OK I do not want to be the harbinger of doom and gloom and first of all well done Chelsea. Their 3-1 victory over Russian outfit Rubin Kazan is certainly a fantastic platform for the second leg and on paper it looks as if Chelsea may just be the favourites to win the Europa League.
Secondly; and well done to Fernando ‘Mask of Zorro’ Torres for his performance in the fixture. His brace was the deciding factor in the game and those two goals really have caused a storm this morning.
However; you would have thought he had scored his brace against the Magical Magyars, the Busby Babes or the 1970 Brazilian side the way the press have been carrying on.
In fact it was against Rubin Kazan. Tough opposition but not exactly premium antagonist.
But the press have jumped on board this moment along with Rafa Benitez as once again we are being fed the story that this is the Torres of old.
Here is a little context though. Fernando Torres has scored five goals in 2013. Five goals in 21 appearances. Those goals have come against Brentford of League One, Middlesbrough of The Championship and Steaua Bucharest of the Romanian footballing world.
His last Premier League goal was on the 23rd December 2012 against Aston Villa; he got the ball rolling in an 8-0 thrashing in which Chelsea scored just as many with him off the pitch as they did him on it.
The fact remains he has not produced the goods in the Premier League.
That is not to take anything away from the player once named ‘El Nino’. His overall tally of 19 goals this season is genuinely not bad, but in 53 appearances?
The problem lies with that old nickname. ‘El Nino’ means ‘The Kid’ and Torres is just not that anymore.
He has clearly lost a yard of pace and the youthful exuberance in which he darts through in goal is gone. He is now more thoughtful, wiser and more intelligent a player.
This is not generally a bad thing. His passing has got much better and there have been games where his link-up play with the midfield has been mesmeric.
But why does everyone insist on saying the ‘old’ Torres is back. Rather Torres is now a little more ‘old’ himself and the adaptation to his game means he will never be the same player. But if he recreates himself to be an intelligent centre-forward who scores crucial goals like he did last night then that is fine as well.
Whether it is worth £50 million is another question entirely; but I think that is a discussion for another day.
What do you make of Fernando Torres’ form?
image: © Nigel Wilson