Saturday, 9 April 2011

Why Chelsea must drop Fernando Torres if they are to have any chance of success this season

Here’s a fact for you, Fernando Torres is out of form. Since his £50 million pound to Chelsea, Torres has been distinctly average. His performances have been lethargic and uninspiring. Not what you would expect from a £50 million pound striker.

But, Carlo Ancelotti has kept a reasonable amount of faith in Chelsea’s record signing. Fair enough really. A Torres in form and in confidence can have the ability to be lethal. But 9 games into his Chelsea career he has still yet to score for Chelsea or even assist the team.

Chelsea are not a one man team. The team does not depend on Fernando Torres. Chelsea still have some fantastic attackers at the club. The likes of Nicholas Anelka and Didier Drogba are still quality centre forwards.

If Chelsea want to maximise their small chances of success this season and they must drop Fernando Torres. It’s vividly clear. Torres is out of form and confidence. His famous clinical finishing has been poor and has lacked conviction. In Torres’ first 5 Premier League games for Chelsea, he has had 10 shots and 1 single shot on target. An unsettling fact for the Chelsea faithful.

But for Chelsea, Torres has been a by passer of their games. His movement on and off the ball has been rather poor and lacklustre. His brilliant first touch and dribbling skills which made him glow at Anfield, are nowhere to be seen at Stamford Bridge.

As much as Chelsea want to see Torres performing and scoring. They need to put the club’s results over the form of a player. Since Torres joined on the 31st of January, here’s the number of starts given by Ancelotti to Torres, Drogba and Anelka.


No. starts since Torres has joined

No. of goals since Torres has joined

Nicholas Anelka



Didier Drogba



Salomon Kalou



Fernando Torres




5 Goals

Its rather surprising Ancelotti has chosen Drogba the least amount of times, seeing as he is Chelsea’s top Premier League goal scorer this season and is a lethal striker. But one thing is evident. Torres has been given over three months to find a suitable level of performance for Chelsea along with some goals. But he has failed to do any of these things.

As much as Torres’ own personal performances have been poor, the Chelsea players are finding it hard to provide for him. Torres is a player who likes to receive the ball quickly to feet and have the chance to utilise his pace. However, Chelsea like to play the ball in a calculated and composed manner. This means that at times Chelsea can pass the ball quite slowly. This has had an effect on Torres’ performances. But the simple fact is Torres needs to adapt to Chelsea’s style.

However, Chelsea need to find a suitable role for Torres. This needs to be a role of which Torres can perform to the best of his ability and the other Chelsea players can understand the role of Torres in the team. However, this can take months. And as Chelsea are in the business the end of the season, they don’t have the time to experiment. As it could cost them crucial results and points.

One may say that the Chelsea’s defeat against Man United in the Champions League is a prime example. The red men from Manchester are now in pole position to progress to the last four of the Champions League. Chelsea may have been more confident and more assertive in that game, had they played Anelka ahead of Torres. The reason for this, is because most of Chelsea’s success last season stemmed from the brilliance and the balance of Dider Drogba and Nicholas Anelka upfront. Furthermore, playing those two particular strikers gives the Chelsea players and the fans a bit more confidence and assurance. As the two strikers are tried and tested and have proved they can combine effectively and perform for Chelsea.

Last season Anelka scored 15 goals, while Dider Drogba scored a brilliant 37 goals. Now of course, Chelsea’s form has been indifferent this season and they haven’t been as strong as they were last season. But this season Anelka has scored 16 goals and Drogba has scored 10 goals. While Torres has scored 9 goals, but they were all for Liverpool. This proves that if Chelsea are going to score, its more likely going to be from Anelka or Drogba.

The Chelsea fans are aware that when Drogba and Anelka combine and are both on form, they can be a lethal partnership. And can make Chelsea demolish teams. But it seems Torres would be far more effective for Chelsea if he played in a lone striker role. When Fernando Torres lines up alongside Anelka or Drogba he seems to lack a cohesive link with his fellow strikers. It’s as if there working in separate roles and aren’t looking to combine. The Guardian reported that Torres and Drogba have played 169 minutes together, but have only exchanged 5 passes together. This clearly emphasises the alarming lack of functionality between Torres and the other strikers.

Had Torres been scoring at least once every two games, no one would question the functionality of Torres and the other strikers. But Torres’ form clearly demonstrates he hasn’t adapted to Chelsea’s style. And his poor form is hindering Chelsea.

Chelsea are craving for glory, after an embarrassing season for the team in Blue. They have been knocked out of two domestic competitions at home and have lost a crucial home game in the Champions League, and that result could see their European aspirations end for yet another season.

If Carlo Ancelotti and Chelsea are serious about making this disaster of a season a success, they must drop Fernando Torres. Torres has a big future at Chelsea. But Chelsea must revert to the system which has reaped success for them in the past year. This system scores goals and gets them results.

The fact still stands for Fernando Torres. The £50 million pound man has played 9 games for Chelsea and hasn’t scored a single goal. Since Torres has joined, every striker for Chelsea has scored.

Doesn’t this tell you something?

Things you may like to read

A Closer look at Liverpool ahead of thier game against Man City -

This weekend's Premier League predictions - preds from Micheal Cox (Zonal Marking) and John Bradley (LFCTV) -

How will Chelsea line up now they have Fernando Torres -

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