted someone’s “but how many does he set-up?” argument. And to an extent, whilst I mentioned the minor issue of us not paying £50million for him to ‘set them up’, I wasn’t about to labour the point.

Watching it back again later though, I’d have needed more than tinted shades to miss his lack of confidence. The Reds must have been expecting the inevitable when the golden opportunity presented itself to our Spanish striker. I mean, he ‘loves’ scoring against them right? Enough of them said it before the game – except, that was then and this is now – because, as we know to our cost, he let the opportunity go begging.

So, what’s the difference between then and now – apart from a shitload of goals? Well, similarly to Shevchenko, Fernando Torres came to us at a time when he wasn’t in the best of form anyway. An injury before the end of a decent 2009/10 season for Liverpool meant he needed a spell out – but like too many players, he returned from that prematurely for international duty and has never returned to his best since.

Having come to us under those circumstances and then failed to set the world alight immediately, the pressure in the press inevitably started – but was it just from the press?

If he has major concerns, Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas hides it well in the press, insisting he is happy enough with the rest of Nando’s game. Like the Jose Mourinho situation with Sheva though, Torres was not a major signing of choice for AVB – he was inherited (albeit before his arrival on this occasion), so not the ideal way to feel wanted.

Then there’s the rest of the squad. Yesterday, TheChelseaBlog looked at the impact ‘player power’ could be having at the club and you’d have to think this sort of thing could come into play with new signings. Our ‘senior’ players have been at the club a fair while and it wouldn’t be unheard of for these ‘old-timers’ to have an opinion on such a significant signing. Certainly 6 months or more ago, there was the odd whisper about a ‘bust-up’ in training – I don’t recall reading it in the press at the time – although rumour had it there was an alleged row between Nando and another senior player who may, or may not have felt his place under threat. Surely if this sort of thing is more than a rumour, it has to unsettle a player like Nando?  Similar to Shevchenko, feeling almost the outsider trying to play your way in has to have an impact – even worse if you’re made to feel as isolated on the pitch as you feel off it? How often have we questioned the lack of service he gets for example?

Maybe all this hearsay is just clutching at that ‘denial’ straw again though and maybe the bust-up was a one-off borne out of the frustration of his barren spell rather than being its route cause? Well, whichever it is, at the time, the rumour was that the Spanish striker was more than capable of standing up for himself off the pitch………… its just a question of whether he’ll ever start doing that on it?


14 Responses to “Is Torres Feeling The Love?”

  1. I’ve always wondered about the curse of us signing strikers. So few of them ever seem to do well, and even fewer actually meet expectations. Highly rated class players who come to Chelsea and just wither and die, the goals do not come and they are discarded soon after. Fleck was a massive one, Casiraghi (although he was very unlucky), Sutton, Kezman, Mutu (promised so much, silly boy), Sheva and Torres. The media always labeled Crespo in that category but I dont think that is fair – he was class. In fact the only really top striker buys we’ve made in last 15 years or so that you can say really mega paid off were Flo, Hasselbaink, Gudjohnsen, Drogba, Zola, Hughes and it could possibly be argued, Vialli.

    What is it that makes Stamford Bridge a graveyard for very good strikers? Curse of the number nine shirt perhaps? Bad luck or mental block? Expectation perhaps?

  2. Torres is a total waste!! He should be sold now..

  3. AVB and TORRES should leave CHELSEA

  4. My chelsea fomation first eleven 1 cech 2 ivanovic 3 cahill 4 terry 5 bentrard 6 luiz 7 remires 8 essien 9 mata 10 kallou 11 william 4 3 3

  5. My chelsea first eleven next season 1 cech 2 ivanovic 3 cahill 4 terry 5 bentrard 6 luiz 7 remires 8 essien 9 mata 10 kallou 11 william or hazard? 4 3 3

  6. After 12months me thinks the verdict is in. The acceptance by all ‘invested’ in his success, as always, lags reality.

  7. give him 3 more months!!

  8. Like all great player’s they lack self esteem when the people around them dont communicate with them, yes they need that arm around their shoulders to give thier self esteem boost (pick up), it costs nothing to do this and that’s what managers do. Benitez at Liverpool was fighting with owners and his own demons, Carlo his demons were Drogba, Malouda & co and finally AVB he hasn’t even learned how to communicate to himself let alone the player’s so Torres as no chance of regaining his self esteem. No wait Breaking News Roman has now realized he was wrong to remove Carlo from the job knows it to late to get him back but will put Guss Hiddink in charge along with Ray Wilkins not only will we see Torres regain his self esteem and become the player he was and know he is but the whole sguad will receive a boost of self esteem and become the player’s they were when Guss Hiddink was last in charge Winner’s with Blue Blood

  9. Sadly it’s been a total failure. I have to say that I didn’t celebrate wildly upon the signing of Torres as Chelsea D did when Schev was signed…as I thought Suarez would have been a wiser (and cheaper) bet. Suarez has his problems obviously, but I don’t think I’ve been wrong about that.

    Nevertheless I was optimistic and hopeful for a long period of time. Unfortunately Torres has failed and it’s obvious he will continue to do so. I am still waiting for the EPL defender he can outrun and/or outmaneuver. There isn’t one. Well, okay, maybe Bosingwa but that doesn’t help much, does it?

  10. We need mata or lampard need start firing in balls for torres to run on to. We should have torres up front alone and have him run on to ball, where with drogba who can hold up the ball should get less balls to run on to and more ball trap. We should play a 2-4-4 with torres and drogba up front with mata behind them to play the up to drogba and and drobga can play to balls for torres and mata to run on. Then we should have essin in the back with raul and frank in front of him. Then on defence luiz cahill terry and cole.
    Luiz. Cahill. Terry. Cole
    Lampard. Raul
    Torres. Drogba

  11. Torres is class and always will be, you cannot buy that or hide it. No, at present he is not finding the net as often as the negative fans and press want, but for me he warrants a place in the starting line up as he is by far a better football player than Drogba and from his first touch to his ball play and effort alone…..needs help to get back to the goals…..BUT i feel there is a lot more behind this…possibly his support of AVB?
    Possibly some of the older heads don’t like his support of their Anti-AVB movement???
    Conspiracy theory maybe….but I do feel there is more to this than meets the eye and as they say it will come out in the wash….
    Personally I feel AVB and Torres will depart…..I don’t want it to happen….but feel the decision has already been made!

  12. Regardless of anything that happens to AVB and Torres, the so called clique has to be broken otherwise they will destroy this club. Every single one of them who seem to have an influence in the dressing room should/must be shown the exit door.

  13. torres cannot score if the midfield is not gud enough..he is the one whu created chances for the others to score..mata ,lampard,ramires should b the attackin midfield,romeu essien shud b the defensive midfield,ivanovic,cahill,terry,n luiz shud b the defence,cezc must b replace,he’s the worst keeper in the world..chelsea need to chance their tactics that wil solve their problem..they dnt nid new formation 4-2-3-1

  14. I think Torres needs to grow some balls. Thats all I have to say.