Torres faces chop: Villas-boas losing patience with €60 million striker


ANDRE Villas-Boas is expected to drop Fernando Torres for Chelsea’s Champions League tie at Napoli tomorrow after warning the striker he will not alter the team’s shape or strategy to try to restore the Spaniard’s form.

Torres cost Chelsea €60 million last January but has scored just three league goals in 34 appearances. On Saturday Chelsea were fortunate to draw 1-1 with Birmingham City at Stamford Bridge to force an FA Cup fifth-round replay, with Torres taken off at half-time following an unconvincing display.

Asked if Villas-Boas would sacrifice the side’s philosophy to help one player, the manager said he would not and said: “Not on the way I put things together, not in a team basis. He is trying hard. This season shows that he’s had some ups and downs on performance. We had him at a good level at the beginning of the season and at the beginning of January.

“We have to help the players reach that level of performance and get to the top level. That comes with confidence and for Fernando with goals and he will have to find that eventually, for sure.”

Torres was replaced by Didier Drogba, who only returned in midweek from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Guardian Service