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Signing Fernando Torres - a defining moment?


Dorset
Chelsea Megastore
Chelsea Megastore

Chelsea Megastore

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“Grandad, what did you get for Christmas?†my six year-old grandson asked, raising his head above Lego towers and Transformers on the very afternoon of the day in question. “My usual sugar mouse and a tangerine†I replied, trying hard to instil in him at an early age an appreciation of the value of money. “You wanted a mouse and a bit of fruit?!†he responded incredulously. “Oh no, mate†his grandfather countered with a stern shake of the head, “I wanted Sergio Aguero, but he would have cost £45 million and you can’t always have what you really want, even at Christmas time.†Quite pleased with [what Loz would have called] my ‘morality tale’ punch line and sitting back to bask in its glory, suddenly another polite enquiry came my way. “Grandad, what is a Sergio Aguero?†Momentarily stumped by such profundity from one so young, I murmured “Hmmm, good question…..“ before sinking into deep thought and eventually nodding off. It had, after all, been a damn good Christmas lunch.

Well, today is THE day to answer that question because, whilst it may not actually be Sergio Aguero that we’ve signed, nor Christmas Day either, it certainly feels like it, if you are a Chelsea fan who has yearned for a superstar signing to be made in this transfer window. Quite simply, the signing of Torres should mean much more to us than just the adding of another player to the squad, much more to the club than, say, the breaking of a British transfer fee record and, I’d hazard a guess, most definitely much more to rivals such as a panic-stationed Liverpool, an impotent United, a potentially-potent Citeh and a permanent poverty-stricken Arsenal, all of whom would have hoped that by now CFC had grown out of that Bucking urge to spend Big on a marquee player.

Yet there are dissenters aplenty in our camp and more than enough of them to fuel the Media’s desire to get us to see this capture their way, as opposed to what appears to be an obvious outcome to me - we’ve bought one of the best strikers in the world, paid a slightly less than Ronaldo-esque going rate for him, albeit still sending out a message to every player in the same ballpark [ability-wise] that we’re interested in each and every one. In fact, Fernando’s potential impact for us almost demands discussion on what the move will bring to the euphemistic game-in-general-in-this-country and so with this in mind, together with my own answers at the ready, the slightly skewed and somewhat innocent question - what exactly is a Fernando Torres? - is tackled in this topic. Let’s start, quite literally, with the bad news first [unless you are a sceptic that didn’t want him, didn’t like him, doesn’t trust him or has some other kite to fly above and beyond his undoubted world class ability to score goals] before getting on to the home truths from those who really matter, the Chelsea fans themselves…

As the weekend’s Sky Sunday Supplement showed, contradictions already abound and Andy Dunn set the early standard by desperately trying to paint a picture by numbers of Torres treachery, depicting poor hard done Liverpool being left in a last minute lurch. Except that these numbers didn’t seem to add up to more than a kiddies scrawl when he subsequently had to admit that the Spaniard wanted out ages ago, only dawdling due to boardroom promises of team improvement and trophy challenge that failed to materialise prior to Benitez’s exit, never mind during Hodgson’s miserable tenure. Dunn, as will many of his colleagues over the next few weeks, then proceeded to feast in frenzy on his [anticipated] inflated price, only to later acknowledge his world class status, even elevating him to No.1 position amongst the out-and-out strikers in the game. Such individuals don’t come cheap, Andy, or hadn’t you noticed?

Headline reports are also sure to follow decrying Chelsea indulgence, in the guise of Roman Abramovich’s ’interference’, with no appreciative mention made of an enthusiastic owner’s love of the game or his natural craving to buy a favourite player if he can do so… in much the same way as Malcolm Glazer might pursue Lionel Messi, if he knew how good he was, or even of his existence. Ah yes, the seasoned hack might say, but Fergie has got a free rein instead and whereas Carlo Ancelotti must accept the Fernando Torres he’s given the United boss can exercise his own judgment, enabling the likes of Bebe to brought to the club for a mere £7m, with untold maximum potential and minimum of fuss. The benefits could not be more obvious in this cameo of respective qualities and restraints and you really do have to feel sorry for poor put upon Carlo in all this, don’t you?

