Hey, I put some new shoes on and suddenly everything’s right
I said hey, I put some new shoes on and everyone’s smiling, it’s so inviting
– Paolo Nutini, New Shoes (These Streets – 2006)
Fernando Torres has now gone an astonishing five games without finding the back of the net. It’s almost like he’s forgotten his scoring boots at Anfield. Torres looks like he desperately needs assistance, divine or otherwise, and these tailor-made Ten Commandments would be a start.
1 ) Thou Shalt Quit Moping Around
You might have been lovingly bottled-fed goal scoring opportunities by the dozen courtesy Steven Gerrard while you were at Liverpool, being as you were point-man for the Reds, but don’t expect that in West London. There’s a lot of competition to make it as a forward in this side, and at some level many strikers would prefer a shot on goal as opposed to gifting it to you. Tough luck, eh?
2 ) Thou Shalt Drop The Deer-in-the-headlights Look
It might endear you to Justin Bieber fans, but it’s hardly the menacing demeanor we’d like from our chief attacking threat. By cutting a sorry face up front, you basically diminish the aura you built for yourself over the years. You need to look no further than Wayne Rooney to see what a diminished aura (thanks to an awful World Cup) can do. He needed to overturn his world, literally, with that bicycle kick to reestablish some semblance of his past superiority.
3 ) Thou Shalt Ignore The Comparisons With Shevchenko
He was unproven in the demanding English Premier League, and was always going to be a gamble. You had spectacular years at Liverpool, scoring against us (the meanest defense in the league) with aplomb. It’s well nigh impossible that someone with so much caliber will find his scoring boots no longer fit; it’s more likely a case of you having misplaced them and needing to find them pretty soon.
4 ) Thou Shalt Not Consider Thyself Berbatov
I mean no offence to the Bulgarian, but prior to this season he used to strike me as one of those embarrassingly bad assassins who aimed for the President but shot a flock of ducks flying overhead instead. He’s improved by leaps and bounds since then and stepped up admirably to fill the vacuum left by a Wayne Rooney, who never returned from South Africa. But to me, Dimitar remains a good striker going through a great phase. You, Fernando, are a great striker going through a bad phase.
5 ) Thou Shalt Not be A Complete Package
We, fortunately, have enough players who can run the length of the field and play multiple roles in a matter of minutes. We don’t need our new striker running back every now and then to aid in defensive duties. You tried it against Blackpool and it was pointless. Drogba may be a complete package, often returning to shore up the defense but that’s not something we expect you to be taking over. Stay up front, and do your thing.
6 ) Thou Shalt Not End Up A Permanent Decoy
Being a perennial goal threat, will cause rival defenders to get drawn to you. That’s a good thing because it frees up our other strikers and midfield to attack the goal unhindered. However, you are by no means expected to don that role for eternity. Roman paid a whopping 50 million for a striker’s services. If all he’d wanted was something to draw defenders away, he’d have bought that blue ray thing that magically attracts bugs to it before zapping them to death. Or maybe he’d have hired Megan Fox.
7 ) Thou Shalt Not Get Lost In Translation
I’m going out on a limb here, but I think the Queen’s English doesn’t come naturally to you. Fortunately, you’re at Chelsea, a club where nobody speaks English. Most speak Cockney, Drogba curses, Anelka mumbles, Malouda wheezes and Ashley Cole SMSes. And yet, they still find a way to work it out don’t they? Unless you make yourself heard in the dressing room, the odds are you’ll be forgotten on the field. Make it a point to tell the team what exactly it is you expect from them during training sessions. Strike up an understanding with Lampard. He’s as good as Gerrard is.
8 ) Thou Shalt – Celebrate Good Times, C’mon!
It becomes increasingly hard to share in other’s joys, when you have little of your own. But you need to learn to grin and bear it. Make it a point to join every post-goal huddle even if you wished you had scored instead. One day, hopefully in the not so distant future, you’ll be in the centre of one.
9 ) Thou Shalt Not Grow To Be Petulant
The Blues have an entire roster of pouting starlets who act miffed at the slightest provocation. We don’t need one more. Kalou and Anelka may petulantly insist Paul Clement choose the other, and Malouda may try to score from an acute angle as opposed to doing the decent thing and letting you do it. But they don’t make the club. Our club’s best represented by the generous lion-heartedness that Frank Lampard and John Terry bring to the field.
10) Thou Shalt Stay True To The Fans
The travelling and viewing hordes have adopted you as one of their own, cheering you on every time you’re in with a chance. It’s unfortunate they haven’t been able to express how much they truly appreciate you, considering you haven’t scored. The cheers rang out when you recently ‘scored’ even after the offside flag went up. Imagine the reception that awaits you once you score a valid goal! Which is why, after the Blackpool game, you ought to have stood on the ground, walked up to the Away section and waved. It might have been an insignificant gesture on your part, but it would have mattered to the true stakeholders in the club.