How Torres can become a better striker

Torres V Arsenal 2

Fernando Torres has confirmed he has no plans to leave Chelsea any time soon. How can he turn around his performances and become more effective?

Many have said that Fernando Torres looks nothing like the striker who terrorised defences as part of the Liverpool attack. However, maybe he should try and forget about the sort of player he used to be and focus on the sort of player he can be for the rest of his career at Chelsea. There is little doubt that he needs to change.

Torres does not have the pace he once had which means he has to compensate. He can do this very simply by trying not to drop so deep into the pitch. He can still be very effective in the final third and beat a defender but he is never going to win a race against a top defender from 50 yards out.

He can also add to his game in different ways that don’t involve being a direct goal threat. He is being played frequently as the only striker in the Chelsea attack so he has to get better at holding the ball up and bringing others into play. This is already something Torres and Chelsea will be working on in training and it means he will be much more difficult for defenders to keep quiet.

His movements in the attack have to be a lot more decisive. Often he is the sole striker playing against a flat back four, when Chelsea win the ball in midfield, he has to start moving to give Juan Mata, Oscar or Eden Hazard an option to play the ball down the sides or over the top which will allow Torres to exploit any defensive disorganisation from the opposition.

The onus can’t all be on Torres, his teammates need to recognise that he is struggling and short of confidence and pitch in to try and help him raise his game. There is no one running past Torres at the moment trying to make a hard and tiring run in behind him which gives him a chance to quickly control a pass and play someone in on goal before he moves again.

These are all small changes and certainly ones that a striker of Torres’ stature can cope with making. He is never going to be the striker who played for Liverpool. Something happened when he joined Chelsea whether that is his fitness or the fact he was starting to play in a different formation but there is simply no going back.

He can become a prolific goal poacher in this current Chelsea side because there is no emphasis on him to be a creative player as all of that comes from the midfield. If he starts to make these changes then his performances should gradually improve.

images: © wshjackson, © Ronnie Macdonald

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