Saturday, 16 March 2013

The Torres Effect

What happened to Fernando Torres, where did the once prolific forward go? He has been at Stamford Bridge long enough to have sorted himself out but still he remains a joke to most football fans. Here, we have a look at the Spaniard's demise and what it is that might have gone wrong.

Since joining Chelsea Torres has been one of the biggest flops in history, the laughing stock of the Premier League in many respects, especially after the infamous open goal miss against Manchester United! He began his Premier League life at Liverpool when he joined from Atletico Madrid in 2007. It's fair to say that he had a blistering start to his career in England. He racked up an astonishing 33 goals in 46 games in all competitions in his debut season. A great achievement for his first season in England and Liverpool looked to have found a new hero. He continued to impress and built up a fearsome partnership with Steven Gerrard however in the 2010-2011 season struggled with injury and could only manage 9 league goals.

On 31st January 2011, Torres completed a move that would shock the football world, he went to Chelsea for a staggering £50m. This was the crucial point in his career when it all went downhill. From Liverpool's main man to football's punchbag, Torres didn't get his first goal until April 2011 against fellow London club, West Ham United.  Since the move, Torres has only managed 28 goals in 116 games for Chelsea, hardly a record to be envious of. 

With Torres, various phrases come into mind, such as 'Form is temporary, class is permanent  and 'You don't become a bad player overnight'. However, he joined Chelsea in 2011 and is still to really get going in the blue shirt. Torres is a shadow of the once speedy, sharp-eyed striker and now cuts a feeble figure at Stamford Bridge these days. He's had a few mini come-backs but they nearly always peter out eventually. So what has gone wrong with Torres, how can someone so prolific turn into the most overpriced player in history? Well one reason that many cite is his pace. The one difference that most seem to have noticed is that he has lost a yard of pace. Fair enough, he might not be as quick as he used to but he's still not slow and speed isn't everything! Another excuse is that he lacks confidence, I personally don't think he can get away with that one. Since flopping at Chelsea, he has had countless mini revivals including a hatrick in April 2012 and the Chelsea fans were firmly behind him when he first joined. There's been many times where we all thought the 'old Torres' was back but he has repeatedly made sure that finishes up pretty quickly. 

Perhaps you could blame the players around Torres for his demise, however I find it incredibly hard to believe that anyone could blame their service when he has such gifted players as Mata and Hazard playing behind them. He has been stuck up front on his own but this was the case at Liverpool too so you can't blame the system either. So far this season, manager Rafa Benitez has taken the blame for Chelsea's inconsistency and poor results however he can't be cited as a reason for Torres' goal droughts. Torres played under Benitez at Liverpool when he first flourished in the Premier League so if anything then that's a point on his side!

Perhaps he was simply over-hyped at Liverpool and his time there was a complete fluke? I find that difificult to believe as to go from the dizzying heights he was reaching, being one of the best strikers in the world to what he has become is a huge drop. He looked truly world class at Liverpool and I believe the hype was fully justified.

So after considering as many possible reason as we could, we're none the wiser as to what's happened to Torres. Is it his pace, his confidence, his team? Who knows, maybe it's a combination of them all.

One thing that is for sure though is he's not the only one to have suffered a hit after flying out the traps in the Premier League. Other names that come to mind are Nikica Jelavic and Papiss Cisse. Both joined the Premier League in January of 2012 and became fan favourites immediately. Jelavic came from Rangers and few had much expectation however he proved doubters wrong and hit 11 goals in just 16 games last season, building up a reputation of being one of the deadliest finishers about. This season has been much less prolific for the Croatian and he hasn't even registered 10 in 34 games for the Merseysiders, he hasn't a looked a patch on the man he was last season. Cisse has had similar problems since he burst onto the scene with Newcastle. He was a goal-machine when he joined, smashing in 13 goals in 14 games including some unbelievable strikes. This season has been a completely different story as he's only registered 10 times in 36 games. Both players caught everyone's eye last season but have struggled to recapture that form so far this campaign. The one thing that they do have on their side when they don't score however, is their price tag, neither were even close to Torres' £50m mark.

These 3 players are some of the biggest mysteries in recent years and none have managed to get going again so far this season. However, whether their good form will return, only time will tell, maybe they truly are flukes! I'm sure Chelsea, Everton and Newcastle fans sorely hope not as they search for their once hero to guide the team up the league once more!

What do you think? Tell us in the comments section below!

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it!


  1. Torres doesn't have the same love for Chelsea as he did for Liverpool and the club doesn't towards him. Some players do just decline significantly at an early age and I think his many injuries have contributed to this. He's a massive confidence player and that's been a key issue for him over the past few years. I think people need to stop focusing on getting the "old Torres" back and focus on getting the most they can out of him now.

    1. Really interesting comment, fully agree with a lot of the stuff in there!


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