Thursday, July 28, 2011

Torres battling self-doubt as well as fitness

A transfer fee of £50million is always going to thrust you into the spotlight, more so if you are not an instant hit. So you can understand if Fernando Torres feels a little flustered and frustrated at the constant media glare in which he has to prepare for the new season.

Even though he appears fit and willing, talking a good game; the negative body language that has hung over his game for the past year remains.

Gone is the sprightly figure we saw in his early days at Liverpool, instead the head is bowed, the eyes are sullen, the lips pursed. The 27-year-old seems to be in a permanent sulk.

Initially it was due to the heavy treatment dished out by Premier League defenders that drew this negative reaction, after 30 goals in his opening season that has to be expected.

But now it appears he is just weary with the world, at having to constantly battle mental and physical obstacles. Those looking for Premier League tips will be wondering if he can do this.

He hasn't been helped by his team-mates either. In a situation similar to the plight of £35million man Andrei Shevchenko, the Chelsea players are desperate for the experiment to work. But that could lead to player passing to the Spaniard unnecessarily or crossing to him when there are other options. Footballers are at their best when they instinctively, as soon as they start thinking, that's when you're in trouble. Those who bet on Premier League weekend games will know this.

Given his injury woes last year as well as the lack of rest due to the World Cup many are prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.

But, after a clear summer to rest there is also an expectation is that Torres will be back to like his best when the season kicks off. But as long as the sullen expression and hunched shoulders remain, people will have their doubts.

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