Saturday, 29 January 2011

Why Fernando Torres is Replaceable at Liverpool

Fernando Torres has lost the great love and affection the Liverpool fans had towards him. Torres was adored and treated like one of Liverpool’s own. But Torres has deeply offended and hurt the Kop. His decision to hand in a transfer request in January is odd. As optimism and confidence had been re-instilled by new manager Kenny Dalglish. And the iminent arrival of Luis Suarez, shows Torres that Liverpool are trying to sign quality players - something which he consistently demanded Liverpool to do. And to rub more salt into the Liverpool fan’s wounds, Torres wants to leave for Chelsea – one of Liverpool’s arch rivals.

Even the most ardent Liverpool fans would reluctantly admit Fernando Torres was going to leave at the end of the season. After all, Liverpool are not winning trophies, they are not challenging for the League nor are they in the Champions League. Torres left his boyhood club Atl├ętico Madrid to win trophies. Something he still hasn’t been able to achieve whilst at Liverpool.

Most Liverpool fans expected Torres to show more respect towards the club. The fans would expect Torres to not to show a willingness to join their arch rivals. In some respects, Liverpool fans are most deeply offended that Torres has shown a strong interest in joining Chelsea. It’s clear that most fans would most definitely allow Torres leave to a foreign club, rather than their arch rivals in England. It’s a shame Torres doesn’t respect the Club as much as the fans respect and love him.

But Torres is replaceable.

Yes, he is arguably the most complete Liverpool striker they have had for generations. But one thing Liverpool have been blessed with throughout the generations is a prolific goal scorer. During the glory days, Liverpool had the likes of Rodger Hunt, John Toshack, and Kevin Keegan to bang in the goals. Furthermore, before the 1977/76 season Keegan wanted to leave the club. The Liverpool fans were deeply upset in losing a great player. But he was replaced by a certain Kenny Dalglish and the rest is history.

Even during Dalglish’s Liverpool days, the most successful era for Liverpool. The club was still littered with goal scorers. The likes of John Aldridge and of course Ian Rush – the club record goal scorer (346 goals) were all banging in the goals for Liverpool.

Of course some may turn around and say, ‘oh this is when Liverpool were the best team in the land and could attract the best strikers to the club.’ Even through the decline of Liverpool in the nineties Liverpool had prolific goal scorers. Robbie Fowler emerged in 1993 and consistently scored for Liverpool. In fact, he is 5th in the all time Liverpool goal scorers with 183 goals. It shows that even when Liverpool were failing to reach their expectations of winning trophies, they still had a prolific goal scorer.

As Fowler's goal scoring ratio began to decrease, a new prolific Liverpool striker was on the block. Michael Owen. He was taking Liverpool and England by storm. Owen under the Gerrard Houllier’s reign was the indispensable striker for Liverpool. Scoring, a total of 158 goals for Liverpool. I disagree with the stick he gets from the Liverpool fans now days, in my eyes, he doesn’t owe Liverpool anything. He was a brilliant striker who was instrumental for Liverpool’s success during 1996 - 2004. Arguably, the sale of Owen in 2004 stemmed Liverpool’s Champions League triumph in 2005.

The money raised by the Micheal Owen’s sale allowed Liverpool to finance deals for Luis Garcia and Xabi Alonso. Who both played crucial roles in Liverpool’s famous European triumph.

But the sale of Owen left Liverpool without a prolific goal scorer. The first three years of Rafa Benitez reign Liverpool tried many strikers. None were of the Liverpool standard of prolific.

Then came record signing Fernando Torres. Yes, he has taken the Premier League by storm and is virtually breaking records every year, but his sale doesn’t mean the end of the world for Liverpool. Well, along as its in the summer and for a good price. But even so selling to Chelsea for a high price as much as it will hurt the fans of who I feel an incredible amount of sympathy for, it will allow Liverpool to re-build the team.

Like the sale of Owen, it will allow Liverpool to buy two or three players of good quality. This will only help Liverpool progress upwards. It will also allow Liverpool to stop being so one dynamic. Since Torres has come to Liverpool because of his brilliant ability, Liverpool’s strategy hinges on whether Torres is on form. Liverpool need to be able to get goals from all around the pitch, the success of Liverpool during the glory days was because they could score from all over the pitch, rather than just depending on one striker.

Its quite sad that the Fernando Torres saga has overshadowed the transfer of Luis Suarez. Liverpool have signed a brilliant striker in Suarez. He is a versatile striker who can play in all the attacking positions competently and can create and finish – as his brilliant goal rate suggests. But it’s unfair to suddenly expect him to replace Torres, give him time to adapt to the Premier League. But either in a supportive role or a front line role Suarez is a great asset. I expect him in time, to be a prolific playmaker for Liverpool. He has all the attributes to be a special player for Liverpool.

If Liverpool do sell Torres, they will most likely be in the market looking for another striker. Someone who can lead the line, with Suarez behind this striker or on the wings causing mayhem.

Fernando Torres must know that he won’t find the same love and affection that the Liverpool fans gave him at any other club. But it’s in Liverpool’s DNA to have a prolific goal scorer. Yes they may not be as prolific as Fernando Torres, but they will consistently score the goals. It may take one summer, or even three summers to find another prolific striker, but believe me Liverpool will find one. It maybe Suarez, or it maybe someone else, but Liverpool are bigger than Fernando Torres. Brian Kettle tweeted, ‘Keegan chose to leave. Souness. Rush. Alonso. Mascherano. Great players, but merely players. We are Liverpool Football Club. It's his loss.’ I couldn't agree anymore.

Liverpool fans, smile, you have Luis Suarez, if this video doesn't make you happy or excited, i'll be upset!

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