Chelsea striker Fernando Torres is yet to open his account with the Blues and with his duck in Chelsea's 1-0 loss to Manchester United, he has gone 12 hours without scoring. When his manager Carlo Ancelotti substituted the much more effective Drogba instead of the lackluster Torres against United on Wednesday, the Italian came in for criticism and talk arose of him being forced to play Torres by club owner Roman Abramovich.
However, Ancelotti has insisted that Abramovich has not asked him to play the £50 million man and that he would be free to drop Torres for the second leg at Old Trafford if he felt it would help Chelsea.
When asked if he was apprehensive of Abramovich's reaction whether he left Torres out on Tuesday, Ancelotti said, No, I never thought that. Roman's so intelligent, he'd never ask me not to do this. Fernando might not start against United, of course. I have to choose the players, not comparing the players with the money the club paid for them. I have to choose the line-up looking at the training sessions, the condition of the players and the spirit. Fernando knows this very well.''
Comparisons with Chelsea's previous experiment with Andriy Shevchenko, is inevitable and when they were put to Ancelotti, he refused to be drawn into their similarities and said Torres had the support of everyone at the club.
As soon as he scores his first goal, it will be like every Chelsea fan will have scored.'' he said.Don't judge a player by the money he earns or that the club paid for the transfer. Judge by his behavior on the pitch. And he has fantastic behavior here now, as a worker, not just to score.''
He went on, I've spoken with him a lot of times, to stay focused on the job and confident. If the aim was just to score, he'd play every game. But we want him fit to work for the team. We don't ask him to score, score, score every time. This is not the right way to help him.''
Ancelotti also revealed that Torres was relaxed and confident in training.
Obviously, I don't know what he really feels inside, but outside he's relaxed, confident in training, he likes to joke and have fun in training,'' he said. I don't see him afraid or worried.''