Amazing as it seems, Fernando Torres has started to score goals, so what is he doing differently in a Chelsea shirt at the moment?
Fernando Torres has bagged three goals in his last five games for Chelsea, which suggests he may be starting to show a little bit of the consistency which is why the club bought him in the first place.
The Spaniard has been heavily criticised ever since he joined Chelsea for not showing the potential and promise, which he always seemed to have in abundance during his time with Liverpool.
Injuries have caused his pace to drop, which was always his main asset, but he’s just started to make a couple of changes to his game which seem to be paying off and seem to be giving him a chance to replicate the sort of form he showed earlier this season; seven goals in six games.
He finally seems to have accepted that he doesn’t have that injection of pace any more, which always allowed him to accelerate away from defenders in very small areas of space.
Hr compensates by giving himself a few extra yards, playing deeper which means he has less ground to cover when it comes to competing against defenders who are quicker than he is.
What that also allows him to do is turn, get in behind and get into the box in good positions, where he is much more likely to bag goals regardless of whether they are beautiful to behold.
Strikers are predominantly confidence players so it doesn’t matter how Torres is scoring his goals for Chelsea, it just matters that he’s putting the ball away when he gets into good positions.
His attacking movement has been criticised this season, which is significant because Chelsea are blessed in terms of the players they have available who can thread the ball through a defence or split the opposition apart with a single pass.
Torres has adapted by starting to move earlier, which again relates back to his current lack of pace. That gives the midfield players extra options and means they can pass the ball earlier, which then gives them a better chance to run past Torres.
When he lays the ball off to people running past him, Torres has more space and he’ll always back himself to have a shot on target, regardless of the distance which forces the goalkeeper into making a save and gives him a real chance of scoring a goal.
The mask he currently wears for a facial injury, for some reason, seems to have made him more aggressive in the air, which is a side to his game that hadn’t always been his strongest asset.
He’s a real aerial threat at the moment and again, he’ll back himself to get a header on target, which forces the goalkeeper to do the work and he’s strong enough to be able to do that against the most physically imposing defenders.
How do you think Torres has changed?
image: © wshjackson