Fernando Torres was always going to be under a lot of pressure when he signed for Chelsea in January 2011. A £50 million price tag is a huge burden to carry around and he arrived in London with a fantastic record at Liverpool. However, he quickly found himself out of the side due to the form of Didier Drogba which he has admitted, took him to some very dark places.
The biggest change has to be the managerial reign of Roberto Di Matteo. The Italian took over at Chelsea, initially, as the caretaker boss. He used Torres in his best position frequently and gave him a high level of responsibility both on and off the pitch. Di Matteo is also a much better man manager, it would seem, than Andre Villas-Boas or Carlo Ancelotti before him.
The other major factor in Torres’ revival at Chelsea is the fact that Drogba went to play somewhere else. Whenever Chelsea wanted to play with just one striker up top, the choice was always going to be Drogba because he is a physically stronger and more powerful striker than Torres. This virtually ruled Torres out of all the big games against big clubs where Chelsea wanted to pack the midfield.
“I wasn't part of the group. I discovered that I was not happy because I had stopped being what I had always wanted to be. In the dressing room, you can never lose that group concept. But I learned to look at myself and to realise that the only person that can change is you. The only person who can say: 'You're making mistakes, you've got to do something' is you,” Torres told Sky Sports.
Goals were always going to be a decisive factor in getting Torres to love his new club once again. His form so far in the 2012/2013 season has been very solid. He has ten goals from 17 games in all competitions and four in the Premier League. He seems to be long over the days where he missed an open goal in the clash against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
He also looks more confident because the attack of the side has been built around him. Chelsea bought a lot of attacking midfield and support players over the summer as opposed to another striker who would come in and challenge Torres for his place in the team. Thinking back to Liverpool, Torres was always at his best when he had the likes of Steven Gerrard playing just in behind him and feeding balls through which he could work into chances.
He was in a similar situation with Spain during the European Championship where he scored three goals in all of his appearances. When Spain decided not to play with six men in midfield, Torres was on the pitch and he plays exactly the same role for Spain that he does for Chelsea. The dark days seem to be long gone.
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