Why Jose Mourinho Is The Only Manager to Save Fernando Torres

fernando torres1 Why Jose Mourinho Is The Only Manager to Save Fernando Torres

Fernando Torres has, once again, found some form. So once again, the whispers start. Is he back? Has 2008 Fernando Torres, with flying hair, lightning pace, and deadly finishing ability, returned for good? We should know better. We’ve only played Torres Roulette thirteen or fourteen times since the mercurial striker came to Stamford Bridge in a deadline-day betrayal in 2010.

Torres isn’t back. The Torres of old is relegated to a fleeting, euphoric memory – a memory has that driven Roman Abramovich and his managers to madness trying to revive the current Torres. Yes, Chelsea’s #9 has hit a bit of scoring form, and his supporters will points to his strong overall goal tally this season – but a glance at who Torres has scored against will tell a sad story of his overall irrelevance.

Torres has scored 20 times in 50 appearances this year for Chelsea, but Torres hasn’t scored in a big game yet. Sure, he’s hit the net against Nordsjaelland in a meaningless Champions League game, and struck against Steaua Bucharest and Rubin Kazan in the Europa League, and scored against Aston Villa in an 8-0 rout on Boxing Day at Stamford Bridge, and scored against Leeds and Middlesbrough in cup competitions. But when it has counted, Torres has been silent.

Torres’ state of mind is written all over his face. It’s written in has sad scamper that used to be a full-blooded tear. It’s obvious from his muted celebrations when he does score, the deflated decor that was once a sprightly joy that Torres is a man who has fallen desperately out of love with the game of football.

Torres doesn’t like Chelsea. He never has. Torres moved to Chelsea because it was “next”. Liverpool were a sinking ship, and Torres wanted to stay on top of the game. But as a player who defines high-strung, Torres sunk under the weight of his price-tag, and lost a ray of his confidence that he will never recover. Torres has always been an outsider at Chelsea, a club it’s clear he doesn’t care about.

Rafael Benitez, who got the best out of Torres at Liverpool, was brought into Chelsea in large part to get Torres firing again. Like his striker, Benitez took the Chelsea job, interim title and all – a demeaning seven words for a manager that has won the Champions League – to stay in the game, not out of any love for Chelsea. But it wasn’t Benitez or Benitez’s system that had Torres on top of the world at Liverpool.

Torres has always been completely inside his own head. When he was happy and humming, he was great. Now, in a perpetually depressed state, Torres is a disaster. In fact, Torres looks a like a man not far away from retirement – he has scored his goals, become the most expensive player in Premier League history, and won every international prize available. If he’s not enjoying his football, there isn’t much reason for him to go on playing.

Rafa Benitez, with his colorless callousness and dreadful man-management skills, was never the man to get Torres back on track. Torres needs someone who can penetrate his troubled head, connect with him on an emotional level, and make him care again. Torres needs a manager who he loves, who loves him back.

That man is certainly Jose Mourinho. The Real Madrid manager seems destined for his second stint in charge of Chelsea, a good thing for all parties. Chelsea neednn,b, a cleansing after the last two seasons – they need a manager the fans adore, a rethink in club policy and business, Mourinho’s signature steel and power, and someone who can make Chelsea attractive again. Mourinho, on the other hand, loves Chlesea, London, the English media, and the Premier League.

Torres could use some love. Mourinho has a special talent for connecting with his players – Michael Essien and Didier Drogba call him “Daddy”, and perhaps the most indelible image of Mourinho’s career was not him sprinting down the touchline at Old Trafford, or onto the field at the Camp Nou, not Mourinho gouging Tito Villanova’s eye, or lifting the European club, but him sobbing on the shoulder of Marco Materazzi – an unlovable player if there ever was one – in the car-park after the 2010 Champions League Final and Mourinho’s departure for Real Madrid, with Matterazi sobbing right back.

Mourinho is a man who really loves his players, and his players love him back – for his bravado, suave energy, intensity and care. Torres needs a Mourinho in his life. A football father-figure. Torres skill has dwindled, but it’s not completely gone – it’s Torres’ confidence that has departed. Mourinho, with a little faith, a little inspiration, is the man to bring it back. Mourinho is the master of mind games – and that isn’t just a negative thing. It also applies to his dealings with his players.

Torres could also use Mourinho’s playing system, which relies less on dribbling and individual attacking, and more on defensive shape and quick counter-attacking. The question, of course, is, will Mourinho and the Chelsea brass have faith in Torres? If Chelsea bring in Falcao, or another leading forward, as the vast majority of people think they should, with Demba Ba already in the rotation and Romelu Lukaku coming back from a prolific loan-spell with West Brom, Torres may not even see the field next season – if, of course, he’s still at Stamford Bridge.

At this point, Torres is a distraction. He’s withdrawn from the team, reclusive, and professionally sad. It makes since for Mourinho, who wants to come in with something akin to a fresh start anyway, to sell. But Mourinho is certainly a man who loves a challenge, and perhaps there is no bigger challenge at the top of world football than reviving Fernando Torres.

