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Later than usual and I apologise for this fact, here is this week’s Football Friday. I am going to give my opinions today on the player that is Fernando Torres. The Spanish star that played for Atletico Madrid for so many years through the youth ranks before making his move to Liverpool in 2007.

El Nino – Wizard or Waste?

His time at Liverpool started out great, scoring 24 goals in his debut season, eclipsing Ruud van Nistelrooy’s first year at Manchester Utd. In total for the season it was 33 goals in 46 appearances and it seemed that the Liverpool record fee that had been paid had been completely justified twenty million times. His second season started well although he suffered a few niggling injuries throughout the course of the season. He still managed to bag himself 14 goals in the Premier League. He didn’t make such a mark that year, but when you consider that he played 13 games less than the eventual Golden Boot winner Nicolas Anelka who ended the season on 19 goals, Torres had a bloody good year.

El Nino was back on top form in the 2009/10 season and banged in the goals once more and finished the season on 22 goals in 32 games in all competitions. Chelsea striker Didier Drogba had a blistering season that year and no-one, not even Torres or Rooney could touch him for the Golden Boot award. In early April he announced that he was to miss the rest of the season and would undergo knee surgery and personally I think this was the start of his downward trend. The following season, Liverpool had a new manager in Roy Hodgson, a manager known for good defending teams, but an inefficient attacking mentality. Following on from his injury the previous year, Torres had a decent start to the year, but by November after scoring a brace against Chelsea, the goals had started to dry up and amid massive media speculation the Spanish striker moved to Chelsea FC in a British record fee of £50M!

I think it would be fair to say that every single pundit questioned the huge fee that had been paid for this player and as a Chelsea fan I certainly did. I am not a believer in these huge money deals and in fact find them sickening to the point that I actually contemplated forgetting about Premier League football altogether and switch teams to a lower league club where they still have some sense of “Spirit of the Game” where its not all business driven.

Torres made his debut for Chelsea against his old club Liverpool in a 1-0 defeat, and scored his first goal for the club a staggering two and half months later. 903 minutes to be exact. Oh my! how the mighty have fallen? Now, not being funny but how can ANY club justify the amount of money paid for a goal return that has seen Torres score just 3 goals in 25 appearances for Chelsea. I know I cannot. I was willing to give him a chance this year and see what he could do fully fit, off the back of a full pre-season and no injuries. Its doesn’t look good so far.

For a very short while, about 10 minutes, things seemed to be turning around for Fernando when he scored a peach of a goal against Man Utd this season but then missed an open goal after doing all the hard work to round the keeper for his second. From hero to zero in 2 seconds flat. New Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas stuck with him though into the match against Swansea and bagged himself a good goal only to get himself sent off 10 minutes later for a truly terrible challenge on Mark Gower, his first red card in the Premier League.

So what next for Fernando Torres? He’ll be suspended now but will still be available for European matches in the meantime. Any confidence that he appears to have gained by scoring 2 in two games might well be completely wiped out. This is where we will find out the resolves of this player and also the man management skills of AVB. It takes a special manager to turn around a players form that is so polar in Torres’ . Now I am sure that every fan of clubs outside of Chelsea will say that hes finished, I just don’t know. My head says hes finished and will be sold in January for a massive loss. My heart says that I hope that he can repay this club’s faith in him and make all his doubters (including myself) eat our words. Only time will tell if an injury free season can help El Nino.

Please leave any comments on here so that a good discussion can be generated on Smurfin’ The Web rather than on Facebook. Thanks for reading.