Last and by no means least (from a print world that allowed a real paper-selling scoop to scud under their radar so easily and as if ’sources’ had dried up completely) we will have the endless comparisons - with St Stevie eventually staying put after Jose tried to get him here, with Tevez eventually staying at City, with Fabregas [eventually?] staying at Arsenal and with Rooney putting up with United - all of which will be used to emphasise the lack of loyalty DNA found in Torres. In truth, only the first of these has relevance because Fernando will have looked at Gerrard and seen a mirror image of what could easily be his own trophy-less future at Anfield, over the next five years as well as the last, and who can blame him for wanting to leave and go to proven winners whilst still in his prime? Only the fans, I suppose, and with shirt burning a certainty at Anfield what could possibly be deemed abhorrent in SW6 when this deal is scrutinised properly?

My immediate gut reaction, should he be reading this, is over the proverbial, bluemoon, as we now have another tried and tested Premiership goal scorer in our midst. Not that long ago we dodged a bullet over Robinho, and after a period of reflection there is now no questioning Roman’s desire to compete with the Middle Eastlands money once again. Naturally, when the euphoria and outrage dies down (and ignoring the sheer insularity of this stereotypical British enquiry in the first place) we might just wonder whether he too is a bit of a mercenary, but here’s hoping the evidence proves overwhelming and that Torres has moved out of sheer desperation to succeed at club level, both domestically and in Europe, rather than being in anyway influenced by an increase in salary.

Whilst the vitriolic quills are no doubt being sharpened by those fans who think differently, my parting plea to all our own sceptics is to ask them to step back from the brink of carping and just think…of Fernando’s signing as being our cementing of status and Liverpool’s comparative loss of it, and of how we have secured the services of one of the very best players in the world, who didn’t give a fig for the famed, media-feted lot at Old Trafford, nor was he lured by the loot currently oozing out of every pore of the Citeh project. This move will go down as the watershed moment in Torres career, as he has always appreciated it would be, so isn’t it really nice to know he prefers us to the rest at such an important time for all concerned?! Just think, you might have been an Arsenal fan [God forbid] and woken to the news that their only player ’in’ for this transfer window was Ryo Miyaichi, from Chukyodal Chuyko High School, for an undisclosed fee!

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You could be right Dorset. It's certainly a big coup, the marquee player Buck has mentioned for a few seasons now. Torres' comments last night (even if we do allow for the little bit of flattery that always comes from a new arrival) certainly suggested that he saw us as his level, a level above Liverpool (a comment that I think has grated with the Liverpool fans more than anything.)

No doubt there will be those such as in the Independent who characterise this as a return to evil bullying Chelsea, and who will slate us like they did when the cheque's flowed before. They miss the point, this never would have happened if Torres hadn't submitted a transfer request. No doubt we wanted him (as many other clubs no doubt did) and we were also willing to pay. But this wouldn't had happened if Torres didn't think it was in his best interests to come here, and perhaps this time (maybe for the first time) it wasn't just for the superior money.

I myself am still a skeptic. For a player with a poor record with injuries, I think there may have been better fits at a better price out there. I still want to know what effect this will have on the team's structure and more importantly morale. I also want to know how this fits in to financial fair play, and moreover where this leaves the youth players, so lauded at the beginning of the year. Hopefully all of those questions will be resolved positively, I'd doubt those in the know even have the answers yet. But it's a big step, one that opens up the post-Drogba era for Chelsea, and who couldn't help but be excited by that.

Edited by Spiller86
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British transfer record or not, if Torres had been our only signing, I'd have been a little disappointed. Not least because of the number of players going out on loan.

