English Premiership

Chelsea 'adapt' to Mourinho

2013-12-21 09:12
Fernando Torres (AFP)

London - Spain striker Fernando Torres has urged his Chelsea team-mates to "hurry up" and adapt to the style of play demanded by manager Jose Mourinho.

The 2012 European champions occupy third place in the Premier League and appear genuine contenders to win the title as they prepare for Monday's trip to leaders Arsenal.

Chelsea are also through to the last 16 of the Champions League but Tuesday's shock 2-1 Capital One Cup quarter-final defeat at Sunderland was symptomatic of their sometimes inconsistent performances this season.

"When a new manager comes in he needs ... to know the quality of the players, he needs to build the team and adapt the players to his ways," Torres told Sky Sports television on Friday.

"We are in this process but it's not easy. Sometimes you need two months for things to settle, sometimes you need three years.

"But in football these days you have no time to do that and we need to hurry up. Everyone needs to adapt to what the manager wants."

Torres, himself, has blown hot and cold since joining Chelsea from Liverpool for a British record fee of 50 million pounds ($81.78 million) in January 2011.

He has experienced some great highs, helping Chelsea to the Champions League and FA Cup double in 2012 and scoring a dazzling solo goal in last season's Europa League final victory over Benfica in Amsterdam.

Torres though has also gone through several goal droughts during his time at Stamford Bridge and the barren run he and fellow strikers Samuel Eto'o and Demba Ba have experienced this season has been a constant source of frustration for Mourinho.

"We need to score more goals ... and we have to improve, we know that," said the Chelsea number nine who also won the 2010 World Cup with his country and the European Championship in 2008 and 2012.

"I don't think he is only blaming the strikers. They of course are responsible because it's their job to score goals but I think he's talking about the team too, that's the way I like to see it anyway."

Torres has taken almost three years to bag 41 goals for Chelsea while at Liverpool he was razor-sharp, bagging 81 in 142 games including 33 in his first season.

Asked if he was happy overall with his move to Stamford Bridge, he replied: "Yes with the trophies and performances but not about the goals. I came here to win trophies and I have.

"I've been lucky enough to win almost everything and I still have time to win the Premier League, something I've never won.

"I'm quite happy with my work contribution to the team but not about my goals. I should have scored more and I have to look at myself but it doesn't matter who scores the goals, it's about the team winning."

Mourinho, who returned during the close season for his second stint as manager of Chelsea, has mixed and matched his three strikers throughout the campaign but Torres said he would have played more regularly if he had netted more than six times in all competitions.

"If you perform and you score every weekend then you are going to play," he explained. "That's why (Cristiano) Ronaldo and (Lionel) Messi never rotate because they score every game.

"I'm realistic. I know I'm not scoring the goals I should and someone is taking my place, that's football.

"In life you're not always perfect. You have difficulties and problems and you have to be strong," Torres added.

"I don't think people go from zero to hero in one day and stay there for a long time, that's not real. One day they will have a difficult experience and if you have good and bad on the way then you're more prepared."


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