Football FanCast columnist Jerome Johnstone looks at the catch-22 facing Rafa Benitez over Fernando Torres.
Rafa Benitez has faced some dilemmas in his time at Liverpool, but the decision as to what he does with Fernando Torres in the up and coming weeks. The Spanish striker has been told to rest for the next three weeks at least, but can Benitez afford to do that.
Torres has reportedly claimed that he’ll defy doctor’s orders for the sake of the team and why it is certainly a magnanimous gesture on the part of El Nino’s part, the long term consequences of playing on an injury could see him make the situation worse and see him ruled out for a lot longer.
It is a real catch-22 situation for Benitez as the next few weeks are vitally important and could well define our season in terms of our title push, or possible progress in the Champions League. Why the obvious solution to the problem will be to just keep Torres free for certain one off games, the fact of the matter is that we are in a terrible slump in form at present and therefore given our desperate need to get results and points on the board, can we afford to not have the services of realistically our only striker at the club? It is a terrible balancing act that Rafa Benitez is having to juggle, especially as the likes of Ryan Babel, Andriy Voronin and David Ngog hardly inspire any real confidence in the attacking third.
So what should Rafa do with Fernando Torres – would it be in his best interests to use him sparingly so to prevent him potentially making the situation worse, or should Rafa allow him to play through the pain in the hope that his goals will see an upturn in our fortunes?