I can fix Torres, claims Olympic gold medallist Campbell

The sprinter, who worked with the Chelsea striker in 2011, has insisted that he can make the Spaniard fast again, as he looks to prove himself to new manager Rafa Benitez
Olympic gold medallist Darren Campbell has revealed that he could solve struggling Chelsea striker Fernando Torres' pace problems by putting him on an intense two-week training programme.

Campbell has pinpointed a lack of explosiveness in the 28-year-old, which could be the missing piece of the jigsaw within his game after Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez talked about Torres and how he has become much slower since moving from Liverpool two years ago.

The 39-year-old, who now works specifically as a speed coach for rugby and football players, believes that it wouldn't have to be a lengthy process to restore Torres' pace.

Campbell told the Telegraph: "Fernando had real pace. He has to train in a way that suits him. You have to work in the gym on strength. Maybe he needs to do that again.

"It's ­something that is best done in pre-season but I think Fernando just needs two weeks when he hasn't got to worry about playing on the Saturday and just put in a nice two-week training programme that I think would definitely bring the majority of his speed back.

"I'm sure I could fix him. It doesn't have to be a lengthy process because these guys are already extremely fit. That’s the great thing about working with footballers and rugby players. You're not having to worry about the base fitness so you just go in and teach the raw speed.

"In the case of Fernando, I think he would also probably need to do a bit of weightlifting as well as the running and the speed drills to put some power back into his muscles. That's why sprinters lift weights, to gain that explosive speed and power."

Campbell was invited to help Torres out by Chelsea medical director Dr Bryan English during Andre Villas-Boas' reign, but the training ended when the former manager was sacked.

"I only did about two or three ­sessions with Fernando but I could see his confidence coming back," Campbell added.

"The biggest problem is that when you lose your speed you're unable to do what you used to be able to do, and so then you start trying harder and harder. But that can be counterproductive.

"If you want to be quick, there's an element of relaxation that's involved. You've only got to look at Gareth Bale. He runs at high speed but it's all relaxed and there's no tension in him. The problem with someone like Fernando Torres is that the harder he tries to find that speed, his efforts are actually detrimental."

Torres hasn't been on the only top sports star Campbell has helped. Cardiff City, Jack Rodwell and England rugby winger Mark Cueto have all benefited from the intense training. Campbell also explained how he thinks coaches have got it slightly wrong when brining a player back from injury.

He continued: "One of the things I say to managers and physios is that when players get injured they tend to work on their endurance to get them match fit but they don't work on their speed.

"When you've got players who are quick and have basically built their game around their explosive speed, once that speed goes, you almost have to learn a new way of playing the game because you can’t rely on what you had before.

"There was an interesting incident against Manchester City at the weekend when Fernando got the ball and tried to knock it out of his feet and go past Vincent Kompany and James Milner, but they both caught him.

"Kompany we know is very quick but Milner is not exactly lightning by any stretch of the imagination, so that told you all you need to know. A striker without any natural speed wouldn't have knocked the ball out of his legs to chase after. It shows that he is playing as if he still believes he has the speed, but he clearly hasn't.

"A sprint coach could help him. I'm 100 per cent sure of that. I do believe that if you can put the speed back into his legs then, boy, you will see a very different and far more confident Fernando Torres."