Sunday, 20 November 2011

Liverpool still can't believe their luck over Torres


I bet the bean counters at Anfield still can't believe their luck.

Even after all this time they must wake up every morning and pinch themselves.

And whenever they have a bad day they must pull a photocopy of Chelsea's £50m cheque out of the draw and enjoy a huge belly laugh.

Because let's face it, Fernando Torres is hardly worth a tin of beans these days never mind a king's ransom.

The Spaniard used to lord it over his contemporaries. The lightening pace over the first five yards, his unerring accuracy from outside the box and the knowledge that he was deadly when left with just a keeper to beat put him alongside Lionel Messi on a pedestal while other strikers queued to kiss his goal-laden boots.

His early days at Anfield were as good as any import has produced in the Premier League.

He terrorised top class defenders, as Nemanja Vidic will testify, and looked capable of leading a Reds revival.

But from the moment Spain became the international game's biggest draw, Torres was on to a loser.

Too much football brought injuries his body could not shake off. He lost confidence in his hamstrings and Liverpool lost confidence in his ability to scare Premier League rivals to death.

By the end of his spell at Anfield the once feared Spanish slayer was firing blanks.

Worse, the hunger he displayed in his early games, the desire to give his all for the Kop, had been knocked out of him by a shambles at the top of the club.

Torres looked a busted flush when Chelsea walked into the transfer market poker game and gave away their hand.

Roman Abramovich was desperate to bring in the Spanish star. Just as desperate as he was when AC Milan fleeced him for £30m for the services of Andriy Shevchenko.

In a city well known for its musical heritage, they had heard this tune before.

Chelsea coughed up a remarkable sum for a figure who had managed nine goals in 26 games. Well off the numbers he post in the previous three seasons.

The dash to the bank to cash the cheque made the Fast and the Furious look like a Sunday drive in the country.

Today Torres face his former friends. Ready to prove his doubters wrong. He won't.

Liverpool fans will mock and he will bust a gut to score the goal that will mean so much to him. He won't succeed.

Torres can be marked down in the journal of princely players who were never king, along with Gazza and Stan Collymore.

And Liverpool will remember the day they laughed all the way to the bank.

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