While goals haven’t been exactly plentiful for Fernando Torres since becoming a Chelsea player, it’s the consistency aspect of his game that’s been most lacking. Suddenly, with the season reaching its most crucial stage, the most criticized man in the English Premier League manages to string two impressive displays in a matter of days, once again raising (false?) hopes that he’s somewhat recovering from yet another funk.
To be truthful, it wasn’t as good as he was against Rubin Kazan. A striker, even the most talented and good-all around you might have on your side, is measured by goals, and Torres didn’t score in the 2-1 win over Sunderland. What he did do was pretty much create the equalizer, a Matthew Killagon own goal, and provide some sort of push and verve Chelsea lacked during the first half, suddenly changed when Torres came on for the disappointing Demba Ba in the first half.
Almost every striker might tell you this – being in and out of the lineup isn’t good for you scoring record or your confidence. Remaining confident has been Torres’ problem over the last few years, letting every little bump in the road sink him when things were on the verge of getting better. Demba Ba is a different player in terms of what he needs to happen in order to score. Long balls, less on the ground, less able to do things on his own. The initial boost from his signing, which didn’t last very long, needs to be replaced with consistency, which won’t happen under the Benitez rotation.
The Chelsea passing was terrible throughout the match. Frank Lampard came on late to try and bring some composure to the panicked passing and ball movement, with David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic taking over the role of play-maker from the “three Amigos”, who seemed inaccurate and lacking focus whenever they had a chance to create something near the edge of the box. John Obi Mikel didn’t really try to get involved while Ramires has never been the kind of midfielder to thrive in organized football.
Despite their good situation, there seems to be some uneasiness with Chelsea, some lack of confidence and a wait for collapse. Maybe it’s the worrying schedule and no hope of rest till the end of the season, especially if they continue to advance in the Europa League. Fatigue, both on the feet and on the mind, takes a toll, and seeing no opportunity to take it easy from now on till the end of the road might be holding some players back. Luckily, for once, Fernando Torres isn’t being held back by anything.