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Fernando Torres and expectations

Jasper Juinen

I look forward to talking with Mourinho and to know what plans he has for me. The first thing I am aware of is he will expect much more from me, I expect more from me. Now I have pressure Mourinho adds and that's a challenge for a player.

-Fernando Torres. Source: Onda Cero via Sky Sports.

There have been a lot of jokes (I think they're jokes, anyway), about the prospect of selling Fernando Torres this summer. This is probably a pipe dream, and I'd guess we're something like 95 percent likely to have Torres on the squad at the end of August. While selling him would make sense for Chelsea, if we assume that won't happen the best we can hope for is that Torres continues to improve and becomes a viable Champions League-calibre centre forward.

Last season was undoubtedly Torres' best at Chelsea, but it would be a stretch to say it was anywhere close to his Liverpool days. Expecting Torres to rediscover his Liverpool form, however, is also rather silly, and it's difficult to imagine Mourinho's expectations of Torres looking much like 'is a world-class striker again'. Mourinho's not delusional.

Considering the way that Torres has handled pressure during his time with the club -- which is to say poorly -- I'm actually hoping that expectations are lowered. With Demba Ba around and Romelu Lukaku back in the fold, there's no reason for Torres to have to shoulder a major burden at the club, and if we can cast aside all of this talk over him being the main man maybe he'll be able to stop looking so mechanical all the time.

Because for all of Torres' faults, there have been times, even in the past couple of years, when his brain seems to turn off and his talent shows through. There are technical issues with his game, but one suspects that if Mourinho does manage to get the most out of Torres, it'll be through making him comfortable. Ease those burdens!

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