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Monday Kickoff: Torres’ Chelsea future in doubt, Berbatov wants out, and more

Fernando Torres Chelsea (Getty Images)

Fernando Torres may have been celebrating winning the Champions League with Chelsea this past weekend, but his future with the club is up in the air after he expressed severe disappointment in not starting in the final.

Torres said being on the bench at the start of Chelsea's game versus Bayern Munich this past Saturday was possibly the biggest disappointment in his life. And he added that despite being happy about winning one of the biggest prizes in club soccer, he does not feel comfortable with the role he currently has with the club.

The Spanish striker was used primarily off the bench this season by head coaches Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto di Matteo, with both preferring to start Didier Drogba. Torres, who signed with Chelsea for $80 million in January 2011, scored six goals this season.

Here are more stories to help get your day going:


If the writing on the wall was not indicating Dimitar Berbatov's time at Manchester United is nearing its end, it is now. Berbatov has expressed publicly his desire to leave the club which finished in second place in the Premier League this season after playing in just 21 games across all competitions this campaign. The Bulgarian striker, who admits frustration because of his lack of playing time, is linked with moves to Lazio and Liverpool.


Spain have summoned a pair of Champions League winners to their squad ahead of friendlies versus Serbia and South Korea, adding Fernando Torres and Juan Mata from Chelsea. Both players were initially not on Vicente Del Bosque's 21-man roster, but so were players from Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao due to their club commitments. The duo, who just helped Chelsea win the Champions League trophy this past Saturday, will join their Spanish teammates on May 25. Both will be looking to make the final roster for Spain, who is aiming to repeat as champions of Europe this summer after winning the Euros in 2008.


Andres Villas-Boas may be making a quick return to the Premiership. The former Chelsea head coach is being considered the favorite for the vacant Liverpool position, but he will not be rushed into a decision about whether to take the job or not. Kenny Daglish was dimissed last week after enduring a disappointing campaign with Liverpool.


What do you think of Torres' future with Chelsea? Where do you see Berbatov landing? Think Torres and Mata will make the final 23-man roster for Spain?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. What would the logic have been in completing this rebuilding? At this point are you really saying, you’d give back the FA cup and the CL trophy if it meant the old guard went with them? Its absurd.

    If this “aging, sinking team” is capable of winning the CL, why in the world would you wanted to have rebuilt it, obviously they had what they needed for success.

  2. “Wow, the level of disrespect for one of the most talented spanish strikers not named Villa is astounding.”

    Sure you mean “previously most talented”, right?

    Torres wouldn’t garner much more than Jozy Altidore on the open market.

  3. 50 million for “flashes” of positivity.

    I guess I saw the glass half broken, instead of overflowing/full.

  4. Lionel Messi had 60-70 goals in one season; it’s a results business and Torres is the equivalent of a MLS designated player in terms of the resources dedicated to his transfer and salary.

    FWIW, it’s interesting to note that CFC won the cup-style titles in Europe and England but not the league silverware, which arguably reflects the fact that a well-organized team with some trouble scoring can better afford players like Torres in competitions which don’t require weekly production.

    I think Torres might be more interesting wide in a 433 or outside mid in a 442. I think Torres is square peg round hole in CFC but they did well enough that it should at least reflect on his capacity in certain systems.

  5. It is possible that his meaning was that he was disappointed that the events over the course of the season led to a situation where he was not the starter in the CL final. Not necessarily that he thought he was going to start but didn’t. Context is king.

  6. Wow, the level of disrespect for one of the most talented spanish strikers not named Villa is astounding. Players get hurt — Torres played the entire WC injured.

    He was then traded for an obscene amount of money and expected to bag hat tricks immediately, never mind settling in to a new system, new role, or you know, still recovering to pre-injury form, which can take YEARS, not weeks. This doesn’t even take into consideration the mental pressure such expectations bring.

    I get that in the end it’s about results, but great players rise and fall and even though they fall it doesn’t mean they’re washed up. I’d bet that Torres have several great seasons yet ahead of him.

    Torres should go to Spain or someplace else in England or Germany or Italy. I know a team or twenty that he’d fit right in to.

  7. The corner that Drogba scored on came, I believe, from Torres’ play on the wide wing. Incredibly, it was the first corner of the game for Chelsea.

  8. Arsenal should have used the 17 M pounds they spent on M’ville to buy Torres fromChelsea. They could have thrown Walcott into the deal. Arsenal’s midfield wasn’t bad but it lacked depth once one of the three starters went down. They could have added somebody like a M.Bradley cheap for depth and spent on Torres. Arsenal’s problem was always lack of scoring from the wings. Walcott was unhappy having to play too wide for his game. Torres won’t have that problem.He can play anywhere. Podolzki-RVP-Torres. And when RVP goes down? Torres can step into the center role, so he’s worth the money because he can pull double duty. They are gilding the lily with M’ville and not addressing the more urgent problem.

  9. As a devoted Chelsea fan (excluding POS#26), I would love the team to evolve into something that would use Torres’ talents to best advantage. I think the kid works hard and still has a ton to offer if his head gets on straight. But there is no reason to blow up the team to do it. That was AVB’s failing and he didn’t have an understanding of the players on his roster.

    You don’t walk into a top 3 side as he did and try to change everything at once. Given the mess that is Liverpool at this time, he may have more success there but only if he learned the lesson that professional teams have veterans, clubhouse politics, and without a long and serious track record, you don’t walk in and change everything.

  10. Agreed. Chelsea were clearly a better team with him on the pitch. At least in the latter half of the season. And I don’t understand how Drogba keeps him on the bench. Can a team not devise a formation where two guys play up top? Call me crazy, but I believe there is precedent for this.

