Success for Rafa depends on Torres
LET'S put this as plainly as we can: if Rafa Benitez wants to keep his job at Chelsea then he has to get Fernando Torres back to the type of form he showed when he first came to England.
Was there a more exciting striker in the game during those years? In his first season at Anfield he scored 24 goals in 33 league games. 14 in 24 the following season. In all he scored 65 goals in 102 league games. In his 58 league appearances since joining Chelsea he's scored eleven. That's a shocking fall from grace (although we should point out that Torres is the Golden Boot holder from the European Championships).
Why is it so important that Rafa gets him back playing as he can? Well for one thing he's their main striker. If he starts banging in the goals then Chelsea have the quality to win this league – a league where no top team is playing devastatingly well (City have yet to hit top form). For another he cost a fortune and is a favourite of the owner.
At Liverpool the team was set up around Torres, with Gerrard in a supporting role. Benitez will try to recreate something like that for him at Stamford Bridge and yet for all the quality in that Chelsea midfield is there a Gerrard type figure? Not really. Juan Mata? Perhaps. Oscar? Surely not.
Whatever happens it'll be worth watching and who (Liverpool fans aside) wouldn't want to see Torres back to his flying best?