Benitez praises Torres' all-round Chelsea contribution
Wednesday 05 December 2012
Rafael Benitez has rejected claims that Fernando Torres is not contributing to the Chelsea team, and that his teammates are afraid to pass to him because of his poor form, insisting that the Spain international can offer more to the Champions League holders than goals, the Daily Mirror has reported.
Torres has scored only once in his last 11 appearances, against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League when he was struck by the goalkeeper’s attempted clearance and the ball rebounded into the net. Chelsea however face the prospect of elimination from the Champions League on Wednesday, if the result between Shakhtar and Juventus goes against them, and would become the first holders of the competition to exit the following year’s tournament at the group stage.
It was claimed by Gary Neville on Sky Sports that Torres’ colleagues were reluctant to pass to the striker out of fear he would not make the most of possession, but Benitez not only dismissed the comments of the England coach, but added Torres should be judged more on what he does for the team as a whole rather than his individual goal tally.
Benitez said: “His team-mates know he’s a great player. If he’s in the right position, they’ll play the ball to him. If not, maybe not. All I can do is see things on the pitch and in training, and Fernando is doing really well. He scored a lot of goals in training yesterday. He’s doing a great job.
“But it’s not just about scoring goals. We changed his position in corners, for example. I don’t know if Gary Neville had this opportunity, but two or three times he’s cleared the ball and afterwards, going man to man, he did well. He’s a good header, so we’ve put him in front of our goal to defend and he’s really good. As a striker, he’s helping the team.”
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