Fernando Torres’ struggles in front of goal

Fernando Torres’ struggles in front of goal has continued even into the 2015-16 season. It was expected that returning back to Atletico Madrid would help the Spaniard regain his form.

However, there appears to be a major problem within the 31-year-old since he has been unable to score anywhere near his best. A return of just two goals in almost 800 minutes of action sees the forwards struggled to get regular game time even under Diego Simeone, who is a manager rates him a lot. Playing for Atletico does help Torres get away with some of the criticism.

Atletico Madrid failed to win any major honour last season

Atletico Madrid failed to win any major honour last season, but manager Diego Simeone says that his team are now well equipped to be challenging for a title at the end of this campaign.

The Spanish league will be beginning shortly and Atletico have made some important changes to the squad during the summer. Gone are names like Mario Mandzukic and in have come the likes of Jackson Martinez. This means that Fernando Torres is unlikely to be a first choice striker at the club in the coming campaign. The future of Torres at the Vicente Calderon looks to be under doubt.

The Spanish striker is on loan until the end of the season and only his good performances will persuade Atletico to convert this deal into a permanent move. Even though he is regarded as one of the club legends, Simeone will not want to waste significant portion of his wage budget on a player not regarded as a first choice. Last season, Atletico finished in the third spot which was very much expected. However, they had won the title – in unexpected circumstances – just the season before. Simeone is confident of reclaiming the lost league title from the clutches of Barcelona.

"We know [Luciano] Vietto, [Angel] Correa, [Yannick] Carrasco and Oliver [Torres] can greatly improve the team.We still have to improve a lot, especially from a tactical perspective, but the players will never lose their talent. This talent is necessary for winning games," said the manager. Atletico start the new campaign with a home game against Las Palmas. It will be interesting to see how the team would respond to the numerous changes made by Simeone. The league campaign for Atletico starts on August 22. This will be immediately followed by games against Sevilla and Barcelona in the subsequent weeks.

Diego Simeone claims that the club will not forget

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone claims that the club will not forget the core values that they developed under him.

These values were immensely responsible for the club winning the league title a few years ago. However, there are several new faces at the club following the departure of names like Mario Mandzukic and Arda Turan. The latter, especially, was a key factor in the club’s success over the last couple of years. There has been an opinion that Atletico will struggle once they lose the values built up under Simeone. The manager, though, has pointed out to the presence of many older players in the team, who will help the new generation integrate seamlessly into the ethics.

The Spanish club has been one of the most active in the transfer window after bringing in players for more than € 120 million. Jackson Martinez has been one of the most high profile among them. Players like Koke and Torres remain from the squad that won the league title. Simeone’s plans of changing the style of play in order to reclaim the league title is likely to be viewed with scepticism for the first few weeks of the season. Despite the doubts, they have begun the campaign with two wins from the opening two games.

"Reading the squad list you can see some important names, a lot of young players like Vietto, Oliver [Torres], Carrasco or Koke, [Antoine] Griezmann although they're already regulars, but that's important. We want to do everything we can not to lose the essence of the team and be up for what each game asks of us.We've only really had half a pre-season because we were searching for players, the new signings are integrating into the side and are learning what we're looking for in the game,” said Simeone.

Torres was extremely keen on preventing Barcelona

Torres was extremely keen on preventing Barcelona from clinching the league title at the Vicente Calderon.

This will be an exact opposite of the circumstances from last season when Atletico Madrid managed an unthinkable league success at the Camp Nou after a draw. This time around, a narrow 1-0 victory sealed the things for the Catalan club. They have once again managed to triumph in the Spanish league ahead of Real Madrid. Torres made his return to the Spanish league in January and has been a bit part player in the domestic competitions.

However, he played from the start against Barcelona hoping to continue his impressive record against the Catalan club. Even during his worst spells as a footballer, Torres has always scored against Barcelona. This did not turn out to be the case during the weekend, as a solitary goal was enough to seal the title. Lionel Messi scored the only goal of the game. Even though the Argentine did not break any records this weekend, he once again proved the big-name nature that he has always had. Torres has saluted the little superstar by saying that the amazing skills that he possesses proved to be the difference in the end.

