The plaudits have all but ran dry for Fernando Torres after another strong display from the Spaniard against Southampton on New Year's day.
But the more and more I watch him, the more and more I think he is less and less like the Torres of old.
His effort is never in question, out of all the players on the pitch at St Mary's he undoubtedly put in the most work. He runs and chases like no tomorrow and does it better than the other two strikers Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba, but what frustrates me about the number 9 is his decision making.
We all know how he use to score goals for fun at Atletico Madrid and Liverpool and yet he just hasn't managed it consistently with the Blues. I, like most, am at a loss to understand why.
Now I admit I've noticed that the three attacking midfielders do not give Torres enough balls to play with in the box.
Oscar tends to play short at the edge of the box, Willian tends to shoot from distance and Hazard is just Eden Hazard. They don't really feed him enough and I do feel sorry for the Spaniard at times, but when they do he just looks like a deer caught in the headlights.
When you see other strikers in the Premier League such as Luis Suarez or Sergio Aguero they are already thinking what they are going to do when they receive the ball, Torres just doesn't.
What aggravates me more is that he seems to beat most defenders and get through on goal on is own, he does all the hard work and all he has to do is finish his work but 9 times out of 10 he will make the wrong decision or miss the target without testing the goalkeeper.
It is worrisome as he has now been at Chelsea long enough to understand the players and the style of play. Most pundits go towards the lack of confidence argument but even then I don't think it's that.
Back in 2012 Torres had just come back from receiving the Golden Boot from Euro 2012 with Spain. This was in spite of not playing every game, so beyond that I fail to see what is stopping him from reaching his previous heights.
It's such a shame because the Chelsea fans have fallen for him, ever since the Nou Camp in 2012 he will always be in our hearts and we will back him as long as he wears a blue shirt.
As the season goes on I fear that his lack of goals may come back to haunt us in the title race. Despite our wealth of attacking and goal scoring midfielders we need firepower upfront and from what Mourinho has said, we will not be looking for another striker this January.
But that might do Torres some good and hopefully he will enjoy having the responsibility of scoring the goals as our solitary striker in the league.
Whether he can shoulder that responsibility remains to be seen...
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