There was a time when words like; a pure amalgam of speed, phenomenal, terrific, the apex finisher, wizard of Oz and unplayable were used by almost every football pundit and commentator to describe one Fernando José Torres Sanz, alias ‘El Niño’. And rightfully so. For the 26-year-old had become one of the most important and consistent players in world football and especially at the mighty Merseyside club of Liverpool.
It wasn’t long ago. Even as the world of football recently assembled in South Africa for the FIFA World Cup in June to watch Spain triumph, England and Argentina falter and France and Italy, well, tumble, Fernando Torres was one of the players who were expected to lit up the tournament.
But as it turned out, not even an assist was registered under the name of the mighty Fernando. This was partly blamed on an injury he had sustained prior to the tournament. But even as he was still recovering, the world expected the former Atletico Madrid captain to bang in the goals with such aplomb that he’s become synonymous to. Such was the confidence everyone had in him.
Cue in game one, two three… final, Fernando’s goal was nowhere to be seen. But as the sweet, unique and inspirational Anfield You Will Never Walk Alone anthem sings: At the end of the storm, Is a golden sky, And the sweet silver song of a lark, every akin football aficionada knew the end of the storm would soon come for Nando.
I for one has been that hopeful. But it the form is just coming. The Torres of today cuts out a forlorn figure on the field and misses clear one-on-one chances that just last season, he would have dispatched with much ease. The Torres of today has no ball control (yes I remember those flicks to Maxi Rodriguez). The Torres of today looks like a person who wants to leave Liverpool any time of day. The Torres of today is not the one who football-savvy KOPS had within such a short time pasted the word ‘legend’ on his back, a tag that is associated with Anfield greats like Ian Rush, King Kenny Dalglish, captain fantastic Steven Gerard, the ‘god’ Robbie Fowler and that defender who has seen and overcome all possible tricks and flicks in modern football, Jamie Carragher.
Now we only remember that Fernando Torres. Yes that one. The one who together with Gerard were like China’s ying-yang to Liverpool. Who doesn’t miss that telepathic understanding between the two? One that could have been mistaken to have come from the lords of the beautiful game. The two were in the ranks of Lionel Messi and Spanish midfield matador, Xavi Hernandez.
Torres and Gerard were a carte du juor that defenders loathed just like the best fans in the world, the KOPS of course, loathe the Mancs from the city of Manchester.
Under the twosome, Liverpool had become a formidable team. One that made the most shots on target and allowed only a few to test Pepe Reina, one that scored most goals and conceded the fewest, one that made the most successful tackles and suffered the most fouls, one that enjoyed the most possession even against a team cut out of possession like Arsenal. Thumping Manchester United 4-1 was easy, repeating the same against El Merengues from Madrid, even easier.
It was not a case of whether Torres would score but how many goals he would score. Oh, how I miss those days!
Now as we approach the New Year which ushers in the January transfer window, speculations are rife that Nando might leave Liverpool perhaps to a Premier League rival like Money-chester City. The thought of this possibility quivers many Kops, I included. Is there Liverpool without Nando?
Many players normally experience some out of form moments. Fernando is included. Fernando lacks service from the midfielders. Fernando needs a strike partner. No. Fernando needs to leave Liverpool. David Ngog needs a strike partner.
Torres simply doesn’t look happy playing for Liverpool. A player who is is what is needed. What if he’s just finished? I know it’s naïve to suggest that. But just what if? There are many top finishers out in the market who would want to shade blood and sweat to take Liverpool to the zenith where it belongs. With new owners, New England Sports Ventures, I believe there will be enough money to fund the acquisition of a happy-to-play-for-Liverpool like player.
I hate the thought of it but if Liverpool can dispatch Nando in January and use the £50 million plus to bring in a Diego Forlan, Fernando Lllorent or even a Mario Gomez, it would be good business. Good in the sense that I can’t see any of these players wanting to move out of Liverpool in any foreseeable future.
Good as long as Nando doesn’t get back to form if he’s out of it. So, happiness is the key word here. And if El Nino is not happy, no matter how many times he’s reminded that he’s a dear to the Anfield crowd, no matter how many times he’s told he is a legend and no matter how many midfield maestros are brought to Anfield to give him the services which apparently are missing, he won’t deliver.
But if he’s happy, really happy, John W. Henry and his colleagues who control the coffers at Anfield should let the money loose as early as January. Bring the man a proven goalscorer, any of the above or anyone not mentioned but deserving mentioning and merrily merrily I say unto you that LFC’s glory days will be back on the radar.
And what is Roy Hodgson still doing at Liverpool!?!!
From Nairobi, Kenya, with Love. Liverpool, Liverpool, Liverpoool....
And That's thesteifmastertake!!