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Despite his terrible miss, Torres' performance vs Manchester United shows evidence that he's on his way back to form.
There are signs that Torres is close to returning to some kind of positive form. His pace and touch seemed to have returned and his goal showed he is still a clever and instinctive striker.
The big question with Torres is attitude. Temperament is certainly an issue with him as he is prone to sulking his way through games. A positive for Chelsea is that Sunday offered a glimpse of what their attacking play can look like with Torres on form. He improves the quality and fluidity of Chelsea's forward game. Confidence and backing from the manager are now key.
Well, Torres is back. Simply put he should have scored around three goals, but the bigger picture is that he is getting into dangerous positions again. He is forcing defenders into uncomfortable situations with his strength, speed and diagonal runs, and it's only a matter or time before he starts to capitalize.
Although he showed signs of discovering his £50 million form, the criticism he has been receiving might play a part in hindering his newfound confidence.
Fact. He scored, was involved in linkup play, created chances for others and was confident enough to take on his man more than any other Chelsea player on the pitch (with an admirable success rate of 50 percent). The miss may affect him initially but I firmly believe, considering Saturday’s showing, his best is around the corner.
Chelsea are catering for him far more, tailoring aspects of their game towards his strengths. On Saturday he clearly benefited from the presence of Juan Mata, often seeming on the same wavelength as his compatriot as well as others. Last season he looked more like a pariah.
Fact! He had shown encouraging performances in the games preceding the United game. Yes, it was a horrendous miss but all the best strikers in the world miss sitters occasionally. It looks like he was right too about needing the right players around him. He's beginning to find himself with the likes of Mata and Sturridge around him.
Torres related topics have been beaten to death in the past few days and I'd like to draw a line under it all with an old but similarly overused saying: Form is temporary, class is permanent.
Practice, as my old dad used to say, makes perfect. Unfortunately for 'Nando, he has spent a few months practising at being awful and I fear one game a rebirth does not make. If Torres can manage two months of decent form and a few goals perhaps then we can say he is truly on the way back but he's not there yet.
Fiction. Torres was instrumental in creating some chances for Chelsea, but the primary reason they pay him is to score goals. With that in mind, he’s earned his wage a grand total of twice.
Every time he finds the back of the net, it’s going to spark the discussion of whether or not he’s “back.” Chelsea fans surely got a bit hopeful when he netted for the first time this year, but the miss on the open net immediately proved that the goal was little more than that one he’s certain to get on occasion, despite being out of form.
I've been a Torres fan since he broke through at Atletico Madrid as a teenager, and I remain one to this day. For me this is a fact. He impressed me against Leverkusen in midweek and I thought he was head and shoulders above everyone on Sunday. A Manchester United back line hasn't been given that torrid a time since Torres was rampant in the red of Liverpool. He missed a couple of chances but the fact that he was able to get into position and give himself the opportunity to have those chances is a huge plus.
Once he finds his all-around game, the goals will follow. His goal was a world-class finish and the miss, while bad, was nowhere near as bad as some are making it out to be. Try score a goal like that yourself and see how difficult a technique it is to score in that situation. Weak foot, ball running away from you, moving at close to top speed and trying to shoot back across yourself. There have been worse misses in the Premier League this season. Aguero's against Bolton for example.
If Torres keeps playing like that, there's a landslide of goals on the horizon.
Conclusion: Premier League defences beware, El Nino is on his way back.