Friday, February 22, 2013
'AN OPEN LETTER TO FERNANDO TORRES FROM A LIFE LONG CHELSEA FAN
This is an emotional open letter to Chelsea's misfiring £50million striker Fernando Torres from a lifelong Blues fan Rik Sharma.
The bottomline is that Sharma categorically stated that most expensive player in British history doesn't have a future in Chelsea beyond the end of the season. This is the content of the letter.
Before you came to Chelsea, I never liked you.
As a striker, you were second to none. But you went to ground too often and too quickly, I thought you were too easily riled on the pitch. Prissy.
But I remember where I was when you signed for Chelsea. And I remember the excitement.
In the two days previous to you putting pen to paper, there had been strong rumours you would be swapping red for blue.
And I was not overly enamoured with the prospect. But late, on January 31 2011, I remember watching Sky Sports News and frantically refreshing various sports news websites.
As we approached midnight, the deal was sealed. And I was thrilled. Genuinely thrilled.
Everything about you that we didn't like didn't seem to matter any more, because here you were.
A £50million present from our glorious benefactor to Carlo Ancelotti, to Chelsea, and to the fans.
Fernando Torres! Lethal, at times untouchable.
But less than a week later, it all started to unravel.
You made your debut on February 6 and thanks to a quirk of fate, it was against Liverpool. The team that you loved and, I'm reliably informed, still do.
Substituted after 66 ineffective minutes, it was a sign of things to come. We weren't to know that yet.
Yes, you were roundly mocked because of your price tag, but everyone believed you'd be up and running soon enough.
It took 14 games and over 900 minutes of football, but, eventually, with the help of a conveniently placed puddle, you scored against West Ham.
We hoped it didn't crush any morsel of confidence you had gained from scoring, and when you netted again against Swansea in the next match, all was good.
All was good for about 10 minutes anyway, because after that you were sent off for a two footed lunge.
Two more goals followed against the mighty Genk on October 19, and then that was it.
Not a peep from you until March 18, when you bagged two against the equally-mighty Leicester in the FA Cup.
During which time Villas-Boas had been sacked, another ship stricken on the Fernando Torres rock, even though Roman had painstakingly drawn you on to the map.
Roberto Di Matteo took the reins and he too failed to get the best of you but we had some fun along the way.
Whatever you go on to do, or don't do, during the remainder of your time at Chelsea, you will never be forgotten for scoring in the Nou Camp.
Sure, the goal was technically irrelevant - we were going through anyway - but when you rounded Victor Valdes and rolled home, everything seemed possible.
Every day afterwards a new video emerged on YouTube of wilder and wilder celebrations in living rooms and pubs across the country, shot at the moment you sealed our place in the Champions League final.
In Munich you didn't have much to offer, but it didn't matter because Didier Drogba was signing off his Chelsea career the only way he knew how to. Ever the showman.
But even in the aftermath, instead of basking in the success, you spoke to Spanish media about your unhappiness at the club and not playing a bigger part in the victory.
The new season began with a buzz. Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard seemed the perfect players to get you back on the goal trail in the Premier League.
And you seemed OK too - casually winning the Euro 2012 golden boot despite limited appearance time for Spain.
Di Matteo couldn't make you tick though. You were scoring at a more impressive rate than normal, but it still wasn't enough.
Out he went, and in came Rafael Benitez. A man despised by thousands of Chelsea supporters. Those were the lengths Abramovich went to in order to get you firing.
And here we are. On your 100th game for the club you were booed off by Chelsea supporters who had previously supported you through thick and thin.
Yes, I understand that you didn't choose your price. What figure would you have put on yourself? Did you know, deep down, you were shot?
The club attributed your initial malaise to a lack of match fitness, but now it's obvious the problems lie a lot deeper.
You'll soon be 29. It's all downhill from here although I'm not sure how much further there is to go.
Your only goal in the last 14 games was against League One Brentford. I'm not going to say 'you found your level' - but not because it's a lazy critique. Simply because even in that game you made no impact other than the moment you scored.
So where do you go from here? I think a return to Atletico Madrid could be good for you, because you're still a legend there.
Whether they would take you is another matter.
Some Liverpool supporters claim they'd take you back at Anfield. But they are having enough trouble languishing in mid-table without having to worry about you too.
It's difficult to see what the future holds. But what is clear is that beyond May 19 there is no future for you at Stamford Bridge.
This wasn't the way it was meant to be.
Rik Sharma (lifelong Chelsea fan)