Following the dismissal of Roberto Di Matteo as Chelsea manager, Roman Abramovich was in a position he has found him self in on countless occasions in his tenure as Chelsea’s owner – he needed to find a new manager.
Many big names were being thrown about, some more realistically than others, but the man eventually appointed to the post of interim manager by the London club was Rafael Benitez.
Most people saw this as an unsurprising signing as Benitez is an extremely successful manager, enjoying fruitful spells at Valencia and Liverpool among others. However, whilst the Spaniard’s managerial credentials are in no doubt, few have mentioned that there could have been another motive for appointing him – getting the misfiring Fernando Torres back to his best.
Benitez signed Torres as Liverpool manager and what followed was arguably the most impressive spell in both of their careers – Torres bagged 65 goals in 102 games for Liverpool and Benitez proved a worthy and successful manager.
It hasn’t just been at Chelsea that Torres has suffered for from; he was poor at Liverpool following the dismissal of Benitez, and whilst he hasn’t looked like the player he was for quite some time, I believe that his problem is confidence; whilst he has had some injury problems, I don’t believe that either he has become a less good player or that said depreciation is a result of injuries, he just hasn’t had managers who instill confidence in him and play a system he thrives in – if this were to change I can see no reason why he couldn’t improve.
Because of this, we could soon see a resurgent Fernando Torres at Chelsea; if Benitez employs the system he employed at Liverpool with Torres as the lone striker with running support from midfield, we could see a real change in the form of the formerly clinical striker – and the appointment of Benitez could prove to be an inspired one, as if anyone can get Torres playing the way he did, then Benitez can.