Just when Liverpool fans thought their season could not get any worse. Fans, staff and even the players will have been worried by the words of Fernando Torres last week who publicly criticised the quality of the team and potentially signalled his unrest at the club.
This season Liverpool have relied heavily on two players. One of them wears the captain’s arm-band and is arguably the best midfielder in the World; the other is arguably the best striker in the World. It is also these two players who, along with the fans, provide potential players with a reason of coming to the club. With Gerrard and Torres, Liverpool have hope. The worry is the latter might not be around for much longer.
Speaking to Spanish sport’s daily AS, Torres said “It’s really important the club works hard to bring in top players and improve the quality of the squad. To be competitive, we need four or five top-class players, better than are here now. Without reinforcements we will be battling again to make fourth place. I want to be competing next year to win the league, and the Champions League or Europa League, but that will mean bringing in signings”
This could be taken in two ways. Given the value of Torres at Liverpool, only a similar statement from Steven Gerrard could have been more powerful. These comments could well provide the board and manager with the required boot up the rear they so clearly need. His words were honest and revealed a worrying aspect of life at Anfield this season. While there manager is quite clearly unaware of his inept ability to guide his team towards success, it seems the players are not quite as blind. Given that it is his compatriot, and biggest transfer, who has voiced his concerns merely adds an extra worry to their situation.
In my opinion it could be the best thing to happen to Liverpool this season. While stating that the club needs new players, a fact that few would dare to disagree with, it may also provide the underperforming players with something to think about. Torres’s place at Liverpool is safe. If he is even 60% fit he will still be played. However, for those who are not so safe, it might be his comments that wake them up from their current hibernation. With two months of football still to play, the likes of Babel, Insua, Riera and Aurelio will know that there is time to prove their worth in a team that should already be making plans for next season.
Whether Benitez remains at the club over the summer is another question all together. While Liverpool clearly can’t afford to sack him, there is only a certain amount of time a manager can play dumb before saving himself from embarrassment. A new manager, some new players and a fresh start would give Liverpool the hope they had prior to this seasons struggles. Their biggest worry until then will be keeping El Nino happy…like his words this past week, that is a statement that should not be taken lightly!