Chelsea news

Benitez aiming to restore Torres form

November 28, 2012
By Miguel Delaney

Rafa Benitez has said he is unsure as to whether Fernando Torres can ever recapture his devastating Liverpool form, but the new Chelsea manager argues that a specifically tailored training plan will finally give the striker a fair chance of doing so.

Rafael Benitez has managed Fernando Torres to great effect at Liverpool in the past
GettyImagesRafael Benitez has managed Fernando Torres to great effect at Liverpool in the past

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Since his £50 million move from Anfield in January 2011, Torres has only scored 19 goals in 87 games for Chelsea - a far cry from his prolific form under Benitez while at Liverpool.

"He's not exactly the same player now because he was at maximum level at that time," Benitez said. "But I think he can come back. How close? I don't know. It depends on the rest of the team. I'm sure he can improve, but the team has to help him.

"The first thing is to give him some confidence and instructions as to how he can do things in a different way, and improve him a little bit physically. Each situation, each team is different and the way you train, or the players you have, might change your approach.

"You maybe need something specific for each player. Fernando needs some exercises that we will try to introduce to him, but we will do the same for Oscar, the same for Ashley Cole and for [Frank] Lampard.

"You can work on little things with every player. If we improve some players physically maybe they will come back to the strength they had. Fernando had real pace. It's not because he's getting older or injuries.

"He has to train in a way that suits him. We will try to find this way. We will also work on the movement he needs to do, and that will take some time.

"We worked with him and Oscar in training to try and find this understanding. It's a question of time, but we know we have to change the movements he's doing out on the pitch. He also has to work in the gym on strength. Maybe he needs to do that again."

While much has also been made of whether Chelsea will recruit any other strikers, Benitez has made some appointments to help boost his existing one.

Sports therapist Ivan Ortega and coach Xavi Valero, who both worked one on one with Torres at Anfield, have now joined the Stamford Bridge set-up.