Fernando Torres and 4 Others Who Must Finish the Premier League Season Strong
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The English Premier League has reached the homestretch and it is make or break time for numerous players across England.
Some are fighting to be involved in their national team's squad at the 2012 European Championships, others are playing to impress new employers and a few are hoping to prove they deserve to remain with their current club.
With the title, Champions League spots and survival still to play for, here are the five players who must impress as the season winds down.
Remember that guy in the video? He was pretty good. Fast, powerful and looks a bit like Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente.
That was Fernando Torres. A man so worn physically and mentally in the past four years that he is hardly recognizable from the player he once was. If the Chelsea striker has any hope of being a part of the Spain squad defending their crown in Poland and Ukraine this June, then he needs to start performing.
The problem is Torres constantly shows up on lists like this and has yet to produce. There is hope, however.
He scored twice against Leicester City in FA Cup and put in a decent shift in the Champions league, setting up Salomon Kalou with a pinpoint cross. But, two matches is not enough to regain his spot in the Spain setup.
The next two months will define the reminder of Torres' career. He can either play well enough to make the Spain Euro 2012 squad and rebuild his confidence or keep misfiring and be overlooked by Spain and continue his career's downward spiral.
Andy Carroll: On His Knees To Get Another Shot with Liverpool
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Liverpool striker Andy Carroll cost too much and is injured too often. When he does play, his performances range from mediocre to awful.
Fans want him gone, manager Kenny Dalglish wants everyone to be patient with him and Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is probably still laughing and counting the profits of the Carroll sale.
Carroll must perform over the coming weeks if he wants to remain at Liverpool past this season. He will be vital for Liverpool if the club wants to win the FA Cup and finish respectably in the league.
Continued poor displays from Carroll will certainly guarantee him a one-way ticket out of Merseyside and the stigma of being another expensive Liverpool failure.
Robbie Keane is still smarting from his six-month spell at Anfield and, while Carroll may be younger, the same irreversible damage may already be done.
Joey Barton Looking For A Future Away From QPR
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The highlights of Oueen's Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton's season have come from Twitter and not the pitch.
From criticizing former boss Neil Warnock to calling statisticians experts in masturbation, Barton has had his social media moments this season. His work on the pitch is less impressive.
Barton has been abysmal and was dropped for QPR's drubbing at Sunderland, after which he announced he would be taking a sabbatical from Twitter.
QPR have the most difficult run-in of all the teams in the relegation fight and they need a player of Barton's quality and spirit to survive.
Barton is also burning bridges at an incredible rate. If he does not turn in some performances soon, he could find himself not playing in the Championship next season. Even when playing at his best, most EPL teams would not want the drama he brings.
Manchester United Need Chicharito's goals
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Manchester United striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernández needs to perform his form if they want to win its 20th league title.
Chicharito's season has been derailed by injuries and an inability to find the scoring touch he had last season. Still, he is the key for the Red Devils' title hopes. Manchester United may be unable to hold off Manchester City if Hernandez does not have a strong finish to end the season.
The best natural finisher United have, Hernández is the type of player who can break tight games by converting chances that Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck are unable to. An on-form Hernández is the type of player United have lacked all season.
Silva Has Lost His Magic Touch
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David Silva is a very streaky player. The Spaniard was playing incredible football earlier in the season but has gone missing in recent weeks.
Silva must finish the season strongly by creating and scoring goals if Manchester City are to overtake United at the top of the table. City look disjointed and unable to come up with bit of magic needed when Silva is not playing at his best.
Silva may find it even harder to find his form with the reintroduction of Carlos Tevez to the team; Silva's best football came when Tevez was playing golf in Argentina.
Spain will also hope Silva regains his form to give them yet another weapon for their defense of the European Championship. Continued poor performances from Silva to end the season could see him watching most of Spain's matches in Poland and Ukraine from the bench.