Time for Torres to shine as excuses begin to run out

As Fernando Torres continues to await his first goal of the season, a strike which would be just his second for the club, the Chelsea striker has been warned by his manager that sympathy for the goal-shy forward is by no means unlimited.

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas spent much of pre-season defending the big-money signing acquired during the reign of his predecessor, Carlo Ancelotti; but, in recent days, Villas-Boas has also reiterated that the performance of the team is his main priority and that Torres’ place could be in jeopardy should the team’s circumstances require change: “It can never compromise the objectives of the team and the things you want to achieve. It’s not just about scoring goals, it’s about creating opportunities and he’s been doing that. The moment when it compromises the running of the team I think it has to come to an end.

The Chelsea boss has also been quick to declare that Torres’ alarming struggle for form is a question of confidence rather than ability. Returning for pre-season after a long-awaited break from football, having completed a hectic schedule for club and country in recent years, Torres returned to training apparently clear of niggling injuries that had hampered the early days of his Chelsea career. Having found the net in friendlies against Wycombe Wanderers and Aston Villa, many Chelsea fans had hoped the former Liverpool man had rediscovered his goalscoring touch. However, having failed to score in his side’s opening three matches this season, the striker would appear to be looking at the bigger picture.

Having managed to help tempt compatriot Juan Mata to the club, Torres feels such signings will bring about a change of pace under the new Villas-Boas regime. The Spaniard, who forged a prolific linkup with Steven Gerrard during his time at Anfield, feels the injection of pace in the Chelsea side will only prove productive for a side looking to usher in a new era: “In the next matches, you will see another pace, and I hope the midfield will adapt to that pace. That is what you need in the Premier League. If not, then the teams don’t work.” Having seen Chelsea bring in Torres’ former teammate, Raul Meireles from Liverpool, and the return of Daniel Sturridge offering a new option in attack, Torres would now appear to be surrounded by the kind of support he feels he will thrive upon.

With great strides appearing to be taken in order to give Chelsea a new attacking style, Fernando Torres would appear to be a key figure in Andre Villas-Boas’ Chelsea project. However, with the striker still struggling to reproduce the form that commanded his massive transfer fee, Torres will be looking to contribute more frequently to the cause, before he becomes the first high-profile casualty of the latest new era at Stamford Bridge.

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