The latest edition of The Fernando Torres Report is here! In this column, I offer my perspective on Chelsea's £50m man! Today, I look at today's Champions League match against Valencia.
How easily could this have been a great column? If not for the wizardry of Diego Alves, we'd have been singing the praises of our favourite long-haired Spainard. [Unless your favourite is Carles Puyol, in which case, get out.] As it was, Chelsea, and their main striker, were pretty subdued today, but Valencia are a good team, and they'll do that, especially at home. Of course, it's a hell writing about such a match, but I've tried my best, even if it's a bit short.Really, Chelsea, apart from the ten minute spell [see what I did there?] in which Alves briefly looked like either the world's greatest keeperor the world's most ill-equipped sorcerer, were a bit lacklustre. I don't think that's all that unexpected. As I said earlier, Valencia will do that to teams. As I also said earlier, Torres wasn't great either, but Valencia did a great job of marginalising him. It didn't help that he was playing with both Malouda and Lampard, who, history has shown, don't link well with him. Despite the relatively low number of chances, Torres looked pretty good today. He was pretty dangerous with his chances when he got them. Don't believe the inevitable Official Media Narrative (tm) about Torres misfiring. It was Diego Alves alone which stood between him and a well-deserved brace.
His header was fantastic, though the save was better. It really was a great striker's finish. His clear exasperation at Alves' save should demonstrate how good it was. His other big chance came just minutes later, when the ball fell to him in a great position. He took the chance well, but, unfortunately, Alves did too. It was just one of those night for 'Nando, where a goal just wasn't happening. He didn't get down or switch off, before he was substituted in the 72nd minute.
Really, this isn't a game which can tell us a lot about either Chelsea or its expensive striker. He has now played three pretty decent matches in a row, if you discount the sending off against Swansea. As a striker, he's advanced well. I've maintained that he just needed to maintain his recent form to be considered "back." Despite the lack of a goal today, Torres is where he needs to be. No striker scores in every match, and if not for the way he began his Chelsea career, nobody would notice or care about his performance today. You're doing well, Nando, we believe in you. We always have. Better luck next time!