- Premier League
Torres: Chelsea's style has hurt me
Chelsea's Fernando Torres has claimed the team's tactics have deprived him of his dynamism and set himself the target of showing Jose Mourinho that the club do not need to sign a new striker.
Torres has been a bit-part player under Mourinho, who has repeatedly criticised his side's lack of potency and sought to bring in Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa. The striker has also been repeatedly linked with moves away from Stamford Bridge after failing to live up to expectations since his £50 million transfer from Liverpool three years ago.
In an interview with French magazine So Foot, he claims he felt "like a king" at Anfield and is pining for a return to top form and the confidence of his manager.
"Today, I am a different player but I am not going to lie to you: the player that I was, the one who started all the matches with a guaranteed place, I really miss sometimes," Torres is reported to have said.
"At one point, I even sat myself down to watch videos of my goals: I wanted to understand what I was doing before when I was scoring.
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"I concluded that the only thing that had changed was the colour of the shirt. Everything is a question of adaptation to the playing style of a team. There are the styles which suit me well and others less, that is all.
"When you play, you do not ask yourself how it feels to be on the bench. You have to live it to understand how difficult it is to be there without being there. To enter a match knowing you do not have the confidence of the coach. To play when you simply don't have the habit of playing.
"I felt bizarre, I had the feeling of getting tired quicker, of being heavier. I had no gas. You have to fight against a lot of things to get off the bench, sometimes even against yourself."
Chelsea's open pursuit of reinforcements for Torres' position cannot have helped but some defiance remains.
"Clearly his [Mourinho's] aim is to sign another attacker for next season," Torres said. "But I am going to continue to work to make him change his opinion.
"There is not a lot to analyse. It is not possible to read it another way: he is not completely satisfied with our performances and that is all. All that is left for us to do is to prove that we can be the striker he is looking for."
Torres has appeared to lose pace and confidence since signing for Chelsea but he blames his form fall on the team's approach.
He said: "Before my arrival, Chelsea played with [Nicolas] Anelka and [Didier] Drogba in attack. I arrived to play alongside Anelka in a system with three midfielders. We played only one match with that system.
"At the time, David Luiz and myself went to see [manager Carlo] Ancelotti together because we had been the last arrivals, we were told we would be important, but, in reality, we weren't playing. They finished by saying to us: 'We are going to finish the season with the team that started it'.
"I understood nothing of what had happened. I started to get to know the bench. I reassured myself by saying things would soon change. [Andre] Villas-Boas arrived, then [Roberto] Di Matteo, but it was always the same: one day I played, the next not."
Torres' experience at Chelsea has contrasted sharply with his time at Liverpool, for whom he scored 81 goals in three and a half years. His tally for Chelsea over a similar length of time is 46 goals.
"At Liverpool, I had almost everything but titles," Torres said. "I felt like a king but the team was falling apart. The directors had sold [Javier] Mascherano to Barca, then Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid without investing any of the money to compensate for the departure of these two key players.
"I was 27, I wanted to know what it was like to lift the Champions League and I had the feeling it was not going to happen with the Reds. Liverpool then was in full transition, the club was being sold and in that case, unless you are Manchester City or PSG, it can be a long road before you are again competitive.
"I did not have the time to wait. One day, Steven Gerrard came to say to me: Fernando, now, you have to think of yourself. Do what you have to do. When I went to tell him that I was going to accept the Chelsea offer, it destroyed him.
"Announcing my departure from Liverpool to Gerrard was one of the most difficult moments of my career. He was my best team-mate and I am not sure of finding another like him in the future. We were made for each other."