Simply now or never at Stamford Bridge?

With the recent revelation from PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti that his former club Chelsea have offered Fernando Torres to the Parisian club it seems that if there is not a drastic change in his fortunes Torres’ underwhelming experience in London could be coming to an end. With Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou away at the African Cup of Nations and with Anelka having departed for China this appears to be the Spaniards best chance of cementing a place for himself as Chelsea’s first choice striker. Most people believe he will rediscover his form at some point, but perhaps that is born out of wishful thinking or naivety rather than any actual proof. Even if it is not his last chance to resurrect his career this could well be Torres’ last chance to save his Chelsea career. It is hard not to feel a little sorry for the twenty-seven year old even if he did turn his back on the Liverpool fans who idolised him. His time has been fraught with abuse on the field and, if rumours are to be believed, a less than happy time off the pitch too.

However nothing in football is permanent, not even retirement as Paul Scholes has recently shown us, and Chelsea’s £50m striker has shown a desire to end his goal drought. Steve Holland, Chelsea’s assistant coach, told Chelsea TV that Fernando had been doing extra training recently in an attempt to turn his fortunes around. Arguably, this is something he should have been doing this for a long time now but at least he is showing a level of awareness that seems to be largely absent from his on field performances.

We all know the player Torres is, or at least used to be, but we’re getting to the point now where more has to be expected from him. In the last year he has scored just three league goals for Chelsea and should nothing change between now and the summer you would think that Abramovich would rather recoup some of the money he spent than risk another season of the former Liverpool man firing blanks.

It is hard to identify one individual factor that has lead to such a disappointing year for the unquestionably talented Torres. However what does seem to be quite clear is that there will not be a better opportunity to prove his worth.

Team mates such as Frank Lampard have told the media that in training he works exceptionally hard whilst his finishing is a far cry from what it is in competitive performances. One of the main problems he has had at Chelsea is that he hasn’t really been given a consistent run of games, yet with only Sturridge and the seemingly un-trusted Lukaku for competition now he won’t get a better chance. Moreover, without the threat of competition from normally ever-present Drogba perhaps he can finally try and relax whilst on the pitch. Rarely has such a gifted striker fallen on such hard times, only Shevchenko can really empathise with Torres but that doesn’t mean their careers have to go the same way. Torres is only just entering what should be his peak years and sometimes the smallest run of form can help bring back the glory days. His all-round performances and work rate have been much better in recent weeks. You see flashes of the old Torres in his performances, like his shot that lead to the goal against Sunderland recently, and realise he’s knocking on the door. I’m not a Chelsea fan, but I miss watching Torres. You couldn’t help but be entertained by his football at Liverpool; it would be nice to be entertained by it again.

Follow me on Twitter @H_Mackay

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