Fernando Torres: Is his time in the Premier league up?
It is tough to believe that the Premier League will see no more of him. They called him El Nino, while some tagged him with the nickname ‘The Red Monster’; those some were definitely the ones who were supporters of the historic 5 times European champions Liverpool Football Club. The Premier League had a glimpse of him on 11th August 2007, though he wasn’t able to get his name on the score-sheet, it looked just a matter of time before he did that. And it took 8 days for him to score his first goal for Liverpool, helping them to achieve a draw with Chelsea.
“His armband proved he was a red – Torres, Torres
You’ll never walk alone it said – Torres, Torres
We bought the lad from sunny Spain
He gets the ball he scores again
Fer-nan-do Torres, Liverpool’s number nine.”
They chanted and cheered him. He was the heart of the club along with the ever so marvellous Steven Gerrard. He scored for them, he won matches for them, and they loved him. He was the second runner up for the Ballon d’Or, with only Messi and C. Ronaldo ahead of him during the 2007-08 season.
Everything was in store for Liverpool football club to get to the heights it once reached, which was far beyond anybody else’s reach, but that was hindered by the change in ownership, further damaging the relationship between then coach Rafa Benitez, and also them selling Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid on the 5th August 2009. Amidst all this, he was a constant performer for Liverpool. He was the fastest Liverpool player to reach 50 goals, he was their top scorer in all competitions for two consecutive seasons, he was only the second to score two consecutive hat-tricks at Anfield.
On 18th April 2010, following his brace scored on 4th April the same year against S.L.Benfica, it was announced that he would miss the rest of the season to undergo a knee surgery. Perhaps, this is where it all went wrong for him. The pace which he once had, was no more. The way he used to tear apart the opponent’s defense, seemed missing. Benitez was sacked and Roy Hodgson, took over as the new manager of the club. Following this, there were rumors that Torres would be sold by the club as he was not happy at the club and its ambitions. He finally handed a transfer request, after not being happy with the club’s poor performance in the Premier League and became a Chelsea player on 31st January 2011, breaking the British transfer fee record for a player, which was £50m. The player who was loved the most almost with Steven Gerrard, by the Liverpool supporters, turned into a traitor, a backstabber.
He made his Chelsea debut on 6th of February 2011 in a 1-0 home defeat against his former club. He found it hard to get going, as he went for 903 minutes on the field without finding the back of the net. He finally broke the duck, when he scored on a day of torrential rain, with the ball holding up, but he managed to put it past the keeper, and the Chelsea supporters and players were over the moon. On this day of torrential rain, maybe the flood gates are about to open, they believed. But it was not to be, he continued to struggle to justify the price tag, as he managed to be seen on the bench more and less on the field. The 2011-12 season was a kind of a roller coaster for him, he scored a lovely chip from an Anelka through ball but missed an empty net in the same match. Scored against Norwich in the next match, but saw a red and was sent off.
Despite all this, the desire for which he left Liverpool and joined Chelsea was fulfilled, as they won the Champions League in 2012, with him having mixed emotions. He scored against Barcelona after coming on as a substitute for Didier Drogba. But he found himself benched in the all important finals against Bayern Munich. But it was the corner he won that was headed in by Drogba to get the equalizer. Still, he wasn’t allowed to take the penalty in the shootout which would decide the winners of the Ultimate league.
He came out saying that not seeing his name on the starting lineup for the finals was his biggest disappointment. He also quoted saying, he lost the love for the game, and it didn’t matter if Chelsea won or lost the game, and was ready to move on to a different club to get a regular first team start. The owner backed him and convinced him to stay, and with Drogba leaving the club, he was assured of what he asked for. Though he started the 2012-13 season with a goal in the friendly against Manchester City in the FA community shield, Chelsea were reduced to 10 men and lost the game 3-2 and he looked far from the player we knew at his Liverpool days. Earlier he had only one thing on his mind, GOAL.
The latter turned into an assist-er rather than a scorer, which clearly showed that he was lacking confidence; he hardly took shots, rather he would wait for support to arrive. With 9 men Chelsea losing the top spot after being beaten by 11 men (some even call 14 men), the draw against Liverpool saw them drop to 3rd place. The Chelsea number 9 was held as the reason for this downfall, and to be fair, he was, as he looked out of sorts most of the times.
The time has come, the owner felt as he leapt in pursuit of a class striker Radamel Falcao, who is believed to get them back to the top, which surely means it would be a straight swap, with the present Chelsea number 9 which would mean that the EPL will see no more of The Red Monster; no more of the player who took the league by storm, no more of the tall, long blonde haired guy.
All the Torres fans would love to see him stay in the Premier league, and most of the Liverpool fans would want him back to where he belongs, and I being a massive Torres fan would hope that he starts scoring for Chelsea again and stays back to achieve greater glory. But there are not many things that the fans can control, and this surely is one of them.