Fernando Torres has spoken extensively about his fight to be in the starting line-up on a regular basis, getting used to life on the bench, and his relationship with Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard. In an amazing revelation, Torres also admits that he is lost for words to explain his poor form in front of goal.
Torres took an amazing 900 minutes to open his account for Chelsea. He was expected to kick on from there, but after almost four years, we are still waiting for it to happen. Ahead of the anticipated arrival of Diego Costa or any other high-profile striker, he is set to start the new campaign on the bench. Torres says that he misses the days when he was a guaranteed starter. He said:
“Today, I am a different player but I am not going to lie to you: the player that I was, the one who started all the matches with a guaranteed place, I really miss sometimes. At one point, I even sat myself down to watch videos of my goals: I wanted to understand what I was doing before when I was scoring.
“I concluded that the only thing that had changed was the colour of the shirt.”
The Spaniard has gone on to hint that – after careful analysis – Chelsea’s style of play may not suit him. Torres may have some truth, as Chelsea did appear to be spoilt by the humongous presence of Didier Drogba. By the time Drogba left, Torres’ confidence was dented beyond measure. “Everything is a question of adaptation to the playing style of a team,” Torres continued. “There are the styles which suit me well and others less, that is all.
“Clearly [Mourinho’s] aim is to sign another attacker for next season, but I am going to continue to work to make him change his opinion.”
Torres hints that he was caught in a vicious circle that just didn’t appear ready to spit him out. Managers came and went, but his position in the team remained inconclusive. “I understood nothing of what had happened. I started to get to know the bench,” Torres said. “I reassured myself by saying things would soon change. [Andre] Villas-Boas arrived, then [Roberto] Di Matteo, but it was always the same: one day I played, the next not.”
“When you play, you do not ask yourself how it feels to be on the bench. You have to live it to understand how difficult it is to be there without being there. To enter a match knowing you do not have the confidence of the coach. To play when you simply don’t have the habit of playing.
“I felt bizarre, I had the feeling of getting tired quicker, of being heavier. I had no gas. You have to fight against a lot of things to get off the bench, sometimes even against yourself.”
As much as he may have been criticised over the years, it is difficult not to feel sorry for Torres. This is a player who has been a regular starter throughout his career. He was the captain of Atletico Madrid when he was just 19.
Torres then went on to state the incredible rapport he shared with Liverpool midfielder Gerrard. “Announcing my departure from Liverpool to Gerrard was one of the most difficult moments of my career. He was my best teammate and I am not sure of finding another like him in the future. We were made for each other.”