  11. Umm….lets not forget who put Chelsea into the final…Torres. If he doesn’t score that goal against Barca…Drogba doesn’t save anybody

  12. Dealing with fickle ownership.

    I kid I kid. Kenny had to go if he didnt win the FA Cup.

    So far he is the only one who would be a step in the right direction: high profile, tactically sound, willing to relegate (ouch)unproductive players to the bench, and has a really good recruitment history.

  13. He showed a desire to do something different. That made the old guard hate him, so he had to go. At Liverpool, the old guard has so obviously failed that the owners will let AVB blow up the team and rebuild.

    Had Abromavitch backed AVB, Chelsea wouldn’t have one anything, but they’d be one year closer to rebuilding an aging, sinking team.

  14. 2012: Torres 11 G, Berbatov 9 G. Mind you, Torres was much more the regular and thus had quite a few more appearances.

    Also, what should be considered for both is the boon of showing up fresher than the next guy for the fresh meat games like QPR on the schedule. Their teams’ schedules require some squad rotation and voila they pick up a few against the likes of Genk, Benfica, QPR, Wigan, etc. Which is probably still better than the next guy, but it’s telling when you’re either no longer in a big game linup or a sub. Which is the point being made re their “roles” with their teams.

  15. no, they do; they just haven’t been his goals. a recent example would be his run leading to the corner that resulted in the equalizer in the champs league final.

    admittedly, that is more indirect, but you can see his play has been making a positive difference throughout the season, if you’ve been watching the actual games, and not the list of goalscorers.

  16. DO NOT speak ill of Berba. The dude scored scores just about every other game. Yes, there are a few hat tricks in there but if he played more regularly he would produce more regularly. SAF has not done him any favors with this infrequent playing BS. The dude is way to talented to be riding pine in favor of “the chick pea” and Welbeck and even Valencia/Nani getting starts at the front.

    SO this Bebrba hate is stupid and baseless.

    Sorry for the tone …

  17. ” … wide right like he’s a kicker a Florida St?”

    Thank you! Now my morning has offically started.

    Torres is out of his gourd if he thought that he would be favored over Grogs. Talking about hubris.

    I wish he would go back to Atletico. They would play a style more conducive to his game. Plus he would get tons of service from Arda, Koke, Diego and the rest of that midfield.

    AND since they lost Kun and Diego, Atletico could use some fire power. Falcao is a beast but who wouldn’t want an inform Torres partnered w/ Radamel?

  18. “Intelligent runs and ball movement result in goals.”

    Clearly they don’t, in the life of Fernando Torres at Chelsea.

  19. Intelligent runs and ball movement result in goals. Fernado Torres won the WC and Euro with Spain. Torres scored the game winning goal for Spain in the Euro finals and was directly involved in Inesta’s game winning goal in the WC finals. He clearly contributed in the high stakes games at the highest level. And if you want to measure his performance against EPL standards, Torres was the fastest player in Liverpool’s history to score 50 goals. And considering the quality of strikers that previously played for Liverpool it is quite an achievment. There are many different types of players. A team that plays the Stoke City style of game will select a different type of players than a team that plays Atletic Bilbao-style of game. You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole. As for moving wide right or wide left, as Torres does, I suggest that you watch how the world’s top two scorers, Messi and Ronaldo, play the game. Watch how they constantly move around the pitch, interchanging and combining with their teammates.

  20. If he’s upset with his role given his production, then I’m reporting him to Scotland Yard for habitual theft of paychecks.

    I do respect the Barca goal but it reminds me of frustrating Houston Dynamo players like Costly and Dalglish who’ve come into town whose sole meaningful contribution to the team comes in one big game. To me that makes you an asterix guy — the one who generally stunk but had the big goal against Blah Blah FC we’ll never forget — and not a complete waste of money best completely forgotten if possible….and that’s it.

    He’s not quite as unproductive as Berbatov but it is intriguing and a propos their stories are twinned.

  21. “His game is based on intelligent runs and ball movement”

    Shouldn’t his game also be based on, I don’t know, scoring goals and not going wide right like he’s a kicker a Florida St?

  22. This guy is a headcase on the level of Tiger Woods.

    I’m sure we’ll see extremely limited momentary flashes of the old Fernando but Roman should sell him for whatever he can get. Even if it’s just an extra set of practice cones.

    He’s toxic. Doesn’t know how bad he’s become and as a result doesn’t realize how far he has to go in justifying this entitlement complex.

  23. Torres’ “future was in doubt” before he made these comments. Though, that was mostly due to him sucking and looking like he has zero future in any starting XI.

    I’ll take our 29 year old Deuce over this 28 year old every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  24. Ummm Fernando…. the guy that scored the biggest goal in the clubs history… was the one keeping you on the bench…

    I am no Drogba lover, in fact quite the opposite but he rescued them, not Torres…

  25. I agree with you that Drogba was a logical starter for Chelsea. Torres wants out because he does not fit within Chelsea’s system. His game is based on intelligent runs and ball movement, not on brute force and physicality. I wouldn’t be surprized if Torres detested the longball style of Chelsea’s play – a while ago, he gave an interview critical about how Chelsea’s old guard plays (although he was very complimentary of several younger players, who play more intelligent and positive soccer, particularly Mata). I hope that he returns to La Liga, where his talents will be better utilized.

  26. Yeah, I agree here. What would possibly give torres the idea that he would start their biggest game when he didn’t start the FA cup, or, I believe, either game against Barcelona?

  27. Why in the world did Torres think he was going to start? Unless Di Matteo actually lied to him and said the day before he was starting, what in the entire season ahead of this game convinced Torres he would be a starter? Sure he’s been playing a bit better and scored some goals here and there, including against Barca, but isn’t Drogba clearly the guy they depend on for big games? I don’t really see his logic…


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