Flop Torres costs £75k a minute

I have a say

Posted Thursday, April 14, 2011 by The Sun

Flop Torres costs £75k a minute

AS Carlo Ancelotti reflects on his part in Chelsea's latest Champions League flop, he might wish to consider a damning statistic.

During Tuesday's 2-1 defeat, Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar covered 5,176 metres of the pitch. Fernando Torres managed 5,112.

Yes, that's right. The United keeper did more running than Chelsea's £50million striker.

Even allowing for the fact the goal-shy Spaniard was hauled off at half-time, it is brutal confirmation of Torres' miserly contribution to the cause since becoming the most expensive footballer in Britain.

Never mind the fact he has not scored a goal since his move from Liverpool nor even set one up for a team-mate.

For now it appears he is not even putting in the effort to justify his ludicrous transfer fee and £180,000-a-week wages.

Ancelotti reluctantly agreed that "maybe it was a mistake" to start with Torres instead of Didier Drogba. Yet he refutes the suggestion he is under orders from owner Roman Abramovich to keep picking a player desperately out of form.

If true, it is not surprising his job is on the line.

Torres has played 11 games for Chelsea without scoring.

Even Andriy Shevchenko had a better record during his miserable time at the Bridge. If you take into account Torres' fee and wages to date, he has cost the club £74,855 for every MINUTE on the pitch.

That works out at £6.73m for a full 90 minutes — or £730,000 more than United paid for Javier Hernandez.

Abramovich, of course, has become accustomed to seeing his roubles disappearing down the drain at Chelsea.

Shevchenko, bought for £31m and released for nothing, was the most spectacular failure.

But Hernan Crespo, Juan Veron, Adrian Mutu and Shaun Wright-Phillips all ran Sheva close. And now there is another contender stinking out Stamford Bridge.

No wonder Abramovich is so frustrated by his club's eight-year failure to win the Champions League.

In the five games prior to Torres' arrival, Chelsea scored 17 goals. In the 12 games since they have managed just 12.

The 4-3-3 formation which steered Chelsea to the Double last season was suddenly abandoned in favour of 4-4-2.

Key players Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda have been affected.

Frank Lampard's surges into the box have also been stifled by a more defensive role.

It did not go unnoticed that when the chips were down on Tuesday, Ancelotti reverted to the tried and trusted 4-3-3.

But it was only when Torres, 27, was replaced by Drogba, 33, that Chelsea started to threaten United.

We will probably never know if it was Ancelotti or Abramovich who really wanted Torres.

But we all know who is going to take the blame.

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