Interim Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez revealed today that Fernando Torres’ poor performance during the 2-0 home defeat against Swansea was down to a stomach bug which left the forward in need of medication.
Yet the Spaniard had to play the game because Demba Ba had picked up a hamstring injury in training and when Torres was hooked off late in the game he felt the wrath of the fans who are out of patience after two years of witnessing his abject displays.
Benitez spoke about Torres’ illness:
“I was there when he was with the doctor, needing tablets. Still he was playing with the team. When he starts scoring again the fans they will appreciate this.
“He was playing with this problem. You have a professional trying to do his best in this situation. I was really pleased with the attitude of Fernando.”
He praised the under-fire forward’s attitude:
“I am really pleased because he was doing this for the team. We had to manage the situation but I could not phone Michael Laudrup and say he was not fit.
“Ba couldn’t play, he had a hamstring niggle. ‘I would like to see all my players praised in the papers. But as a top level player you have to accept you can be criticised. He is a very good professional. He had the problem but he was still training and playing.”
The Chelsea fans have stood by Torres over the past two years which makes it all the more a shame that he hasn’t done anything to repay their faith and I’m not sure how many will buy this latest excuse, it’s hard to stomach (pun intended). The 28-year-old played his 100th game for the club in midweek and it looked a lot like his first, it doesn’t look like anything will change if he was to play 100 games more.
Torres has scored 26 goals in 100 games for Chelsea and since he made his Premier League debut the likes of Jonathan Walters, Peter Crouch, Yakubu and Papiss Cisse have scored more Premier League goals than the £50m man, does he have a future at the Bridge?