After admitting his lack of enthusiasm in Torres' Chelsea career so far is Mourinho playing the perfect game with his adopted striker.
Fernando Torres has, in all probability, become the country’s most frequently maligned professional footballer over the past few seasons ever since failing to live up to his massive £50 million price-tag at Stamford Bridge.
Last season that continued although many were quick to point out that in fact he scored 22 goals and should not have received the bulk of criticism that he has done.
Personally I think he still had a bad year last campaign.
Yes he scored 22 goals but when you consider he had a whopping 64 games in which to achieve that tally it makes you wonder how many a Luis Suarez or Robin Van Persie would have netted given that many games.
He also failed to reach double figures in the Premier League once again; meaning he has still only mustered a feeble 15 goals in 82 Premier League appearances since signing for The Blues in January 2011.
But so far the rhetoric from the several managers who have tried to ‘fix’ or ‘save’ the Spanish international has been one of belief; ‘he will come good in time’ attitudes.
Then, with a pat on the bum, Torres sulks on to the pitch to more often or not disappoint once again.
But I think Jose Mourinho might have just played the perfect masterstroke with Torres. Enough of the mollycoddling and weaning; Mourinho has cut that cord loose by admitting that so far he has been ‘so-so’ at The Bridge.
Mourinho has clearly not been exactly impressed with the 29-year-old since he started playing for his beloved Chelsea but this new tact might be just what Torres needs.
Along with extra competition arriving from Romelu Lukaku and a potential new signing Torres is finally being put under pressure to succeed at the club rather than being told that ‘everything will be alright in the end’.
If Torres responds he could become a 30-goal a season striker again by adapting his game and proving to his new boss that he is more than ‘so-so’ but if he does not; then Mourinho is nonplussed.
He can say ‘go-go’ to Torres and flog him with not the slightest of chinks in his armour toward the Chelsea fans.
It is a win-win situation.
Either Torres responds by showing up or sulking off.
Either way Mourinho looks like the winner once again.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald