clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jose Mourinho talks Fernando Torres, and helps explain why he wants Wayne Rooney

The Blues manager isn't mentioning Wayne Rooney's name anymore, but his comments about Fernando Torres help explain why we're looking at Rooney

Stanley Chou

From a blogger's perspective, Jose Mourinho is a dream come true. He's always been very open with the media, and he'll tell you the reasoning behind the decisions he's making.

Yesterday, the interview he did had guys like Rob Beasley in a tizzy, declaring the end of John Terry and Fernando Torres at Chelsea. We already saw the comments about Terry that don't warrant the sort of fuss he was making, and now we have his quotes about Fernando. So what exactly did Mourinho have to say?

"Fernando is a striker, nobody has doubts about it, but I think he's a striker more comfortable when he has space behind defenders. He has it more difficult when opponents are very close, when opponents are compact and when he has to play in small spaces."

"He's more a player to go into a space than to play with the ball at his feet. That's something easy to understand about Fernando, so I will try to do my best."

Naturally, having identified the problem with Fernando, Mourinho was asked if he could manage to get the player back to his Liverpool best:

"I think when Chelsea plays with that philosophy he can. Against teams who compress the play very close you have to play him in small spaces, and he will have a little bit more difficulty. At Liverpool they played much more of a ‘low block’, and he had balls to attack behind defenders. In that aspect he was a lot more comfortable. Sometimes it's easy to say a player is not performing but that might not be fair because sometimes the way you play decides if someone is more or less comfortable on the pitch."

So do any of our current crop of strikers have the ability to play in close quarters?

"I would want to improve them, but that quality they don't have. I will work on it with them."

None of this sounds incorrect to me, as all three of our current crop of strikers are probably best when running into space. That helps explain Mourinho's desire for a player such as Wayne Rooney, who tends to be an excellent option when teams close up shop.

It would seem that if acquired, Rooney would be our primary option against clubs giving us little to no space to get in behind. That would certainly make Mourinho's distribution of minute for the remaining trio very interesting, as at least one of that group would likely see next to no time on the pitch. It's hard to picture Romelu Lukaku being the one relegated to the bench, so it will be fascinating to see which of Torres and Demba Ba loses out.

For the moment that doesn't matter, as Rooney is still a Manchester United player. Unless that changes, Mourinho will seemingly have to get the best out of what we already have despite the lack of an ideal striker against a team packing the box. It's comforting to know his basic reasoning behind the pursuit of Wayne Rooney though, and goes a long way towards explaining why it's "Rooney or bust".

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the We Ain't Got No History Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Chelsea news from We Ain't Got No History