Fernando Torres must immediately address an old football adage

Since his colossal transfer shook the football world to its core nearly a year-ago, it would be fair to say that Fernando Torres’ Chelsea career best defines turbulent. Ever since fate decided his debut for his new club would be against his old club – only to be humiliated by his former employers – frustration and negativity have far outweighed rare moments of inspiration for the ex-Anfield idol. Despite this unsettled first year then, Torres now enters a vital stage of his career where he must re-discover his form so as to hopefully relocate his class.

Albeit by default, it now looks like he will be presented with a run in Chelsea’s first team as Andre Villas-Boas imminently loses Didier Drogba to the African Cup of Nations, while Daniel Sturridge continues to struggle with injury. Torres’ Chelsea career is best epitomised by just 38 minutes of football; a 4-1 home victory against Swansea in late September when his goal was reminiscent of the player nurtured under Rafael Benitez, only to be sent-off for a petulant act aimed at the Swans’ Mark Gower. Torres has since failed to score-again, and on just three occasions has he completed 90 minutes in the Premier League, however, with a new year, comes new hope for the flailing Spaniard.

The recent scrappy Molineux victory saw Torres begin to look comfortable in a blue shirt again, and barring a goal, his performance should offer strands of encouragement for his manager. The latter could perhaps take some blame for Torres’ underwhelming start to this campaign, as strikers who struggle for continuity in front of goal, not only need direction through such periods, but also need games to arrest such damning slides in form.

With Nicolas Anelka bound for Shanghai and the ageing Drogba absent for African Nations duty, Torres should not require further invitation. Home games with Sunderland and Manchester United sandwich back-to-back away trips to Norwich and Swansea throughout January and early February – games Chelsea should mostly perceive as winnable. Therefore the ex-Liverpool striker must now make himself un-droppable, if not only to save his club career but to also apprehend a declining international one. As the 2012 European Championships fast approach it should be mentioned he will not automatically be contemplating a summer of football. His record for his country in 2011 represented just nine appearances, (of which just two were competitive), and one solitary goal. As a result, his stock as one of the most revered strikers in Spain, let alone Europe, has been totally decimated.

The striker’s European Championship final winning goal back in 2008 seems a lifetime ago, and it was prolific impact of that ilk that Chelsea believed they acquired in the £50m transaction. In stark reality; the pace, technique and instinct of Torres that earn’t him immediate admiration on Merseyside was lost in translation. Following almost exactly a year as Chelsea’s no.09 then, there seems no better time for Torres to pull on the great footballing adage, that form is temporary and class is indeed permanent.

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