Carlo Ancelotti Defends ‘You Know Who’ After Fulham Stalemate

Chris Wright

15th, February 2011


By Chris Wright

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has lept to the defence of Fernando Torres, after the pricey striker again struggled to find a foothold for his new side against Fulham last night, eight days after after singularly failing to convince on his debut against former club Liverpool.

The 0-0 draw saw Chelsea fail to reclaim fourth place from Tottenham, who now sit two points clear of their London rivals in the Premier League standings.

Petr Cech saved a 93rd-minute Clint Dempsey penalty to ensure the game ended goalless, though it was another night to forget for Torres who, with his confidence in ribbons, fluffed several decent chances to score before being substituted for (a clearly miffed) Didier Drogba with 20 minutes still left to play.

So said Ancelotti:

“Fernando played well. He had some opportunities in the first half and I took him out just to use Didier, [who was] fresh and with power. That’s the only reason I changed him.

“His performance was better than that against Liverpool. Every striker wants to score. I don’t think he’s frustrated, because he just needs time to play with us.”

After dropping Drogba in favour of Torres last night, Ancelotti also revealed that he is considering pairing both players together for Chelsea’s Champions League second round game with FC Copenhagen next Tuesday, as the latter will be cup-tied for Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round replay against Everton:

“Maybe in the next game we will use both [strikers], but we wanted to have more control of the pitch in this game.

“I don’t know if Didier was happy, but every player knows every game is important. We wanted to rotate to maintain his condition and to give everyone great motivation.”

On a brighter note for Chelsea, despite conceding the late penalty, new signing David Luiz looked every inch the £25 million centre-half on his full debut, at one point putting Torres through on goal with a delightful through-ball just before half-time, only to see the Spaniard make a stinky hash of his first-touch – which says it all really.

I must admit that I only saw the highlights of the game, which duly concentrated and condensed all of Torres’ bumbling efforts into a seemingly seamless 5-minute package of ineptitude.

Did anyone out there who watched the entire match garner any glimmers of hope for poor ol’ Nando?

Posted in Chelsea, Fulham

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  1. Chris T says:

    Were your football watching capabilities restrained by the enemy of football that is – valentines day Chris?

  2. Steve says:

    As a Chelsea fan, if I’m being optimistic, I can say that at least he’s getting into dangerous areas before fluffing his shot. One day soon you’ll imagine he’ll bury one of these chances.

    If I’m being realistic, I think that he’s not the player he was 2-3 years ago, and I can’t believe Chelsea wasted £50m on him.

  3. Chris says:

    @Chris T: Nothing that interesting I’m afraid. Actually, I spent the evening hobbling rather ineffectively around a 5-a-side pitch!

    @Steve: The first thought to cross my mind when Torres buggered up the chance from Luiz’s through-ball was ‘that would have been an instinctive top-corner special three years ago’ – how times have changed.

  4. Tanya says:

    Torres is getting there. He did get into the danger areas quite a but but all he needs is a little confidence and finishing.

    Confidence can do wonders. Best example is Berbatov,when Rooney was shit he was the main man of United.

  5. torres says:

    compare it to suarez’ performance vs wigan, a real all round striker.
    whereas torres was typical torros of this season. i doubt he is still a 25+ goal striker.

  6. LFC Steve says:

    I’m a Liverpool supporter and have said this for ages – his first touch and passing are crap and always have been. He will not contribute much in the way of team play, but he will make all the darting runs etc. and give him a little space and he can be deadly like a good forward should be.
    There were times at Liverpool when he would fluff his lines and sulk all match then BANG, a goal out of nowhere (v West brom at Anfield maybe?). But for as many brilliant goals he’s scored, he’s scuffed and missed as many sitters.
    I’m pretty sure I had a point to this but I’ve kind of forgot what it is. Is it fair to say that he’s quality but unreliable and, at times frustrating?
    Also, am I alone in thinking that liverpool are a lot better off with Suarez and Carrol in the squad than Torres?

  7. Rob says:

    He’ll be fine, Chelsea created twice as many chances for him than an average Liverpool game (I’m a Liverpool fan) Once he puts one away he’s going to score loads for them, unfortunately.
    It is good to see that the idiotic commentators are still coming up with the same rubbish they did when he was at LFC though.

  8. ScottMac says:

    I’m more disturbed by Didier’s drop in form. he does not look like the golden boot holder, hasn’t for some time now. To be quite honest, I think Carlo, along with the players have their sights on a UEFA title and seem only interested in maintaining a top four finish.
    Torres wants champions league football, not a premier league title. He feels Chelsea will be in the top four more than Pool would be and thus wanted to increase his odds.

    Anyone agree? Or am I just thinking too deep…

  9. yoyotorre says:

    i would love for liverpool to go on a run and knock chelsea out of the top four!

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