Mourinho vows to make Fernando Torres lethal again

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has promised to fix misfiring striker Fernando Torres and has vowed to once again make him one of the most feared strikers in England as well as Europe.

The 29 year old Spanish international was given an extended summer holiday by Mourinho after his exploits for Spain in the FUFA Confederations Cup in Brazil and returned to action just last week in the club’s 2-0 win over Inter Milan in the Guinness Intentional Champions Cup. Torres was one of the most lethal sharp shooters in Europe during his stint at Liverpool as he used his tremendous off the ball pace to latch on to passes by Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso and scored many goals in that manner.

However, since his whopping £ 50 million move from Liverpool to Chelsea, Fernando Torres has been a shadow of his former self and his failure to replicate his form at Anfield at Stamford Bridge has been one of the biggest mysteries of the Premier League in recent times.

Many argue one of the main reasons he has failed at Chelsea is because he has been deployed as an all round centre forward instead of just being the out and out, clinical finisher that he was under Rafael Benitez at Liverpool.

The club’s chase for Manchester United and England international striker Wayne Rooney has put further question marks regarding the future of Torres at the club but Mourinho has insisted the Spaniard figures hugely in his plans for Chelsea. He mentioned that he knows how Fernando Torres plays, he has seen how he holds up defenders with his back to the goal and the team needs to understand how he plays in order to get the best out of him and not solely rely on his goal scoring attributes.

Ba insists he still has a future at Chelsea

Senegalese striker Demba Ba has insisted that he will fight for his place at Chelsea even if the club is successful in their chase to land Manchester United and England international striker Wayne Rooney.

Ba, who joined the club in the January transfer window from Premier League club Newcastle United for a cut price £ 7.5 million, already has competition for the striker’s role with Spanish international Fernando Torres, Romelu Lukaku, who has returned to the club following a hugely successful loan spell at West Bromwich Albion and new signing Andre Schurrle.

But Ba is adamant he still has a future at Stamford Bridge in the wake of the club’s first bid for Rooney being rejected by Manchester United, who insists that the England international is not for sale at any price.

Incoming Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has admitted that there has been no further progress in the club’s chase of Rooney but it is being believed the West London club will return with an improved bid for their prime summer transfer target.

And according to Ba, competition for places is a brilliant thing at the club and the results will only prove to be positive as it will bring out the best in the players. And speaking of his own future at the club, Ba stated that he will stay, adding that he thinks the club needs competition and will welcome the best players in the world at the club.

Ba added that more competition will make him a better player. All players want to get a game, no matter which position he plays in. He insisted that all players will work in the same direction for the betterment of the club and will try to bring in more trophies and glory for Chelsea as much as they can.

CHELSEA IN ARSENALS SIGHTS

Arsene Wenger will finally have reasons to be happy after his team have been on a good run of form in the last month. Ever since the 3-1 defeat suffered against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, they have been able to close the gap on Chelsea and Tottenham in the race for the top four positions.

Arsenal have managed to get 5 wins in the last six matches, which is a form only bettered by Manchester United. The team will be preparing to face Norwich during the weekend. This match will certainly not be easy according to Wenger, but his hoping that his team reduce the pressure by scoring an early goal.

Norwich have almost secured their Premier league status, which has resulted in a huge drop in form over the last couple of matches. Since the 2-1 win against Everton, Norwich have managed just three points in the last five matches. This abysmal run of form has meant that the teams in the relegation zone have been able to inch closer towards Chris Hughton's men. As a result, Norwich need a couple of wins in order to be sure of Premier league survival. Hence, they will be pumped up for the match according to Wenger, who has called on his players to score early in the match to avoid the nerves.

"Once we are in front, the teams who usually defend against us have to come out and that gives us space to develop our game even better. That shows you that when we start our games in a positive way, we can dominate. It shows you just how important the confidence is to go into the games and to have a strong start. I believe our team has always developed a way to play that makes them stronger throughout the season," said Wenger.

DISAPPOINTED

The Chelsea goalie Petr Cech has said that he is disappointed that his team couldn’t make its way into the final 16 of the Champions League.

Chelsea was knocked out of the Champions League from the group stage and currently, the Blues are in Czech Republic to play the Europa League match against Sparta Prague.

Talking to the reporters ahead of the match against Sparta Prague, Cech said, “Obviously, we would have liked to be playing in the Champions League rather than the Europa League, but, unfortunately, we couldn’t qualify and the whole team is disappointed about it. But, we only have to blame ourselves for this situation. We made a lot of mistakes in the group matches and that’s why, we were knocked out of the tournament.”

