Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

AVB Is Already Facing a Torres Dilemma; Spaniard May Have Helped Contribute to Chelsea's Goals Last Night but His Continued Failure to Score Poses a Problem Ahead of Sunday's Big Clash. by Simon Johnson

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

AVB Is Already Facing a Torres Dilemma; Spaniard May Have Helped Contribute to Chelsea's Goals Last Night but His Continued Failure to Score Poses a Problem Ahead of Sunday's Big Clash. by Simon Johnson

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson

CHELSEA 2 B LEVERKUSEN 0 [bar] NDRE VILLAS-BOAS has taken charge of only five games as Chelsea manager yet is already facing the same tough selection dilemma over Fernando Torres that ended up costing his predecessor Carlo Ancelotti dearly.

On Sunday, the club square up once again against the might of Manchester United, the team who beat Ancelotti's men on the way to reaching the Champions League Final last term and winning their 19th title.

In those three hugely significant matches between the clubs, which all took place in the final weeks of the campaign, Torres laboured in front of goal -- as he has appeared to do ever since he joined from Liverpool for a British club record transfer fee of [pounds sterling]50million in January.

Ancelotti's decision to start him in both legs of the Champions League quarter-final against Sir Alex Ferguson's side in April came back to haunt him because he made little impact in two fairly comprehensive defeats.

Significantly, he then only came on as a second-half substitute in Chelsea's 2-1 loss at Old Trafford a month later which effectively ended the championship race.

Naturally, it would be quite unfair to place all the blame for those disappointing performances at the striker's door, yet his lack of spark was clearly part of the problem.

It is still early days in Villas-Boas's reign but his first encounter with Ferguson's men will provide a huge indication of whether Chelsea are better equipped to beat them to silverware this season.

So far they have failed to shine and his starting XI will have to be spot on because of the way United have begun the campaign in impressive fashion. It also is why his decision over Torres will be highly scrutinised.

Against Bayer Leverkusen in their opening group game in the Champions League last night, the Spanish international can rightly lay claim to providing assists for both of the home side's goals.

Torres displayed an unselfish streak, particularly with Juan Mata's effort in injury time when he squared the ball to his compatriot rather than shooting for glory himself.

Still, the 27-yearold was bought to score not create and he looks anxious every time he has an opportunity to find the net himself. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.