I want to start this post by saying this is not me slagging off Fernando Torres. Far from it.
Since we signed the stylish Spaniard from Liverpool, he hasn't managed to fire on all cylinders. He was suffering from a massive lack of confidence, but more importantly he had been operated on his knee, and as far as I can tell he has definitely lost his spark of electric pace. But all of that is behind us now. He's playing alongside some of the best players in the premier league and he is starting to look a lot better. His biggest problem right now is his unwillingness to shoot. He needs to be a bit more greedy at times. Look at the Norwich game, we were roughly 3 minutes into the game and he was in acres of space. Now in a comparison I would say that RvP would have scored that, but I guess that hard to know. I will say one thing though, he would have had a shot. I am guessing a few of you will say its unfair to be relating Torres to RvP but I don't think so. At City you have 4 players who would score 30 goals if they played every game of the season, at United you have RvP and Rooney, Hernandez and Welbeck as the sort of second tier of talent.
Torres has done this a few times, and instead of slagging him off saying it's a different Torres I actually went back and looked at his Liverpool days when he was feared by two of the best defences the Premier League has ever seen (Terry and Carvalho, and Vidic and Ferdinand) who Torres literally took apart on his own. There was an interesting case against Hull where he scores a hat-trick, but in his third goal he did exactly what he did against Norwich. He waited for a lot longer, with everyone thinking, Shoot, but he waited, and went past a defender twice to then casually stroke home. So my argument is that in many cases he is no diferent to the striker he used to be, but he simply lacks the pace he used to have. It worries me that he looked distinctly slow against the Tottenham back four, and lets imagine him up against Pique and Alves, or Pepe and Ramos. He would be struggling to outpace them, which is not a good thing.
His overall game, has definitely improved, but the obvious question that has to be posed is, would another stiker be scoring more goals? Because at the end of the day, it would be unfair to expect Mata to score the volume of goals Lampard used to get every year, and he is our striker. If each of those front players manages to get 10+ goals (which is fairly realistic) then we are looking at a very good attack. Ramires usually chips in with almost 10, the defence together will probably get 15, and then an extra 10-15 from non-first team players brings the tally to around 65-70. Remember this is what we got last year. With a striker getting 30 in a season (which for a very top club is almost demanded now, look at Aguero/Tevez, RvP, Benzema, Villa, Gomez, and that's discounting Messi and Ronaldo as anomalies). I would suggest that if Chelsea had Falcao or Neymar then we would be looking at getting 30 goals from either of them. I think Falcao would almost guarantee it Neymar would be a risk, but he is a risk that could far exceed Falcao. The reason I think this is that Falcao's finishing is probably the best on the planet at the moment. Example A super cup. But I found out something that almost amazed me of his quality. I have a very close friend who is a Madrid supporter (die hard) and he was of the assumption that Falcao was left footed. I thought he was right footed. So I watched a compilation of his goals throughout the season and penalties are right foot, but if you saw one without penalties I would think he was a world class left footed striker. Off on a bit of a tangent I know, but he would bring a lot of goals to Chelsea. His movement is exceptional, and give him half a chance and he would score. He brings more of an ariel threat than Torres, and he is probably just as quick.
With our new set up we are dominating the smaller teams in the PL. It will take a longer time to transfer that to the big games, as I can't see us doing that to City for a while, and if we tried to play Barca football against Barca we would be torn to shreds, but for a good 25 minute spell yesterday we did play Barcelona football. The game was all in Spurs half and Ramires and Mikel were working their socks off to win the ball back within seconds of Tottenham having it. They fed it back to the three magicians, and the tiki-taka football started again. It was such high intensity and we were putting Spurs to shame for a while. But that won't happen for 90 minutes for a long time. Not against a side as good as Spurs (it pained me to say that).
In the new system though, we are always look for a bit of magic to break through defences, and I think that will continue and teams will start coming to Stamford Bridge and put 11 men behind the ball and see if we can do it then. With that in mind Neymar clearly looks like the way forward. He might go down easily and maybe be too lightweight for the Premier League, but he clearly has that spark that can see him beat 2 players and be through on goal. Over 5 yards, he is quicker than Hazard which is scary. with 11 men behind the ball he is that Messi type player who would score a goal from nothing.
So Roman, if we are planning for the future, go get Neymar, if you want instant success, I suspect we will sign Falcao. Falcao would be a top striker for 4 years at the most, and then we would probably have missed out on signing Neymar. I don't think we can have both, they wouldn't fit. But I do think with either of them you would have to see us as joint favourites with City for the league.
With Torres, I don't think that's the case.