“The spirits in the camp are still high. We are looking forward to tomorrow’s match. This competition may not be as big as Champions League, but, it’s a prestigious tournament and we want to win it.”

One of Cech’s fingers was fractured when he was playing for Chelsea against Newcastle United. Cech has still not fully recovered from that blow, but, he will feature for the Blues against Sparta Prague.

When asked about the condition of his finger, Cech said, “I am still feeling a bit of pain in my injured finger, but, it’s not that much of a worry for me. I have played with worse injuries than this in the past.”

Chelsea will go into the match against Sparta without two of its senior players i.e. David Luiz and Demba Ba.

But, in spite of the absence of these two players, the manager of Chelsea Rafa Benitez has made it clear that Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel would not be included in the starting XI.

Moses and Mikel have just returned after representing their country in the Africa Cup of Nations and according to Benitez, they need a bit of rest before being included in the team.

ATLETICO KEEN ON TORRES

Atletico Madrid wants to sign Fernando Torres for the second time. The Spanish club is looking to take Torres on loan for 1 year during the next summer transfer window.

Torres had begun his career with Atletico Madrid. He had joined Atletico Madrid in 1995 at the age of just 11 years. He was a member of the youth squad of Atletico for 6 years and then, he got the chance to play for the senior team of Atletico.

Torres’ record for Atletico Madrid is amazing. He played 214 matches for Atletico and he scored 82 goals. These stats are clearly telling that Torres was a real match winner for Atletico Madrid.

At the start of the season, Torres had said, “I love Atletico Madrid. That club is very special for me. I have learnt all my football there. I would love to go back there at some point of time in future.”

A Spanish source said yesterday, “Atletico wants to get Fernando back and Fernando also wants to go back there. He might not get that much money at Atletico, but, he wouldn’t mind getting lesser wages there.”

Apart from Atletico Madrid, some other clubs including Paris Saint Germain, Besiktas and Juventus have also shown interest in the Spanish striker.

Fernando Torres was in decent form in the earlier parts of the ongoing season. He has featured for the Blues in 25 matches in this season so far and he has scored 13 goals. But, he has been a bit out of nick in the last few games and after Chelsea’s defeat against Swansea City in the Capital One Cup match played last week, Torres was booed by the Chelsea fans and the Spaniard is said to be very upset about that. Chelsea had lost that match by 0-2.

DI MATTEO WOULD STILL DROP TORRES

The Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo has said that he does not regret about the decision he took with the Chelsea striker Fernando Torres for the match against Juventus on Tuesday night.

Chelsea were beaten 3-0 by the Italian team, which left them on the brink of elimination from the Champions League. The Spaniard Fernando Torres was dropped for this match by the manager after recent run of poor form.

The 28-year-old has scored just one goal in the last seven matches, while he looked extremely poor in the match against West Brom during the weekend.
Despite making substantial changes to the team, the Italian was unable to prevent a 3-0 defeat that left Chelsea needing a miracle to progress to the last 16 stage of the tournament.

If Chelsea are indeed going to exit the competition at the group stage, then it will be the first time a team that holds the competition goes out at this stage. Fernando Torres was introduced into the action only as a substitute late in the match. However, he cannot make any noteworthy contribution to the team even then. Roberto di Matteo also has said that the team first needs to strengthen the defence before focusing on attack.

"I thought this was the team to beat Juventus but if the result is negative you always face repercussions. Torres, like all players who don't start, was disappointed but he certainly has a future and we all have to pick ourselves up again. I wanted a different approach tonight and to move the three centre-backs around," said the Chelsea manager after the match. The Italian once again admitted that there is always pressure at the club like Chelsea. He is hoping that the results improve starting with the match against Manchester City this weekend.

TORRES HAPPY WITH FORM

The Chelsea striker, Fernando Torres, has said that he is very happy with the way he is playing in the current season. Torres has looked in terrific form in the matches that he has played in the ongoing season so far. Torres didn’t manage to perform well in the last season. But, it seems that he has learnt from his mistakes and has done his homework pretty well. He is looking a completely different player in this season. He is looking confident and creating much more opportunities this time around.
In the last season, Didier Drogba was the senior striker of Chelsea and Torres had struggled to get regular first team opportunities.

But, Drogba has left Chelsea this summer to join the Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua. So, Torres has been starting the matches for Chelsea in the ongoing season and he has been delivering for the club.

Torres scored a goal in the Community Shield match against Manchester City at Villa Park. Chelsea didn’t win that match, but, that goal gave Torres a whole lot of confidence. He looked in good nick in Chelsea’s opening match of the Premier League against Wigan Athletic.