Torres is not expected to sign on a permanent basis at Atletico Madrid anytime soon."Until we went 1-0 down, we felt they controlled the game but weren't threatening us.We still had chances from set pieces and gave some away, but they had Messi, who eventually changed everything in a second.They were comfortable, controlling the game, but didn't want to take risks because they knew they could wait until one player made the difference. Nonetheless, I think the approach of the two teams was very respectful and very even," said the striker. Torres has scored three goals in 12 appearances since his return.

Real Madrid can be punished on the counter-attack

Fernando Torres says that Real Madrid can be punished on the counter-attack and Atletico Madrid should be aware of this aspect when they travel to the Santiago Bernebeu for the second leg of the Champions League quarter-finals.

The first leg ended as a disappointing 0-0 draw at the Vicente Calderon, but it was positive news for Atletico. They can now score an away goal at the Santiago Bernebeu and it would force Real to search for two in reply. Even though the home team will be the favourites to progress, Atletico have had a stronghold against their much illustrious rivals this season.

The duo have played each other seven times already this campaign and Atletico have stayed unbeaten in all of these matches. This unbeaten tag was preserved even into 2015 due to goals from the likes of Fernando Torres, who returned to the club in the January transfer window. Ahead of the second leg, Torres says that Atletico can feel confident about the tie against Real Madrid. Real do have to keep one eye on the la Liga title while Atletico can fully prepare and focus on this Champions League match. This may prove decisive. Torres has not yet opened his account in the Champions League this season.

“Every game we play against them is a different story and I think this one will be because of the first leg result. It was strange as it was neither good nor bad for both sides. I hope this match goes the way we want it to and I’m expecting an offensive Real Madrid, yet they can’t go mad because 0-0 means they mustn’t concede. However, I think they will attack so we need to be ready to attack and defend. I feel more comfortable when we have a good defensive block and there is space I can run in to,” said Torres.

Diego Simeone happy with Fernando Torres

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone says that he is very happy with the impact made by Fernando Torres in this team. Despite the Spaniard being unable to open his account in the la Liga since his return to the Vicente Calderon, Simeone says that the overall impact needs to be judged more than by just the goal figures.

Torres has scored some important goals against Real Madrid and Barcelona, but they have come in the cup competitions. It looks like Atletico will fail in their efforts to retain the league title and it has raised questions about Torres’ contribution to the team.

Since the return of the 30-year-old, the future of number one striker Mario Mandzukic has been thrown into doubt. The former Bayern Munich man was dropped to the bench for the crucial match against Sevilla, which finished has a 1-1 draw. As a result of these two dropped points, Atletico have conceded defeat in the title race. The club will now be looking to cement their position in the top three of the table.

It would be sufficient to give them Champions League football for next season. After having recovered from their financial difficulties of the last decade, finances from the Champions League will be very crucial indeed.

"His entering [against Sevilla] boosted our counter-attacks and offensive connections. You could see that we could be dangerous in some counter-attacks. The introduction of Torres to the team makes me very happy. We need men of his characteristics and the enthusiasm with which he took the field. We need people who understand that no-one is more important than the team, no-one, not even the coach," said Simeone. Atletico Madrid have fallen seven points behind la Liga table leaders Real Madrid with both teams having played the same number of matches – 26.

Filippo Inzaghi proved his backing of Torres to be best for Team

AC Milan manager Filippo Inzaghi has once again proved his backing to striker Fernando Torres, who has failed to recapture his Liverpool form since the loan move to the Italian outfit.

After three very miserable years at Chelsea, Torres finally decided to bring his spell in the English game to an end. He moved to AC Milan on a two-year loan spell that effectively brought an end to his career at West London. This move was widely anticipated to revive his form, as many expected him to score goals in the same manner as he did when he was a Liverpool player.

The Milan career started promisingly after scoring in one of his first few matches. The goals, however, have dried of late and the forward has scored only two goals in the last 10 appearances. This poor run of form in front of goal is also having an effect on AC Milan. They may have scored 20 goals in the opening 11 league matches, but most of them have come from across the pitch. The club would have been challenged near the top of the table had they found a regular goalscorer in Torres. There has been pressure on Inzaghi to drop the former Liverpool man, but he is retaining his belief for the moment.

"I believe Fernando and his way of working.He's come from a period of being inactive and he needs to regain match fitness. Hopefully the goals will come tomorrow [against Sampdoria],” said the Milan manager. Torres has not scored in more than 400 minutes of action. As a result of the poor form, Milan have slipped an astonishing 11 points behind table leaders Juventus. However, they are only four points off the final Champions League qualification spot, which appears to be a major objective for the club.

