Fernando Torres; a dejected figure under Roy Hodgson
Following Wayne Rooney's extraordinary revelations, there have been some outlandish reports in the media that have had Liverpool fans biting their nails with worry.
As speculation heats up surrounding the player that Ferguson will line up to replace Rooney, reports have begun to emerge that one of those could be Liverpool star striker Fernando Torres.
Regrettably, such audacious reports may not be as unfounded as they first appear.
At this stage it is important to point out, and I believe I am speaking for all Liverpool fans, that the loss of Torres is unimaginable and something that fans cannot even comprehend—not even in our worst nightmares.
However, here is the scenario that may well come true:
- Manchester United sell Rooney for a huge transfer fee, in the region of £50 million.
- Look for a world class replacement, preferable one with Premier League experience.
- Torres comes to mind.
- An aggressive bid is launched and, in some surreal turn of events, Liverpool are not able to hold on to their prized striker and Torres is sold for £50 million+
- Liverpool fans are left completed stunned.
The likelihood that this situation pans out rests precariously on the following question:
"Does Fernando Torres want to leave Liverpool Football Club as the club is no longer able to fulfill his own ambitions?"
Sound familiar? Sure, it is the exact reason why Rooney has decided to leave Manchester United.
But the saving grace for Liverpool fans is that our beloved club has new owners and they are making all the right noises. They have been meeting the fans and listening to the people that are the bread and butter of the club.
There is also talk of movement on the stadium front, which has been stalled for years. The club's huge debts have been all but cleared and there will be funds available for strengthening the squad.
All sounds rosy and great, but there is a fly in the ointment, a spanner in the works: the club's current league position, and even more significantly, the lacklustre performances that suggest a hasty climb up the table is not a foregone conclusion.
Pundits and other speculators can say what they like about off-the-field issues affecting match day performances, but when that team ran onto the field of play in past games, you can be sure that the ownership saga was not foremost in their minds.
And when they conceded a goal and stared defeat in the face as the referee blew the final whistle, the farthest thing from Steven Gerrard's mind was the debt repayments to RBS.
What was at the top of the players thinking were matters like "Are we going to win or lose again? Have we got the right players on the pitch in the right positions? Why is Joe playing on the wing again? Does the gaffer know what he's doing?"
I would suggest it was more of those types of questions than off-the-field issues that raced through the players' minds before, during and after matches. And with the off-field issues resolved now, it is still these questions that occupy them.
Logically then, Liverpool being in the relegation zone (with the possibility of being bottom of the table come Sunday's home match against Blackburn) has little to do with off-the-field issues. It has more to do with the performances of the team on the pitch; during matches the players are not distracted by the boardroom battles.
So why is this Liverpool squad, one not devoid of talent, skill and ability, in the relegation zone? Answer: poor motivation, tactics, formations and overall management.
The person solely responsible for this is Roy Hodgson.
So, following the trail of evidence:
- Fernando Torres has great ambition and came to Liverpool to win titles and trophies.
- This has not happened.
- The future looks bright, but this may not materialise for a few seasons yet.
- Despite this healthier outlook, Liverpool's current and future league position looks perilous.
- The reason for this position is the inept management of Roy Hodgson.
- With Hodgson as manager the rosy future seems an awful long way off, if it will be achieved at all.
- Torres' ambitions could more likely be fulfilled at Manchester United and, despite Liverpool fans' horror, his justification for wanting away is reluctantly accepted.
Following the evidence, if Torres leaves Anfield (unlikely as it may seem) it will be because of Hodgson's poor management resulting in our dismal league position, and as long as he is there, little may change.
These scenarios will, in all probability, never play out. But there is always the possibility they might, and this would be disastrous.
The Liverpool boss has been quoted as saying that he is wary of an approach from Old Trafford for Torres and promised to do his utmost to keep the Spaniard at Anfield.
These words are hardly comforting to Liverpool fans as the reason why Torres would even consider leaving is due to the future looking decidedly shaken with Hodgson at the helm.
If the English manager had been able to manage his talented resources more effectively, Liverpool would not have found themselves in the relegation zone and there would be no reason for fans to worry that hero Torres may be tempted away.
Not only has Hodgson condemned Liverpool to the humiliation of being in the relegation zone, even bottom, but he has also been the main contributor to a star striker and potential (if not already) Kop legend leaving the club prematurely.
It is time that Roy Hodgson leaves Liverpool Football Club before he does even more damage than he already has.