The Andy Gray Column: Torres and Zamora face a make-or-break month


Andy Gray discusses Chelsea and Fulham’s unsettled striker problems exclusively to SW Londoner.


Fernando Torres has suffered the most difficult time of his career this season but Didier Drogba travelling to the African Cup of Nations in January presents him with the chance he’s been waiting for.

Drogba’s absence means Torres has to step up for Chelsea – but that will not put any more pressure on his shoulders than what is already there.

He’s sitting on the bench on the moment and he’ll be feeling it. But what he does know is that Drogba will be away for a certain number of weeks and it gives him a wonderful opportunity to step in without looking over his shoulder.

He doesn’t have to worry about getting dropped, or getting subbed off after an hour, and that should allow him the freedom to play with a weight off his shoulders.

He can settle, try to play and show what he’s capable of, and it’s a great opportunity that he needs to take. Nobody likes to see a top player suffer in the way he has, and I hope he takes his chance. But he won’t feel under any more pressure than he already has.

From one troubled striker to another, Fulham are been forced to cope without Bobby Zamora in recent games and I think it looks pretty clear from the outside in that Martin Jol’s relationship with the England front man has broken down.

At the moment, the only time Zamora is going to get on the pitch is from the substitute’s bench, I think he’ll have to move on and there will no doubt be a few takers for him.

There are teams like Aston Villa and Everton who are crying out for a striker and Zamora is over 30, so Fulham can’t ask for too big a fee, and he is still a very good player.

I think the only way Zamora is going to stay at Craven Cottage is if he gets in a room with Martin Jol and they can repair the relationship and patch up their differences – but at the moment, for me, that seems unlikely. It’s a big couple of weeks for Zamora and Torres, and it could make or break both of their seasons.

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