When Rafa Benitez put Fernando Torres, along with Marko Marin and without Juan Mata or Eden Hazard in the lineup, you knew Chelsea weren’t taking their Premier League match as seriously as they should, knowing that two days later it’s FA Cup replay time, and while one competition sends a team to the Champions League and the other to the lesser European stage, the Spanish manager chose the alternative horse to bet on.
Not that playing Marin, Moses and Oscar behind Torres is such a terrible choice on paper, but without Mata or Hazard, Chelsea looked even more limited than usual. There’s something so unbalanced and unhinged about this squad, but not having their two best players on the pitch turns it into a complete mess.
Fernando Torres, 29, looks like a lost boy regardless of who is feeding him passes into the box (where he is hardly ever present), but the Chelsea midfield looks like a complete mess, dropping three points at Southampton, breathing new life into Arsenal’s chances of making it into the Champions League, while Spurs reclaim the third spot.
Frank Lampard scores goals, but sometimes, they’re not worth the damage he does in his defending and non-relevance in the flow of the match. When he doesn’t score, it’s almost like having another player going against you. Marko Marin was given up on before the season even started, and suddenly giving him chances when it’s almost April just doesn’t make any sense. Oscar keeps proving that at the moment, the physicality of the English game is a bit much for him, despite the rare case of brilliant decision here and there.
And then there’s Torres, who has had so many words written about his inability to score, and not just to score, but to actually look like a footballer who wants to be on the pitch. No smiles, no verve, no extra effort. He’s given up, like many have given up on him, just waiting for the next stop in his career, hoping it breaths new life into his deadwood legs, and depressed heart, mind and soul.