By now, I've grown accustomed to reading article after article criticizing Fernando Torres for not scoring enough, or taking too many touches on the ball, or not being worth the amount of money Chelsea paid to sign him from Liverpool.
So naturally, I expected that following his impressive brace in the 5-0 demolition of Genk, that there would at least be a similar number of articles praising the Spanish striker for an impressive and clinical performance. To my surprise, I found almost none.
There was a nice article on ESPN talking about Torres continuing upon his "road to redemption," but few other websites really talked about Torres too much. Which raises the question: Why?
Why do the media love to pounce on Torres' mistakes and errors, but at the same time refuse to credit Torres when he performs well? What is it about the Spanish striker that makes him such a unlikable figure?
Sure, the hate he receives from Liverpool fans is understandable. He was their messiah, so to speak, and alongside Steven Gerrard was supposed to lead Liverpool to the promised land. Things never quite panned out and took a big turn for the worst, and he jumped ship, rather than show loyalty to his team.
I can understand their hate or dislike for the guy.
But you'd think that everyone else would start getting behind the guy by now. Yes, he was awful last season, but he's shown a great amount of improvement in recent games.
In fact, in his last five games, Fernando Torres has scored four goals and assisted three. That's an excellent return from any striker in the world.
Yet, journalists have chosen to focus on the negatives of each of Torres' performances over that stretch.
Against Manchester United, Torres was widely criticized for his open-goal miss and blamed by many for the team's loss against Manchester United, despite the clumsiness of Chelsea's defense and inability of most of Chelsea's other players to open up play.
Against Swansea City, despite scoring the opener, Torres was widely criticized for his red card, while his goal was almost completely ignored.
Against Bayer Leverkusen, he received some credit for his assists on both of the goals in the Champions League game, but he still received criticism for not getting on the score sheet.
And who knows, some people may yet be able to find faults to criticize in his two-goal, one-assist performance against Genk.
I'm not saying it's wrong to criticize Torres at all or that he's "back" now and everything is fine; I don't believe either of those statements are true.
But certainly, at the very least, the criticism of Torres should be lighter and include more patience, and fans should not be eager to jump on every mistake the Spaniard makes to prove that he was a bad purchase.
He's here at Chelsea, and he's here to stay; there's no way he'd get sold since it would almost impossible to recoup his £50 million transfer fee, even if moneybags Malaga or Anzhi came calling.
Andre Villas-Boas recognizes this and thus he has been very patient with Torres, trying almost everything to get him back in form. AVB's patience is one that the media, and whichever Chelsea fans still don't yet support Torres, must also learn to adopt.
Since the Abramovich's arrival at Chelsea, Chelsea fans have grown accustomed to success and results now. A manager didn't win the title? Sack him. Our squad isn't good enough yet? Spend money.
Those years are over. Chelsea are still very focused on their goal of winning silverware each and every year, but the spending has been cut down tremendously and there has been a big move to start making Chelsea into a profitable football club instead of just a free-spending, indebted one.
As such, patience will be required at times, especially with Fernando Torres. The guy hasn't been himself since the end of 2009-10; it'll take him some time to get back to where he needs to be and where the fans want him to be.
But the massive investment has already been made, and as they say "if you can't beat them, join them." It's time Chelsea fans all "joined" Fernando Torres, and helped him on his road to become his former self, as AVB has been working to do since he arrived at Chelsea.
It's also time that the media let up on their crusade against Fernando Torres, and start fairly treating him the same way they treat the other big-name strikers in the world, instead of eternally burdening him with his £50 million transfer fee.
If they do, who knows how far Chelsea and Torres can go?