He found the net in the next match against Reading to help his team win the match by 4-2. However, that was a controversial goal and the television replay showed that Torres was in an offside position when he kicked the ball.

As per Torres, it’s wonderful that he has started the season on a good note, but, he its important not to get complacent and keep working hard. These are the early days in the season and he wants to score some more goals in the further matches.

On being asked whether the team is missing Drogba, Torres said that Drogba is a fantastic player and he performed brilliantly for Chelsea in the last season. But, the team has to move ahead without him now. The team’s performance has been good in the current season so far and hopefully, the team would keep doing well in the upcoming matches.

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TORRES WILL START

Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo has said that his likely to use the star striker Fernando Torres in the friendly match against AC Milan. Chelsea will be playing against AC Milan in what will be their final pre-season match of the US tour.

They will be playing in only one more friendly – against Brighton and Hove Albion – before taking on Manchester city in the Community shield. Due to the fact that striker Fernando Torres was not part of the first three pre-season friendlies, Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo is also to hand the Spaniard a few minutes of action against AC Milan in order to help him return to full fitness.

The 28-year-old was given an extended break after taking part in the Euro 2012 with the Spanish national team. He managed to win the competition itself and also the Golden Boot award after having scored three goals. It finished a remarkable season for the Spaniard, who struggled during the early part of the campaign. In the end, he had managed to lift four major trophies – two with his club team and two with his international team. As a result, he has only just returned to pre-season training with his new teammates like Eden Hazard and Marko Marin.

“Fernando is going to play. It’s just a question of how much time. It will be at least 30 minutes. He has had a flight and jet lag and a few training sessions in his legs, so we will have to see,” said the Chelsea manager ahead of the match with AC Milan. Chelsea come on the back of the 3-2 defeat at the hands of the MLS all-stars. This was the first defeat of the pre-season after they had started their tour with the win over Seattle Sounders and the draw with Paris St Germain.

LEARN FROM MISTAKES

Spanish striker Fernando Torres has said that the national team should learn from the mistakes we have made in the past.

The Spanish team will be taking on France in the quarter-finals of the Euro 2012 knowing that the French have been able to avoid defeat against the Spanish in the last seven encounters between the two nations.

The most high-profile encounter between the two came in the 2006 World Cup when the two meet each other on the group stages. Back then, the French national team had the likes of the 35-year-old Zinedine Zidane, which was highly criticised by the Spanish media.

However, they were made to eat in their own words after the French defeated them 3-1 in the group stages, while also going to win the World Cup in the process. Fernando Torres has said that the Spanish national team should learn from this mistake and not be complacent against the French team that now features a lot of youngsters.

The French will be coming into the match after having recently lost their unbeaten run, which stretched to a record 22 matches. Laurent Blanc's men lost 2-0 in the final group match against Sweden, which has now made them play against Spain instead of Steven Gerrard's England.

"That day France taught us a good lesson which helped us to grow up as a team, even if only a few players remain from that time. We will hope that this time, our experience will tilt the balance of the game in our favour. France are a great side who perhaps didn't have their finest day against Sweden. We hope that against us they won't return to their best form, but if they do so we will be ready. These days, Spain, at its best, is very hard to beat," said Fernando Torres.

BOTH MIGHT START

Chelsea interim manager Roberto di Matteo has suggested that he might consider the possibility of playing both Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres in the final of the Champions League against Bayern Munich on May 19.

This is arguably the biggest match in the history of Chelsea, but Roberto di Matteo has revealed that he may make some changes to the team in order to overcome the suspensions.

Chelsea have four important players suspended for the final in the form of John Terry, Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and Raul Meireles. As a result, they are extremely weak in the defensive positions.

Roberto di Matteo has revealed that he might try to counter-attack by going for an offensive formation that includes both Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres, despite the fact that they both are yet to score a single goal in 19 occasions they have been on the field together.

The 19th time came in the weekend against Blackburn Rovers when Roberto di Matteo played both the strikers, but they failed to score this time around as well. Bayern Munich are also suffering from suspensions, but injuries to David Luiz and Gary Cahill mean that Chelsea are even worse in terms of luck when compared to Bayern Munich.

"I tried a few things to just have a look and see how it could work out. It's always difficult because obviously it's going to be a different opposition. But I've been trying to figure out a few things," Roberto di Matteo said after the Blackburn match. However, it is extremely tough to see him changing the formation of the team that has been so effective since his arrival a few months ago. Didier Drogba is the favourite to start the match, which will also likely to be his last for Chelsea.

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