Fernando Torres wants to be Top Scorer in Italian Series A

AC Milan’s Fernando Torres, who is on loan from Chelsea, says that he wants to finish as the top scorer in the Italian Serie A this season.

This is despite Torres finding the back of the net only once this campaign. Former Manchester City forward Carlos Tevez has been the best striker in the league this season. Along with Napoli forward José Callejón, these two players lead the goalscoring charts with eight goals so far. Torres may have scored only one, but he has not given up on the prospect of finishing as the top scorer.

Winning the Golden Boot used to be a regular occurrence when Torres was at Liverpool, but he has struggled for form ever since making the move to Chelsea in 2011. He appears to be low on confidence as he even at Milan he has wasted some good opportunities. Many remain confident that Filippo Inzaghi is the best manager to get Torres fired up once again. After all, Inzaghi is regarded as one of the finest strikers in Italian football over the last two decades. In the absence of Torres being on the scoresheet regularly, other players like Honda have had to step up. The Japanese midfielder has not disappointed and he has six in 11 matches this campaign.

“If a game ends goalless but we’ve created five chances that’s a good sign. There have only been a few games where we’ve created less than we should have. That’s a problem.However, it’s now up to us, the forwards. Honda can’t always score.My goal is still to be top scorer. Milan brought me here to score and take advantage of chances, it’s my job.If I don’t do that I belong somewhere else. Having said that, scoring a goal isn’t an obsession,” said Torres.

Torres Linked Heavily To Roma Move

There have been intense rumours linking Fernando Torres with an exit from Chelsea as the transfer window approaches its end. Torres had been looking certain to stay at Chelsea this season after Jose Mourinho said on several occasions that he would like to keep the Spaniard despite his poor form. However, new transfer rumours have emerged linking Torres with a move to Roma with their striker Mattia Destro moving in the opposite direction. Torres has been a major disappointment since his £ 50 million transfer from Liverpool and there have been no signs that he is likely to find his former glory days.

The 30-year-old has missed some sitters during the pre-season friendly matches. He is likely to be the second choice striker behind Diego Costa, who has come to the club for £ 32 million. Costa made his mark and showed what Chelsea were missing in the last three years by scoring a striker’s goal against Burnley in the opening weekend. Mattia Destro, meanwhile, has emerged as one of the promising strikers in Italian football after scoring 13 goals in 20 matches last season. However, it is quite possible that manager Rudi Garcia may not start with Destro on a regular basis. A swap deal, though, has been rejected by the agent of Destro.

"It's true that Chelsea are interested in Mattia. But the reports regarding a swap deal have no foundation, it's all speculation. Roma don't want to sell Mattia and Mattia prefers to remain at Roma," said the player’s agent, Renzo Contratto. At just 23 years of age, Destro will compliment Chelsea’s current crop of strikers, Diego Costa and Didier Drogba. Drogba is widely believed to be a stopgap solution before Chelsea find a suitable replacement for Torres to act as the backup for Costa. Destro would cost around £ 20 million.

Ji-Sung Has High Hopes For South Korea

Park Ji-Sung reckons that South Korea would be able to become the World Champions at some point of time in future.
Park said this in one of the BBC programmes a few days ago. This is a big statement made by the former South Korean skipper.

It’s true that South Korea is way ahead of the other Asian teams in terms of skill, but, they are still very much behind if compared to the teams from other parts of the world. Even in the ongoing FIFA World Cup, they couldn’t get through their group.

Park himself also admitted that South Korea can’t be compared to the teams from Europe at this point of time, but, according to him, the game has developed a lot in his country in the recent past. The high quality players are coming through the ranks quite frequently now and South Korea will be a really strong unit a few years down the line.

Speaking in that programme, Park said, “Well, I know that there is a big gap between us and the European nations as of now, but, it would be narrowed pretty quickly and I truly believe that we can lift the cup someday.”

What Park is saying might be right, but, the truth is that South Korea’s performance has actually deteriorated at the bigger stages in the last one decade. They had taken the football world by storm by making it to the round of 4 in the 2002 World Cup, but, in the next World Cup which had taken place in Germany, they got knocked out from the group stage.

Then, in South Africa, 4 years back, they made it to the pre quarter finals, but, couldn’t go ahead. And now in Brazil, they have again suffered an early exit. So, this, in a sense, contradicts the statement made by Park.