6 Reasons Why Jose Mourinho Must Start with Fernando Torres
The Spaniard has somewhat improved his all-round play since moving to Stamford Bridge two and a half years ago. and managed to scored 23 goals in all competitions last season.
But, even in spite of his improvement, the lack of killer instinct is still evident. Torres used to be a striker who struck fear into his opponents with energetic and pacy runs, but now he is less mobile and arguably less clinical.
That said, the 29-year-old will be disappointed about the lack of opportunities under Mourinho, and we look into the reasons as to why he should lead the line against Swindon in the League Cup.
It may sound ridiculous, but there is actually something Mourinho could learn from his arch rival and predecessor Rafa Benitez at Chelsea. Even in the League Cup games, like the 2-2 draw against Brentford, Benitez opted to place Torres up front in an attempt to get the Spaniard to cause some trouble against weaker opposition. Torres scored a wonderful late equaliser, and gained confidence from it.
Operating with a similar tactic against Swindon would hardly hurt Mourinho. On the one hand, he would like to get the best out of summer signing Samuel Eto'o and perhaps increase his confidence. On the other, he must recognise that Torres should be first-choice and attempt to guide him to his greatest levels of performance. His fine effort against Bayern Munich was a highlight of how his quality remains intact, it's just about releasing Torres from the pressures and build up his self-belief.
A goal or two against Swindon would certainly go a long way into making that happen.
The facts are simple. Out of Chelsea's current strikeforce, Torres is astonishingly the only one to have scored so far this season. Eto'o has yet to find the net in his three games at the club, while Demba Ba has rarely featured. If executed correctly, the link-up between the two Spanish players Torres and Juan Mata is unstoppable, and the little magician was key to helping create chances for the £50 million striker last season.
Granted, Torres is hardly in the form of his life. But he's scored one more than Eto'o and looked dangerous against Basel, forcing a fine save from Yann Sommer. Additionally, his form has improved every year since joining from Liverpool in January 2011, and surely it's only a matter of time before he manages a decent haul, and there's no better place to start than Swindon.
Torres has been at Chelsea for well over two years now, so he's hardly a new addition to the squad anymore. Eto'o is, and it's that lack of familiarity with tactics and passing that prevents the Cameroonian from making a bigger impact with the side.
Similarly, the same goes for Ba in that, while he is not a new arrival, his style of play is a stark contrast to Chelsea's, and therefore he struggles to make the desired impact.
But Torres is not. Despite netting just 35 goals for Chelsea, the Spain striker is not just about goals. He has learnt to become more of a team player and tends to get his head up and look around for the better options. His decision making has improved also, which allows him to link up far better with the likes of Juan Mata and Eden Hazard.
Too Reliant on Midfield
Out of Chelsea's nine goals this season, five have come from the midfield (Oscar has three, Lampard and Hazard both have one apiece) and although this is nothing out of the norm for them, the worrying lack of goals from the strikers is starting to take it's toll.
Even the deployment of Andre Schurrle as the main striker against Manchester United showed a lack of faith from Mourinho in the strikeforce at Stamford Bridge, but ultimately, a player with Torres' quality should have started the game.
His aerial ability is of a decent standard, and while his dribbling is far from perfect, there aren't too many better finishers than Torres on his day. Given the chances by creative geniuses Mata and Willian, a player of Torres' calibre should be able to put away their chances and relieve the pressure of scoring on the midfield.
"Liverpool was more running into spaces and the way here is more ball at his feet with small spaces to play in. Fernando is not naturally a skilful, creative player but he is a good player, a good professional and it was a good surprise for me the way he works very hard. I believe in Fernando.’ Someone has to," per the Daily Mail.
That is what Mourinho said about Torres, quashing all speculation that he wanted to sell the former Atletico Madrid forward. In fact, the last line is crucial, and his belief that Torres can regain the form that made him one of the world's most feared strikers is a testament to how much he trusts his star forward.
A start or even a cameo against Swindon would give him the opportunity to chase down the defenders and enforce Mourinho's high tempo, quick pressing defensive strategy, which has all but eluded the Blues so far this season. The tactician knows if he plays Torres he will work hard nonetheless, and that's a superb quality to have in a striker.
Impressive Cup Form
Despite scoring just 15 league goals in 86 games, Torres' cup form has hardly taken a hit during his time at Chelsea. Especially in the league cup, where he scored twice in four appearances last season, Torres was the main striker in cup competitions because he had the desire to score the goals to get his side through to the next round.
As we mentioned earlier, the wonder strike against Brentford proved he can score at any level, and having a player of his pedigree will undoubtedly strike fear into the Swindon defenders' minds.
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