About Abe Asher

Abe Asher lives in beautiful Portland, Oregon. He fell in love with the intensity, stakes and spirit of football during the 2006 World Cup, especially during the Netherlands – Portugal Round of 16 game, which featured 34 yellow cards, 12 red cards, 129 screams, and 645 dives. Abe loves the Portland Timbers, and mostly tolerates his favorite European club, Chelsea FC. Abe is on Twitter @AbesWorldSports. View all posts by Abe Asher →
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15 Responses to Why Jose Mourinho Is The Only Manager to Save Fernando Torres

  1. Brendan Bate says:

    I think we should just accept that Torres had a couple of years at the top, then faded.
    The same debate happens with Gourcuff in France who was phenomenonal for 2 seasons at Bordeaux. Sometimes we over analyse player form.

  2. notagolfer says:

    “Torres hasn’t scored in a big game yet”. he has scored against city & arsenal…& a europa leage qf is a fairly “big game”.

  3. Miss_didee says:

    This is one of THE worst pieces of “journalism” I have ever had the misfortune to have wasted time bothering to read. You seem to forget his important goals that kept Chelsea in the FA cup and Europa League, then again I guess why bother letting facts get in the way of a good story eh?

    Dreadful. Please don’t bother writing about Torres again.

  4. Mufc77 says:

    On his day he was a devastating striker who could do it all but that was 4-5 seasons ago now.

    He used to be able to go pass defenders with ease and create that yard of space needed to get a shot off much like Aguero does for city now but he’s lost that first step.

    He can still finnish with both feet and as seen last week he’s a good header of the ball he just needs to get back to basics and become a penalty box striker. All this crap with him dropping deep and linking play or out wide isn’t his game and it shows. It’s pointless having wide players like Hazard and Mata creating if Torres is not on the penalty spot ready to attack then the ball when its delivered into the box.

  5. espnjason says:

    I honestly see Torres going back to La Liga after this season. I know he was a product of Atletico Madrid and they’re on the brink of a UCL berth, thus it may be a fit for him.

  6. soba says:

    Why are you posting a nonsence like this? I believe a real chelsea fan wouldn’t do this. Torres is coming back, no one can dispute that and he needs more of encouraging words now than ever. Let this guy have a moment of rest and get away from his back if you mean bad. Can you ever be a Torres? No! I still believe Torres will surprise everyone of you bad writers.

  7. Gillyrosh says:

    I don’t know how to feel about Torres. Presumably, he left Liverpool to win titles. This he has done; yet he still mopes. Is this a case of be careful what you wish for?

  8. Ani Roy says:

    Actually we should give more time to Torres. Whatever you say the truth is he has done better than last season this year and whether Chelsea will bring another stricker or not , it shouldn’t be matter to him because in every team you can find alleast 3 or 4 good strickers. In Man City though Tevez don’t get a chance to start every match but he is still considered there as an inspirational player. So there shouldn’t be any question about selling Torres.

  9. Ray says:

    Utter rubbish. I’m Chelsea through and through, but through all the booing Rafa has received, from other PATHETIC Chelsea ‘fans’, Torres has had a bit of stick too. But, for the first time in his Chelsea career, one would feel expectations from him have lessened. Evident that the 50million weight on his shoulders has reduced. He is showing bursts of pace. If Kop any hadn’t stolen his shirt he was through. He is showing terrific creative play at the top bringing the other players in. In the past..he was an out and out striker. Now, he is a very creative centre forward. A more complete footballer. Plus, he’s always relied on an excellent relationship with defensive midfield. Alonso in particular, at Liverpool, and Spain. I’m not saying we need Alonso.. We have Mikel, Ramires, and an OLD Frank Lampard.

  10. Alex says:

    I pity the couple of mins I wasted on reading this “article”. All the writer is doing making baseless assumptions how Torres is withdrawn from the team and sad and depressed. How would he know any of this? I don’t think he even talked to Torres at any point in his career. Probably he’s yet another “body language” expert, which still makes his observations rubbish because anyone who watches Torres every game can see he has indeed brigtened up a lot and clearly loved by his teammates.

    Also Benitez “colorless callousness and dreadful man-management skills” I can only laugh.

  11. Rom says:

    This is one of the worst articles I’ve ever read.

  12. hammed says:

    I dnt no reason why I like torres because his a simple man and I like his atittude and I will like him to stay @ chelsea because Ω̴̩̩̩̥♏ also a reall chelsea fans. Thankx allot

  13. hammed says:

    I love the blues. Jose mourinho ‎​U̶̲̥̅̊ are welcome to chelsea Ω̴̩̩̩̥♏ verry happy for you

  14. DB says:

    “When it counts, he is silent”…. What a load of sh**! Torres scored one of Chelsea FCs most important goals in history vs Barca… Took us to the final, and we won! Could be argued that without Fernando Torres, CFC wouldn’t have won the UCL. He has been very good at chelsea… Not great. He doesn’t score as many as he did in his Liverpool days, however he is a more complete footballer now. He’s more aggressive, can’t play in multiple positions and is great at setting up goals.

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