Signing David Luiz on the other hand... ok he wasn't exactly cheap but he's arguably the best, and if not he's certainly up there with the best, in his position in the world. And he's only 23, so his best years are ahead of him. He's the kind of player you'd have expected to go to Barcelona or Real Madrid. Or maybe moneybags (ok even bigger moneybags) Man City. But he didn't, he chose to come to us: because we're a big, ambitious Premier League club, because rumours of our forthcoming demise are both unfounded and premature. Or if you like, simply because...

CHELSEA ARE BACK

(not that we were ever actually "away" of course)

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We might well look back on this season and the 31th January 2011 in particular as a defining moment.

We all knew the important spine of the team was edging closer to it's finale. In Torres we have the replacement for Drogba and in Luiz, hopefully the long term replacement for JT. That just leaves Lamps and the signs are Ramires and Josh will be able to step in there.

The squad for next season suddenly has a much better balanced look about it (including the recall of loan players).

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I've been openly sceptical about Torres, and have posted so in here on several occasions. However, he is now a Chelsea player, so.....

Come On Nando!!!!!!

also, he won't have to be overly concerned about getting his house robbed by his own fans on Champions League nights like he has been. Oh, wait. That hasn't applied in the recent past, has it?

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We might well look back on this season and the 31th January 2011 in particular as a defining moment.

We all knew the important spine of the team was edging closer to it's finale. In Torres we have the replacement for Drogba and in Luiz, hopefully the long term replacement for JT. That just leaves Lamps and the signs are Ramires and Josh will be able to step in there.

The squad for next season suddenly has a much better balanced look about it (including the recall of loan players).

Your right, I think in the signings of Ramires, Luiz and torres the problems seemingly about to hit our ageing squad have been all but sorted, though in my opinion we still need a keeper we can rely on as a backup and eventual successor to Cech. Maybe that will be Delac, if so then we are looking good for the next few years hopefully. I wonder if Hansen will have to retract his article on how we are about to implode now.

Edited by dkw
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Your right, I think in the signings of Ramires, Luiz and torres the problems seemingly about to hit our ageing squad have been all but sorted, though in my opinion we still need a keeper we can rely on as a backup and eventual successor to Cech. Maybe that will be Delac, if so then we are looking good for the next few years hopefully. I wonder if Hansen will have to retract his article on how we are about to implode now.

I hope it's Delac. He's very talented, and very young. Would love him to be big Petr's understudy.

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I hope it's Delac. He's very talented, and very young. Would love him to be big Petr's understudy.

To be honest I know next to nothing about him other than he`s very tall and highly rated. Is he getting game time on loan do you know?

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To be honest I know next to nothing about him other than he`s very tall and highly rated. Is he getting game time on loan do you know?

Unfortunately he doesn't seem to be playing at Vitesse. I also haven't seen him as much as I'd have liked, but I do know he's a very good shot stopper.

Whether he would have consistency or not, I couldn't say. I guess I just love the idea of having a prodigy on the bench, and being good enough to get game time.

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Good post Dorset,

I have always rated Torres and think for a "mercenary" he gave Liverpool a fair go. He is one of the best strikers in the World and even if it only lasts half a season (I hope it lasts at least one more) I'd love to see him form a partnership with the other.

I like the fact that out of the big name strikers out there he is the one with proven ability in the premiership and he is the one that we are not waiting for potential greatness, all we need from him is a return to top form.

Sending out the message you mention and knowing top players everywhere will be hoping our Club has them in their sites as we will certainly be on the up and I can see next season being something very special here.

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Surely a defining moment even if Torres does not prove his value . This signing coupled with that of Luiz tells a lot about our club's ambitions and answered a lot of critics . Some important points in my opinion ,

1. It has answers to many people who questioned the club's spending power and were saying our club is in decline , free fall etc.,

2. Roman Abramovich is back big time and so is chelsea football club . People were saying Roman will be interested in Russia2018 and will care / spend less about chelsea and other such things but all such talk is now history .

