Liverpool’s talismanic captain Steven Gerrard has spoken out this week regarding the departure of Fernando Torres, and the arrivals of Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez at Anfield. Gerrard is a cult figure on Merseyside and his opinion regarding the transfers that unfolded on deadline day will no doubt be of great interest to Liverpool supporters. While Gerrard is remorseful that the club have lost the services of a player who on his day was magnificent, he is of the opinion that Liverpool are now in a stronger position with Carroll and Suarez leading the line.
Judging from what we have been treated to thus far by Luis Suarez, Liverpool have purchased a player who is sure to have the fans on the edge of their seats. His touch and poise is unerring, and as he so expertly proved against bitter rivals Manchester United and Sunderland, he is capable of the sublime in front of goal. This in tandem with the sheer power and physical presence of Andy Carroll has the prospect to cause Premiership defences a great deal of problems. The two new recruits will have their work cut out if they are to surpass the goal scoring accomplishments of Fernando Torres though. The World Cup winner netted an impressive 65 times in 102 games for the Reds, a prolific strike rate I’m sure you will agree. So is Gerrard right in stating Livepool are better off now?
Personally I think Gerrard is spot on. It had become clear as a result of his form since his return from the World Cup that Torres was jaded, and his body language suggested he was not happy at Anfield. If this had anything to do with the change of manager, a series of injury problems, or was purely down to Torres’ desire to seek pastures new is uncertain. What is certain is that Liverpool have replaced a tired and weary looking striker with two vibrant young footballers determined to impress. Sure, Torres may have recaptured his best form if the deal hadn’t gone through, but with his discontent made public I feel the sale was the best option. Since arriving at Stamford Bridge Torres has continued to struggle to recapture the early form he produced in front of the Kop, and he is still searching for his first goal. Having said this, the old cliché states that form is temporary and class is permanent, so I think there will still be more to come from El Nino.
While I am in agreement with Gerrard it should also be pointed out, that although he has suggested Suarez and Carroll are better for Liverpool than Torres, at one point Suarez and Torres were both Liverpool players….. a prospect that doesn’t appear to have occurred to Gerrard. I wonder if he would view the situation any differently if it was proposed to him Suarez and Carroll, or Suarez and Torres? Perhaps Suarez and Carroll will compliment each other in a more positive way than the latter would have! The Big man, little man combination has worked wonders before, a fine example is the partnership Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn forged at Sunderland.
As well as the main point in hand, Gerrard revealed how the players had felt let down by Torres’ decision to swap Anfield for The Bridge. A decision that burdened the Liverpool skipper himself in 2005, he eventually stayed loyal to his club. His decision came in the wake of fans burning effigies of him, how poignant this was in his decision we don’t know. What we do know is there was clearly a deliberation on Gerrard’s part in 2005 that a move south may be necessary in order for him to realise his dream of a first Premier League title.
It’s early days, but the signs are that two young talented players for the price of an injury prone, out of form superstar represents a very good deal. However, the dealings can surely only be valued in the long term. Will Torres come good? Will Carroll and Suarez realise and fulfil their potential and turn Liverpool into a force once again? As always in football when a topic of this nature is raised for discussion no one can be accused of being wrong, it’s all a matter of opinion. It’s part of the package that comes with being a football fan – the right to have our own view.
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