Despite three years of struggling at Stamford Bridge, we've seen remarkably little outright criticism of Fernando Torres from the players who took the field alongside him. Some of that is just a matter of being a good teammate, but it's a bit of a shock that nobody asked, say, Jose Bosingwa what it was like being in the same team as the thoroughly misfiring striker. But now it sounds like enough as enough. Not for Chelsea players, mind, but for former Liverpool man Danny Murphy:
Over the last couple of years [Torres has] no excuses. He’s tried to work hard on his fitness – you can tell that – and at times he looks sharp, but he’s never been technically that brilliant. I remember when he was doing well at Liverpool taking to a couple of the lads there and they were a bit negative about his technical ability and what he didn’t have, rather than what he did have, which was pace and power. But the rest of his game has never been perfect, far from it, in fact.
There was a spell at Liverpool when he was unplayable because of his power and his pace, but once he lost that and his confidence went he became reliant on his technical ability, which he’s not very good at – his hold up play, his passing, his decision making, which is terrible.
Well then. That's not far short of 'brutal', and I'd take umbrage with the characterisation of Torres -- at least Chelsea Torres -- as deficient in all aspects of the game bar pace and power, since he's worked pretty hard to improve on those fronts. But as for the general thrust, that Torres was reliant on pace and power and has neither anymore... well, this has been obvious for years, hasn't it?