Torres not hurt by Jose, but he does miss Gerrard

Fernando Torres was not offended by Jose Mourinho’s criticism of Chelsea’s strikers last season but has admitted he misses being the goal-getter he once was.

Torres not hurt by Jose, but he does miss Gerrard

The Spaniard has opened up on his departure from Liverpool in January 2011 and explained why his form deserted him at Chelsea.

The Spaniard, who is set to discover his fate in the World Cup squad in the next few days, has warned World Cup opponents that the reigning champions have more options from the bench than ever before.

Torres could leave Stamford Bridge this summer after Mourinho complained about the strikers in a video filmed by Canal Plus.

“If he says he is looking for strikers, that’s because he thinks he can improve the offensive part of our game,” Torres responded.

“I was not hurt to hear that. I’ll try to continue to work to change his opinion. Clearly, the goal is to recruit another striker for next season.

“There is not much to analyse. There is no possible double meaning: he is not completely satisfied with our performance and that’s it. All we have to do is to prove that we can be the strikers he wants.”

Torres endured another frustrating campaign, scoring five goals in 28 league appearances, 17 of which were starts. In an interview with French magazine ‘So Foot’, Torres described the struggles of a player on the bench. “I got to know the experience of life on the bench,” he said. “I reassured myself by saying that things would change quickly but it was always as though one day I was playing, and one day not. I was still able to learn a lot of things.

“I understood the life of the understudy. When you play, you do not ask yourself the question of what the guy on the bench feels like. You have to go through it to understand how difficult it is to be there. To come on the pitch, knowing that you do not have the trust of your coach. To play when you are simply not used to playing. For me, I felt strange, I felt I got tired quicker. I did not have that speed. To start games and to fight to start games, it’s not the same. You have to battle against many things to come off the bench, sometimes even against yourself.

“Today, I am a different player, but I’m not going to lie, the player I was, who started all those matches, I often miss him a lot. At one time, I even made myself watch videos of my goals; I wanted to understand what I was doing just before I scored. I concluded that the only thing that had changed was the colour of the shirt. Everything is a matter of adapting to the team’s style of play. There are styles that suit me well and others less so, that’s all.”

Torres went on to explain the reasons behind his departure from Liverpool, and claimed that though he had the blessing of captain Steven Gerrard, telling him he was going was one of his toughest moments. “At Liverpool, I had almost everything, but I was missing titles,” he said.

“There, I felt like a king, but the team was breaking up. The directors had sold Mascherano to Barca and Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid without any investment to fill the departure of these two key players. I was 27, I wanted to know what it was to lift the Champions League. Liverpool was in full transition, the club was being sold and in these cases, unless you’re Manchester City or PSG, the path could be a long one before you are competitive again. I no longer had time to wait.

“One day, Steven Gerrard came and told me, ‘Fernando now you have think of yourself. Do what you have to do”. But when I came to tell him that I would accept the offer from Chelsea, he was gutted. To tell Gerrard that I was leaving Liverpool was one of the most difficult moments of my career. He was my best team-mate and I’m not sure I have found one like him since. We were made for each other.”

Torres admitted to struggling at Chelsea but was not aware of the criticism directed at him until his team-mates showed him the papers. “They looked at me with an embarrassed air. Everyone knew what was being said about my performances, except me. But I will not spend my life saying, ‘That’s true, that’s not true’. I’m happy, don’t worry about me. I live my own life, not that of others.”

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