When Fernando Torres came to Chelsea from Liverpool, everyone expected him to fill Drogba’s boots when he leaves the club. But it was never in the blue print of Torres that he could replace Didier. Not just because of their different style of games, but also because of their different approach to the game. Torres’ style suited more to one other striker we had, Nicolas Anelka. You ask why? I’l explain why I believe so.
Firstly I’ll explain the ‘Anelka’ role. The main attributes of Anelka when he came to Chelsea was that of a fox in the box type of player. He knew where to be at the right time to get his name on the scoresheet. For one whole season he was that type of player who was content with tap ins and simple goals, and amazingly he beat Cristiano Ronaldo to the golden boot that season. However, that didn’t last for long. When Didier Drogba came back to full fitness, it became hard for the then manager to accommodate both Didier Drogba as well as Nicolas Anelka. So he decided to give Anelka a new role, somewhere his predator instinct was no longer required, but his long legs and good physique were important, in the wings. He never ever matched the definition of a perfect winger, as he played more like a supporting striker often, supporting the big Ivorian ofcourse. Soon Anelka showed everyone his creative side too. This even led to Carlo Ancelotti once admitting that he’d choose Nicolas over Didier if he had to choose of them. This was a massive compliment.
Now, back to why I believe Torres matches Anelka. Yes, I’m wrong to say he is the perfect remake of Anelka. Anelka knew how to take on defenders and also score important goals whenever needed. Torres however is not being tried in the Anelka role. Both Di Matteo as well as Rafa Benitez were trying their best to bring back the old Torres, the one whose game solely based on pace and quickness. Torres lost those attributes during the last stages of his Liverpool career, when he was injured. But what he never lost is his ability to dribble and take on defenders. He does that even now to some extent. And he also developed a better passing ability than he was at Liverpool. So why not try him at the Anelka role? While playing Demba Ba in the middle. I am pretty sure neither striker will have a problem with the other being on the pitch at the same time. Moreover, if you watch Torres’ final games for Liverpool, where was he playing while scoring goals? Yes, he was deployed in the center, however he preferred drifting to the left and right wings and then score with a sharp cut or a curler. Once he gets back his belief that he can do things, and that all is not lost, maybe he will become as important to some manager like Anelka was, and even win over our hearts.
PS.: I know I might sound stupid at many places in this article, but all I am trying is that maybe we should rather look less at negatives and focus on the positives. But the feeling is strong within me, Torres can own the ‘Anelka’ role.
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