3. Carlo has the strong backing of RA and also Carlo is in fantastic terms with the board . He is the man to lead us and I see this superstar signing as a gift to Ancelotti

4. Fans are happy again . Our fan base will increase because of Torres and Luiz . Wiki says about Torres "His surname was the most popular name to feature on replica Premier League shirts sold across the world in the 2009–10 season"

5. Our squad has gone from being lightweight to a very strong one with the arrival of players in key areas .

So , Is chelsea the team to beat now ?

Top 2 center forwards in the world , Best goal scoring midfielder in Lampard , Best box to box complete midfielder in Essien , Best Captain and a top CB in Terry , Best Left back in Ashcole , Best young central midfielder in Ramires , Best Young CB in Luiz , Top utility player in Ivanovic , fantastic young talent in Josh

and the list doesn't end there

Top 2 guys from the French Revolt in Nic and Flo , Top Super sub in Kalou , Russian Ronaldinho in Zhirkov , Israeli magician in Benayoun etc .,

May be we lack a creative midfield player or a playmaker ... But forget it , Are we the team to beat ?

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So , Is chelsea the team to beat now ?

Top 2 center forwards in the world , Best goal scoring midfielder in Lampard , Best box to box complete midfielder in Essien , Best Captain and a top CB in Terry , Best Left back in Ashcole , Best young central midfielder in Ramires , Best Young CB in Luiz , Top utility player in Ivanovic , fantastic young talent in Josh

and the list doesn't end there

Top 2 guys from the French Revolt in Nic and Flo , Top Super sub in Kalou , Russian Ronaldinho in Zhirkov , Israeli magician in Benayoun etc .,

May be we lack a creative midfield player or a playmaker ... But forget it , Are we the team to beat ?

Damn...you are sure you arent a converted Liverpool fan?

Way over the top to say the least....

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Great post Dorset. I'd add that it's also a defining moment because not too long ago it would have been unthinkable that we could sign Liverpool's best player, and that he would want to join because we were a better club with better players and had more chance of winning things. We're making history all the time whereas Liverpool just are history.

It's amazing how quickly things turn around. A few days ago everyone was downbeat because we seemed to have missed out on Luiz. Heck, we ever missed out on Pienaar. We had an aging, paper thin squad that was out of form, there were questions about Roman's commitment. Two signings later and all those doubts have gone. Two big gaps in the squad have been plugged with quality, Roman's commitment has been reaffirmed and we're all optimistic again. Could be just the boost the whole club needs for us to push on and make something of this season.

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Good read as usual, and its comforting to know that the Chelsea obsession with Aguero (a player, mind you, I still think we will end up with unless City step in) reaches to the old school and the new.

I worry about this move, I really do. On paper it is brilliant to have one of the world's best playing for us. I really hope his injuries were a product of fatigue and overuse. I dont think in the coming years it is going to get much easier for him, but hopefully surrounded by so much talent that can help carry the load, he will find it much easier and be able to adjust and thrive. And most importantly, enjoy his football without the pressure of carrying a team, delivering for delusional fans whose expectations havent fallen, and with a manager and an owner who are clear in their course: stability, excellence, and silverware.

And of course, I have reservations about finanical fair play. UEFA have never hesitated to stick us when they could, so I really hope the club and owner know what they are doing when it comes to this stuff. If we can make it no problem, and eat the loss of this transfer fee, then all the better. Maybe Roman realizes the door will soon be shutting, and wanted a high profile land grab or two that could keep us in the running and give us a huge lift in the PR game too. Torres certainly does that, and if that is the plan I dont think it will end at Torres just yet.

All that said, I am charting a worst case scenario when he hasnt kicked a ball. Totally unfair. If we keep him fit and firing, 5 and half years will mean maybe 100 goals if we are lucky, and god knows what he can help Chelsea win. Same thing with Luiz, but I think we will see the best of him for at least a decade. Whatever happens, I think we know where Roman stands now. I wouldve settled for a statement from him or some kind of communication over the future, but 70 million in one day is an outlay even he mightve balked at 8 years ago.

Edited by TheWestwayWonder
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