Five thoughts from the weekend's action around the world:
It's a pity that the miss takes away from a second consecutive strong performance by Torres which suggests that the Spaniard is rediscovering some of the form that once made him the arguably the world's most feared striker. While Torres took some heated criticism for his recent comments that the Chelsea midfield needed to play with a faster pace, the addition of Raul Meireles and especially Juan Mata means that Chelsea is now far better equipped to play the type of probing passes into space behind the back line that Torres likes to run onto. The real issue is that Torres has yet to fully regain the explosive pace he had before knee surgery, which appears to have diminished his ability to create something out of nothing. However, Torres can still flourish with the right service and a tactical approach that suits him -- as his
The other question mark at this point has to be whether or not midfielder Jordan Henderson is ready to be a game-in, game-out starter at this juncture for a team with Champions League aspirations. Henderson, bought for around £16M ($25M) is considered a rising young English talent and is certainly one for the future, but so far has struggled to impose himself on a consistent basis in games. While his versatility and work rate are commendable, Henderson still appears to be too passive at times. He's prone to holding the ball too long in possession, often circling around and passing backward too often when a more direct, vertical approach would be more beneficial. Aside from the issue of whether or not that money would have been more wisely spent on more polished midfielders (the likes of Juan Mata, Santi Cazorla, Arda Turan and Marko Marin spring to mind), it appears that for now, veterans such as Dirk Kuyt and Maxi might be the wiser choice over Henderson in the starting lineup on the right.