Fernando, His Misery and The Reds
It’s almost two years since Fernando Torres a.k.a ‘El Nino’ left Liverpool in favour of Chelsea on transfer deadline day in January and the long and short of it is that he currently averages around 3 league goals a manager at the Bridge.
Here is my take on his misery, his golden days of the past and the fact that he only scores when he is in a red (be it Spain or Liverpool) jersey.
It is quite difficult really to pin-point the exact reason of his failure at Chelsea so far and it’s a topic worth debating for countless hours but nonetheless there are a few points which stand out; among them is his attitude on and off the pitch ever since making the switch to West London.
Nando (As we LFC fans often called him affectionately) has been a shadow of his former self these past two years, I often get the feeling that he has lost that ‘knack’ a goal-scorer is looked into for. He does not create goals out of nothing any more; in fact, he messes up those served on a platter to him (I’m still to get over his horror miss against United at Old Trafford last season) and a lot of it is down to his attitude. I still don’t see him as being happy at Chelsea; somehow whenever the topic of ‘Liverpool’ is brought up there is a sudden glow in his eyes like that of a child on a Christmas morning and he has always kept the world in the dark regarding his reasons for parting his ways with the club which has lead to speculation ranging from ‘He wasn’t happy with the direction the club was headed in’ to ‘The Owners did not live up to their promises’ to ‘He wanted to move to a Bigger Club’(Frankly, That one hurt).
He often masquerades his persona to maybe hide his own regret at this decision. Chelsea, on their part, have done everything in their power to make him fire again, which included the signature Juan Mata the previous Summer to aide him upfront (but that failed just like it did with us signing Downing to assist Carroll). Mata, however, went on to have a terrific debut season with the Blues. They sold off competition in the form of Anelka and Drogba-who was instrumental in their late charge for Continental glory last season and that has yet to bear fruit. On the contrary, it now seems stupid on their part to have put all their eggs in one basket and hoped Torres would fire. You don’t get success in modern day football based on such hunches and you have to keep multiple striking options at your service for use at any time during the season(United and City). Worse still, they have sacked three managers and if the current boss, Rafa Benitez(Also an Ex-Red) who Nando said, “Is the only guy who really ever understood me”, doesn’t get him going then God knows what or who will. With time it seems more and more likely that he will end up like Shevchenko, a feared striker who during his ill-feted spell at Chelsea forgot that the striker’s job was to put the ball at the back of the net. Sad.
Too much doom and gloom, time to cheer up a bit. We roll back a few years to when a young Spaniard who was a childhood Atletico supporter became its captain at the age of 19 and was the club’s top scorer for five consecutive seasons from 2002 to when he left for Liverpool in ’07. It is a little known fact that in 2005, Chelsea approached Atletico with an offer for Torres but the club’s hierarchy was not willing to cash in on their prized asset just as yet, although his meteoric rise in subsequent seasons made it difficult to keep him and he was sold to Liverpool (who made him their No. 1 priority that summer) in the summer of ’07 for 25 million Euros. And hereby began a fairytale and probably his most happy time as a footballer.
I might be going a bit over-the top here, but Fernando Torres could and did do everything possible on the pitch at Anfield; he scored from acute angles, he could dummy any keeper, he could create chances and he even became Nemanja Vidic’s worst nightmare (something which really pleased us all). He made the task of goal-scoring look as easy as tying your shoe-laces before work, but most importantly, he filled people with hope. He still remains the fastest Liverpool player in history to score 50 goals for the club (maybe 100 too, had he stayed on) and though he has been branded a “Judas” and what not ever since his infamous departure, deep down inside, every Liverpool fan still loves him and would have him back if they could.
The greatest irony of his stay was that he did not win anything with the club. In fact, he did not even make the finals of any cup competition. I, for one, will always be grateful to him for all the happy memories he gave us all during his short but sweet stay, It’s like Michael Owen (Ex-Red and also branded a ‘Judas’ by us) once said, ‘Footballers like other professionals move in search of a better work environment or when offered a better deal, people really ought to stop making a big deal out of it, we are in many ways just like those guys’, and its true, unless you’re a youth product or a childhood fan of the club it’s tough to have that sense of bonding which is to last forever and at some point in your career you do yearn for a change of scene.
Some part of me does want him succeed at Chelsea, if not for anything else than for the bags full of money Chelsea paid to make him the most expensive Premiership buy ever (money we duly wasted on Carroll as it turns out). Neither Liverpool nor Chelsea nor Torres have had any success from this transaction, so is it in the best interest for all the parties to revert back to the original state? Maybe, maybe not. But until January comes and goes, your guess is as good as mine and until then Torres’ misery looks set to continue, once again under a different Manager at the Bridge. (and we Reds might just have found a new talisman in Luis Suarez)