Chelsea FC has always had the capacity to surprise – good and bad – but no fan in their right mind ever dreamed that Fernando Torres would come to the Bridge during the 2011 transfer window.
What makes the move sweeter than last year’s Lampard goal at the Anfield Road End is that Torres himself requested to join the Blues by handing in a written transfer request. With just a few lines of blue ink Fernando Torres simply brushed aside the old order of English football.
If anyone still harboured doubts that Chelsea now stand light years ahead of Fernando’s previous club, Torres promptly appeared on Chelsea TV to say, in his soft accent, “I am making one of the biggest steps forward in my career”. That line alone has marked out Fernando as a Blue’s legend in waiting and more than a few pints have been sunk in celebration.
You see, there was a time, in the 80’s and early 90’s that Liverpool cherry-picked the best players from British football and fashioned them into a side of enduring success. Chelsea were victims as much as any other side – who can forget that one of our best players of the 80’s, Nigel Spackman, left the Bridge to go to Liverpool and returned only in the twilight of his career in 1992.
Now the situation has been reversed and world class players are handing in transfer requests to join us. Was it the money? No. The glamour? No. The prospect of playing with world class team mates? Oh, most certainly. He’s come for football reasons. To ply his trade where it rightly belongs – at the top level with Chelsea, against clubs like Barca, Real, AC, Inter and Man Utd.
CFCnet feels like it’s won the lottery. As a Chelsea fans group we might be poorer than a Madoff investor but we feel richer than a Russian oligarch. It’s not just the fact that we’ve bagged one of the best strikers in the world, neither is it that he asked to join us, it’s more of where he’s come from. We could write more but suffice to say that for Fernando to leave the Reds to come to us is like beating them 1-0 in added time to win the league.
After all, we’ve had to endure chant after chant of their loathed “you ain’t got no history” song. If it was accurate we’d take it on the chin but when you consider we played our first FA Cup Final in 1915 you begin to understand the distortions emanating from the Kop. Indeed, when we hear that little chant we remember Chelsea were the first English Club to be invited into the European Cup/Champions League (in 1955) and we won our first European trophy before the Scousers – against Real Madrid no less in 1971.
As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve got in our hands a match programme from November 1989 (Chelsea vs Millwall as it happens) and in Liverpool’s last title winning season it lists their average attendance as 36,710 – strikingly similar to the attendance seen at Anfield twenty years later against Bolton. A big club?
Finally, the long away trip to the FA Cup match against Everton saw some Chelsea fans sharpen their pens to write an ode to our new number nine. The winning ditty? “He once was Red, now he’s Blue, Torres Torres; He left the Kop to join the Shed, Torres Torres; He used to go out on the rob but now he’s got a proper job, Fer-nan-do Torres, Chelsea’s Number 9!”