Rafael Benitez has outlined two areas he will be working on with Fernando Torres and other squad members to bring about an improvement in performances.
As the interim manager has already stated, more creativity needs to be allied with the solidity seen during Sunday’s game against Manchester City but he also wishes to sharpen the cutting edge. However that means more than just concentrating on Torres.
‘I can guarantee that I have been talking with 15 players for five minutes, 10 minutes, half an hour; it depends on each player,’ Benitez said.
‘Just talking about little things; what in the player’s opinion was wrong, what is right. I have been working with Torres, and with the others.
‘We have to improve some players physically and they will maybe come back to the strength that they had. Torres had very real pace and it is not because he is getting old, or injuries – he has to train in a way that will maybe suit him and we will have find this way. There is some work in the gym, on his strength that maybe he needs to do again.’
The other area the manager is beginning to refine is the movement of the players on the pitch, in many cases small alterations.
‘On Tuesday we were working with Torres and with Oscar and we are trying to find this understanding,’ Benitez said. ‘But it will take some time. We were also working on some little movements for David Luiz, for Ashley Cole, for Eden Hazard and others – we are trying to improve each player a little bit but then we have to put them together.
‘We can talk about the striker but we have to create more chances. If we create more chances and afterwards he is not scoring, I will analyse why. Then we will continue.’
Benitez has also insisted he is not under pressure to mimic Barcelona’s brand of attacking football.
Having overseen his first match in charge on Sunday, the Spaniard believes a fluid, passing game can be achieved with the current squad, but he says what matters most to Roman Abramovich is the team scoring goals and winning games while playing well.
‘We were not talking about playing in Barcelona’s style,’ Benitez reported on conversations with the owner.
‘He knows we don’t have Messi, Iniesta, Xavi – all these players together for years. So he knows that we have to adapt and try to play good football with the players that we have at the moment.’
The acquisition of exciting talent such as Oscar, Eden Hazard and Marko Marin heralded a change in football ideology at Chelsea. Benitez acknowledges this, but is keen to emphasise the importance of a solid defensive foundation.
‘The main thing now is to find a balance. Defensively we will continue working and we will improve because normally defence is easier than attack. In attack we have players with talent; we have players with quality, so we have to find this balance. Defending well and giving the ball to the attacking players to create is our main issue now.
‘We need to give the freedom to perform and play well but at the same time they have to be organised as a team.
‘We were talking for a few days and the owner knows it will take some time to fix everything, but he knows that we can do it.’