Keeping Fernando Fit

Keeping Fernando Fit

Fernando Jose Torres Sanz, 28, Spaniard and currently, Chelsea’s only fit striker. After having a plethora of predatorial poachers last term in Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Romelu Lukaku, Danny Sturridge and of course, Torres himself, Chelsea are left with only the latter duo this season, having released Drogba and Kalou and sending Lukaku on loan to West Brom. Sturridge is on the sidelines currently, with a hamstring injury. So, as Chelsea’s solitary striker, frankly how important is the Spaniard’s fitness?

Primarily speaking, you could raise an argument. Spain played the majority of the Euro 2012 with 6 midfielders, playing Fabregas a bit more upfront, and they won the trophy, didn’t they? In our case, we could perfectly implement that, with our abundance of midfielders. With two of Mikel, Ramires, Lampard or even Romeu shielding the defence, Mata, Hazard and Marin or Moses up front, aiding our lone striker, Oscar. Fabregas is not a very physically intimidating figure and neither is Oscar, who actually is taller. His magical feints and trickery could be quite a handful for defenders, who are already clasping at straws to keep him at bay in his central midfield position.

But, that, my friends was the European Championships, this is the Premier League. With a reputation for being the most physically demanding league in Europe, England requires a striker that can boss defenders with his physicality. King Drogba was and Torres is a perfect example. It could not have been more obvious than against the Gunners – Torres shrugging off an equally physical Laurent Koscielny to score the opener. A striker less physical than Torres would definitely have not have been able to score such a goal or even put up a fight with Koscielny or any other towering, buff Premier League defender.

Moreover, Torres is in his prime now. Maybe not ‘vintage’ Torres all the way but definitely flashing more than mere cameos of his best moments. He’s our top scorer this season, 6 in all competitions and 4 in the Premier League, out of 7 matches. Last season, around this time, Torres had scored 2 in 2, but right after his goal vs Swansea, got sent off, breaking his momentum. He returned and had to work harder to regain his goalscoring streak. An injury could do worse damage than a suspension, as it takes weeks of recovery, then rehab and then regaining match fitness, and finally the scoring touch. With a history of hamstring, ankle and back problems, the Chelsea med team, we hear, has been working hard with Torres so as to reduce his exhaustion while keeping injuries at bay at the same time. As our main targetman this season and firing on all guns, Torres and his form may just be the key to our exploits in the different competitions.
But if he does get injured, we can always turn to the defender-turned-striker Branislav Ivanovic, right? 
Priya Ramesh
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