“Fact Or Fiction” is a series that will be run every Friday. In this series, an assertion will be made regarding an impacting topic in the Premier League. EPL Talk writers Matt Hackenmiller and Earl Reed each offer their views on whether the statement is “Fact or Fiction.”
Fact or Fiction: It is time for Chelsea to leave Fernando Torres on the bench permanently.
MH: Fact. I know that owner Roman Abramovich wants Torres to start because he is a big name and to prove the transfer fee was worth it. But over the last two seasons, Torres has not been in form. He has looked lost at times on the pitch and has lacked the confidence to be a top-notch striker. Chelsea have plenty of other options at forward – Nicolas Anelka, Daniel Sturridge, Saloman Kalou and the soon to be healthy Didier Drogba – that look to be more viable starters than Torres at the moment. I think it would be a wise move by Andre Villas-Boas to make Torres work hard to prove to the team that he is ready to move back into the first team. Maybe then “El Nino” will show he is worth the fifty million.
ER: Fiction. Undoubtedly Fernando Torres has been embroiled in one of the worst slumps of his career. As he appeared to emerge from the abyss at Liverpool (scoring 8 goals between October and January for the Reds), Roman Abramovich came a knockin’ and draped a £50 million albatross around his neck. Fast forward to now: Torres has scored one goal since his move to London, and at times he has looked horrible. But lately his play has improved; he set up both goals in Tuesday’s victory over Bayer Leverkusen, and was unfortunate not to have one himself. As long as Torres continues to show solid effort on the pitch and in training, I’d let him work this out just as Manchester United did with Wayne Rooney – by playing. My belief is that Villas-Boas brought in Juan Mata and Raul Meireles specifically to supplement Torres, and showing the Spaniard that you have confidence in his abilities will settle his psyche. You get the feeling that if they can will the floodgates open with Torres (especially if it were to happen against the reigning champions), the talk might turn to a three-team race for the title.
What do you think, is it fact or fiction that Chelsea should leave Fernando Torres on the bench?