Alan Shearer has described Fernando Torres’ decision to turn down the chance to take a penalty for Chelsea against Birmingham on Tuesday as ‘baffling’.
The £50million Spaniard has endured a torrid year since his mega money move from Liverpool.
He has scored just five goals in 50 appearances and is without a strike for 23 games.
With the Blues 2-0 and cruising against Championship outfit Birmingham on Tuesday Torres was fouled by Guirane N'Daw inside the area, referee Anthony Taylor showing no hesitation but to point to the spot.
Juan Mata is the club’s usual penalty taker, but he offered Torres the chance to end his scoring duck, given the match was effectively won anyway.
However, the 27-year-old turned down the offer, with Mata ironically missing the spot kick. They did progress though and play Leicester at home in the quarter-finals, meaning they are now a popular choice for punters who want to bet on the FA Cup winner.
The snub merely highlights the crisis of confidence the striker is suffering with a t the moment.
Torres was one of Europe’s most feared strikers only a few years ago and was always there or there abouts in the top scorer betting .
But a catalogue of injuries have hampered his progress and it appears he is suffering with the mental part of the game as well.
His build up and approach play is still impressive – he made a lovely turn on the edge of the penalty to escape his marker just before the break at St Andrews.
However, as soon as he has a sight of goal he appeared to panic, and snatched his effort wide.
Former Newcastle skipper Shearer – still the Premier League’s record goalscorer – couldn’t believe Torres decision.
“It’s baffling. I’m pretty sure the ability is still there but his confidence is obviously at an all-time low.
You have to help yourself in difficult situations.
“I hope he gets back to what he was – but it might take a move away from Chelsea to do it. It was always difficult for him going there because of the fee and because of whether he was the manager or
the owner’s choice.
“Sometimes you need to help yourself in those situations and he’s not by not taking penalties. It baffles me. Why not?”