The final, loose grains of salt are mercifully trickling down the hourglass that is the Fernando Torres’ era at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho metaphorically tipped the timepiece over after the Champions League quarterfinal first leg tie at PSG, when he gave a blistering rebuke on his striking options, namely Torres. The Blues boss said he wanted real strikers, but days later, Mourinho struck a more restrained, almost regretful tone saying the 30 year-old Spaniard did indeed have a future with Chelsea. He’s fooling absolutely no one. Just look back at tape of the 3-0 victory over Stoke.
When Torres’ shot went wide, the cutaway of Mourinho showed a face almost framed with lines of contempt. He could barely contain his true feelings. Chelsea has spent the past 3 years desperately trying to make it work with Torres. Whether its the system or his teammates, he has not found the form that made him the best striker in the world when he left Liverpool and there was hardly any trust that he ever would find it. Mourinho’s scathing criticism at the Parc des Princes may very well have been an indictment on Roman Abramovich for originally writing the $82 million check made out to the name of Torres. However, the Special One is partly to blame.
He had a chance to rectify his striker quandary way back in June when he took over the club. He pushed hard to get Wayne Rooney, but Rooney decided to stay at Manchester United, thus forcing Chelsea to sign Samuel Eto’o and allowing young Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku to go out on loan to Everton. It’s a shame what happened to Torres. Maybe it was the enormity of the 82 million that felt like an albatross to him. Any move Chelsea makes this summer to unload Torres would have potentially steep financial ramifications. A nice landing spot for Torres, if it worked out, would be Atletico Madrid. The man once dubbed El Nino would undoubtedly feel at home there, a sensation he never really felt at Chelsea, where the last remaining grains of salt continue to drop slowly on his tenure.