Oct 11 2011
Scotland skipper Darren Fletcher does not buy in to the perception that Spain's star striker Fernando Torres is struggling for form ahead of Tuesday night's crunch Euro 2012 qualifier in Alicante.
The Chelsea frontman was substituted after an hour of Friday's 2-0 win over Czech Republic in Prague but coach Vicente del Bosque said afterwards that he saw Torres "in good form with a lot of energy and enthusiasm to be part of our team", and thus looks set to keep him in against the Scots, who need a win to guarantee them a play-off spot.
Like the Spain boss, Fletcher remains impressed by Torres, and said: "I think his performances have been good since the start of the season. Maybe he hasn't had the goals but if you look at his overall performance he has looked, hungry, dangerous and lively."
He added: "Maybe he is a little too keen at times. I think his sending-off (for Chelsea against Swansea) was down to his sheer determination to do well and show people that he cares.
"But watching the game against Czech Republic the other night, he did his role for the team.
"He held a high line, he stretched the Czech Republic as much as he could and threatened in behind which gave the space for the creative players to keep the ball in midfield.
"So it was a fantastic performance for the team without getting the rewards of a goal."
Del Bosque is considering rotating his squad on Tuesday but Fletcher does not necessarily believe that will be an advantage to the Scots, who need to at least match Czech Republic's result in Lithuania to retain the coveted second spot.
"I know from experience that if you change five or six players then it does take a while to get consistency," the 27-year-old said.
"But whoever comes in will be world class and you have the other aspect that whoever comes in will also be desperate to do well, so there are two ways to look at it."