The career trajectory of Fernando Torres since he arrived in West London has been well documented. That he hasn't returned to the goalscoring form he displayed at Liverpool between 2007 and 2010 probably shouldn't have come as a shock to anybody that noticed how extensively he relied on his pace during the earlier parts of his career.
That, however, is beside the point. Enough has been written about that and, frankly, I have no interest in dragging it all up again. The more important factor, for me, is what the Torres purchase represents.
Having spent the last couple of years browsing the comments section of this blog (among others), I've noticed a tendency among football fans to covet players from other teams. Be it Fellaini, Cavani, Falcao, Modric, Aguero, Neymar, Ganso, Javi Martinez, Sahin, Hummels, Van der Wiel, Pastore or Sanchez, we've all done it at some point. Incidentally, those are just a few names that have come up over the last couple of years, usually during a transfer window and usually just before the player completes a big move to a new club.
There are many people (me included) that will spout off in the comments/pub about how spending £50m on Torres was a big mistake, but if we go out now and spend £40m on Falcao (for example) all of our problems will be solved. We all do it from time to time (although some of us more than others) and yet, to my knowledge, none of us have any formal training. We're not scouts. Nobody ever taught us how to properly identify talent; we're just using the things we've picked up from watching football and the (typically) small sample of matches we've actually seen the player we're talking about play and insisting that we know better.
Presumably the Chelsea scouting team hadn't looked at Fernando and concluded that £50m would be fantastic value and that we must definitely go and sign him immediately. Indeed, one has to only look at the brilliant job Chelsea have done of bringing in young talent in recent years to conclude that the decision to buy El Nino was made by somebody else and that's the reason I can still appreciate the purchase. It shows (to me, at least) that Roman is one of us.
Fans of other teams (particularly those that are fond of wearing red and hanging about in South West Manchester) took great delight in reminding us that Roman wasn't a Real Fan and that he'd soon get bored and leave us with a mountain of debt and the memory of past greatness (like another red team from the north). So far this hasn't happened and I don't think many people are still predicting it; certainly not with the obstinance that they used to, at least.
With that in mind, I can't help but appreciate that Roman has done pretty much exactly what I would have done if I had his fortunes. I would've bought Chelsea. I would've convinced myself that X player was exactly what we needed to make the team invincible. It probably wouldn't have been Torres, but I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't have done it, at least once. Hopefully he has learned (as I would have) that interfering with people that know more than you do is not necessarily the best way to run a football club, but it's nice to know that he's at least here for the right reasons.
Whilst I don't necessarily agree with all the decisions that he has made (in much the same way that we often disagree here) I at least feel like he's making his decisions as a Chelsea fan as well as an owner and that's alright by me.