Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Reinvention Of Chelsea's Fernando Torres

Fernando Torres at his best, was an absolute terror. Just ask Nemanja Vidic. Or even the whole Manchester United team for that matter. There is no fluke that El Nino became the fastest Liverpool player to reach the 50-goal mark. His searing speed, excellent touch and great dribbling skills made him a Kop hero as soon as he arrived at Anfield. Rafa Benitez' playing system brought out the best in Nando. Steven Gerrard's promptings helped elevate Torres to Anfield hero status.

Without Benitez and with an injured Gerrard, Torres cut a lonely figure upfront for Liverpool in his final season. Nando never settled within the team built by a cautious Roy Hodgson and was soon on his way when Chelsea plumped up the big money for him. His reason - the need to win trophies. For all his individual brilliance, Torres' Liverpool career was marred by boardroom struggles and no trophies. The move to Chelsea was purely motivated by the need for success.

At Liverpool, Roy Hodgson tried to play Torres as a target man and though he still scored goals, since Liverpool players were familiar with him, the Spaniard never looked comfortable. Ironically, that's exactly the way Chelsea plays - with a target man. Torres found very quickly that the service from the Chelsea midfield without a Gerrard-like player, was poor and laboured. He had to reinvent himself if he wanted to be a success at The Bridge.

As it turned out, it was not such a bad thing. The physical nature of the Premiership and his own explosiveness have put a heavy toll on Torres' limbs and so Chelsea bought a player who no longer resembled the old Torres who relied on his pace and elusiveness to score goals. Nando needed to be like Drogba, a play making target man in order to succeed at Stamford Bridge. It has taken him over a year but Torres is clearly more adept now to play the target man.

His link up play is a lot better this season. Eight assists this season is his highest haul since his arrival to England. The cross he sent for Mata to volley past United's De Gea showed that he still has that instinctive footballing ability. He works a lot harder as well in Chelsea blue as Torres often need to defend from the front. His overall play and involvement in matches are much improved as compared in Liverpool red.

Fernando Torres has systematically remodelled his game to suit Chelsea. He is getting some successes with improved personal performances but the transformation to target man will only be complete once he starts banging in the goals and scoring the tap-ins for Chelsea.


Anonymous said...

More yellow cards than goals for Chelsea - just about says it all!

per head service said...

he has his low moments and I think that he will be doing better. i think that he needs a little of time to improve.

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