Should Villas-Boas stick with Torres?

by Spurs Fanatic

In 1994, a 16-year old Andre Villas-Boas was the boy who reportedly put a note under then Porto manager Sir Bobby Robson’s door, criticising him for not playing striker Domingos Paciencia. Seventeen years on, and as we get ready for the new season, will he now need to make a manly decision with the struggling Fernando Torres?

Fernando Torres made 18 appearances for Chelsea last season, scoring only one goal, so will Villas-Boas need to take a dose of his own medicine, which will mean that ‘El Torro’ slides down the Stamford Bridge pecking order?

Fernando Torres was awesome at Anfield

After his first three years with Liverpool, Fernando Torres had netted 66 times in 111 appearances:

Appearances Goals

Shots on Target

Goals to Shots (%)

2007/08

46

31

74

42%

2008/09 36

17

42

40%

2009/10

29

18

37

48%

A glorious first season in 2007/08 saw Torres not only score 31 goals, but he also had an astonishing 74 shots on target, as he took the Premier League by storm with his pace and skill. However, as time wore on in his Liverpool career, Torres wore down, as injuries meant fewer appearances, culminating in just 29 in 2009/2010

‘El Terrible’

Fernando Torres looked out of sorts last season as he struggled with injury, a new manager who didn’t speak Spanish in Roy Hodgson and the internal wrangling over the ownership of the Reds, which all seemed to affect his demeanour and performance on the field.

2010/11 Appearances Goals Shots on Target

Goals from Shots  on Target(%)

Liverpool

25

9

33

27%

Chelsea

18

1

13

0.7%

Torres did manage to net a creditable 9 goals in 25 appearances for Liverpool, but his goals to shots ratio was down on any of his previous three seasons on Merseyside. We thought it would change once he got his wish of a move to Chelsea, but one goal from only 13 shots on target in 18 games said that he still couldn’t shake off the form, which has in fact gotten worse, since his move to London.

Torres finished the season by making more appearances from the bench than from the off and Chelsea’s form improved when he didn’t start:

2010/11 Win

Draw

Lost

Average Points per Game

Torres starting 5

4

2

1.5

Torres as a sub

4

1

2

2.0

At Liverpool when Torres was having success he was playing as a lone striker, with Steven Gerrard in an advanced midfield role behind him in a narrow formation. Andre Villas-Boas prefers a 4-3-3 system, which gets the ball wide. Torres struggled in the similar Spanish 4-3-3 system in the World Cup last year and with his form and confidence in front of goal at rock bottom, he may struggle again this season.

Boas Constrictor?

Andre Villas-Boas has apparently backed Fernando Torres to succeed this season, but we don’t know if he, like Carlo Ancelotti, will be pressured in to playing the £50 million man. One thing the new Chelsea manager wont have is time, if El Nino struggles out of the gate, he may need to make a decision, just like he told Sir Bobby to all those years ago.

Now over to you, would you stick with Fernando Torres and hope he finds his form?

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