The ‘Diabolical’ Mr Torres

The unwarranted criticism of Fernando Torres in the media in recent weeks has almost reached the same levels of obsession that the man who took him to Anfield is subject to. Fernando Torres has been labelled ‘diabolical’, ‘awful’ and sensationally even a ‘moron’ by one disgruntled so-called journalist. ‘It is only a matter of time before he hands in a transfer request’, they say, ‘they’ being the journalists and panelists who all kept their degrees in Body Language Psychology under wraps until recently.

Everyone is well aware that football is the ficklest of sports, but for certain sections of the media to suggest Fernando Torres’ career could be over, at the age of 26, is absurd. Although Torres is very clearly underperforming at the moment, we musn’t forget Liverpool’s talisman hasn’t had a summer off since the one prior to his debut season at The Reds. His first three seasons in the Premier League have been followed by the European Championships, Confederations Cup, and World Cup respectively. This must undoubtedly be taking its toll by now. Add this into a complete change of regime, and more importantly a change of tactics, under the Hodgson regime and his fcontribution at the moment is understandable.

As Hodgson still hasn’t quite realised he’s at a big club, and that he has a handful of the best players in the world at his disposal, Liverpool are playing games to snatch a victory, even at Anfield, by holding a deep line and soaking up pressure. This is in stark contrast to the high pressing game Torres is used to playing under Benitez at Liverpool, and Aragones and Del Bosque with the national team. Torres is currently doing his best work in a red shirt in his own half, and journalists who think his Liverpool scoring record is maintainable under Hodgson are in for a big shock come the end of the season. Torres’ form, and goals tally, will undoubtedly improve as he regains his fitness, however, the dizzy heights he has reached in the last three seasons won’t be reached again under a manager who would prefer not to attack the opposition and utilise arguably the best striker in the world.

Although Torres is in no way exempt from criticism, a little perspective is needed when it comes to his season so far; when Torres has been on the pitch, Liverpool have scored two goals in the league this season that he hasn’t scored or assisted, those being two Kyriagos headers from set-pieces. For a ‘diabolical’ striker, in the worst form of his life playing for a team just out the relegation zone, it’s not half bad.