El Centrocampista

ROAD TO NOWHERE – The troubled times of Fernando Torres

By Olly Dawes

It started in South Africa, and shows little sign of ending soon.

Fernando Torres’ poor form has been one of the most talked about topics in football over the past 12 months.

We begin in April 2010, as Torres ends an injury hit domestic season at Liverpool with surgery on his knee.

The early end was in a bid to secure his place at the 2010 World Cup.

Torres managed just 22 appearances in the 2009/10 season, but hit 18 goals to almost cement his position as one of the deadliest strikers in world football.

He was subsequently called up to Vincent Del Bosque’s Spain side for the World Cup, despite the injury.

He was named only on the bench for the shock 1-0 defeat to Switzerland in Durban, though with an hour gone Torres did enter the fray, only to look a shadow of his normal self, misfiring when in on goal as Spain chased an equaliser.

Villa and Torres were once the deadliest duo in world football.

Del Bosque did name the Liverpool forward in his starting 11 against lowly Honduras though, as Spain ran out comfortable 2-0 winners.

Torres again looked out of sorts, missing a golden chance with a back post header during the first half.

Torres again started against Chile, Portugal and Paraguay but was hauled off without an hour being played in all 3, as he struggled to make an impact in a team that were delighting the world.

Torres was then dropped for the semi final against Germany and maybe most importantly, was only on the bench for the final against Holland.

He did make it onto the pitch, but only in the second half of extra time.

It was clear that Del Bosque was not impressed with Torres’ contribution in South Africa.

Since then, Torres has moved to Chelsea for £50m, scoring just once in 14 games as form continues to desert the former Atletico hero.

Many people described Torres and David Villa as one of the best strike partnerships in football – but not anymore.

Torres has since found it hard to prove his worth to Del Bosque, scoring just two Spain goals since the finals.

They came against Liechtenstein.

A plethora of La Liga forwards are now licking their lips at the prospect of lining up for La Roja in his place.


The Bilbao forward is a long term target of Harry Redknapp at Spurs and Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid. He scored 19 goals in 38 games for Athletic Bilbao this season. Llorente has become a firm favourite of Del Bosque’s, as he offers something different in the Spain side – height. Llorente stands at 6ft 5in tall, has incredible strength and superb heading ability, complimenting the diminutive Villa well. Also scored a respectable 7 goals in 18 appearances for the National Team.


The former Real Madrid frontman spearheaded Valencia’s attack under Unai Emery and impressed immensely. Soldado was one of the only players to avoid Emery’s ‘Tinkerman’ tactics, playing 44 games and scoring 25 goals. He only has two Spain caps but his goalscoring exploits are leading to calls for him to start in qualifying games to prove his ability. Maybe too similar to Villa for Del Bosque, so the combination may not be seen.


Another Real Madrid outcast, Negredo has just finished a superb season for Sevilla, scoring 26 goals in 55 games. He is slightly smaller than Llorente, but offers a similar sort of outlet. Negredo is big, strong and good in the air. Negredo is also the youngest of the trio and boasts a good goals-to-game ratio at international level, scoring 3 goals in 5 games for Spain. Negredo does prefer the high ball though, which may be in short supply with the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas in the side, as well as little wing play.

Factor in outsiders like Aritz Aduriz, Manu del Moral and Bojan Krkic, Torres really has to start to find his form again, or he may find that his place in the national set up has been taken.

New Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has indicated that his side will play 4-3-3, a system he mastered at Porto. The general consensus is that Didier Drogba will get the nod in the middle, and Torres does not fit in out wide.

It may just be that Torres will need to make an impact as a bit-part player before starring at Chelsea, as well as for the National Team.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: ROAD TO NOWHERE – The troubled times of Fernando Torres « Sublime Finish

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