In defence of Fernando Torres

by admin

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

For Fernando Torres, it will be a long way back to media approval. His move to Chelsea, for a record £50m, will lead to him always being highly scrutinised and criticised for each game where he doesn’t score.

His performance against Manchester United, which included a fine goal, a number of feats of fleeting footwork and concluded a great week for him, which included two assists against Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday, will be remembered for one other incident.

The Spaniard suffered an admittedly horrendous and sudden loss of technique as he sliced a left-footed tap-in to miss an open goal having beaten countryman David De Gea. It is already being reported as the ‘miss of the century’ by the Daily Mirror and ‘one of the worst misses in living memory’ by the Daily Telegraph. His despair will be the photo on the back page and the subject of the headline.

However, this is an overreaction and typical media fixation on the negatives over the positives. Nani’s stunning strike, Torres’ own beautiful clipped finish or even Wayne Rooney’s own calamitous penalty miss could assume that position but obviously Torres performance, who, to borrow another hysterical comment from the Torygraph ‘added another sorry chapter to his miserable Chelsea career’, seemed the most dramatic. If he flicks it in and makes it 3-2 with ten minutes remaining, game on.

As a Chelsea fan, Torres has been disappointing to this point in his stay at Stamford Bridge, but any fan is obliged to acknowledge his commitment, level of effort and technical skill. He may not be scoring a lot of goals but it is hard not to empathise with a player who is going through something of a goalscoring rut.

Goalscoring ability is one of those intangible knacks – Thierry Henry made a living from making something from nothing, Ruud van Nistelrooy was always in the right place in the right time – and Torres possessed that quality at Liverpool. After an injury-riddled 2010 season and a well below-par World Cup, he never achieved full fitness and wasn’t himself for the entire season, both at Liverpool and then at Chelsea.

So, how long is too long before Torres can be inducted into the Hall of Shame of unfortunate transfer blunders? Maybe until the end of this season. It is crucial that he continue scoring for his club, both for his confidence and for Chelsea’s sake,


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