Fernando Torres and Carlos Tevez: The Grass Isn't Always Greener Elsewhere

Ravit AnandContributor IIIMarch 30, 2011

Torres yet to open his goal account for new club Chelsea
Torres yet to open his goal account for new club ChelseaMichael Regan/Getty Images

On a daily basis, a person will make decisions which they live with for the foreseeable future. More often than not, these decisions cannot be reversed and may even come back to haunt you. Decisions that one must stand by, whether it is right or wrong.

Like in a relationship break up, where one realises what a mistake it was and tries to reconcile but the damage is done and can no longer be repaired, for it is too late. 

Relationships and football have more in common than one would think: love, passion, support, good times and bad but unfortunately for some, break ups.

With football being such a global and financially rewarding sport, the decisions made by clubs, managers and players are crucial. Not just to those sponsors and moneymen concerned, but more importantly the fans.

For it is the fans who have the real outlook on how certain decisions have affected their team.

Key decisions have been made over the past year or two regarding ownership of clubs, sacking and appointing of managers but most importantly a player's decision to leave a club for somewhere he feels is better.

Prior to the International break, Chelsea took on Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League, in what was undoubtedly a pivotal match in both the race to finish in the top four, whilst at the same time have an outside of change of winning the league title.

On show at Stamford Bridge, were two who made a key decision to swap red for blue.

In the summer of 2009, Carlos Tevez crossed the Manchester divide as he left United for arch rivals City in an attempt to “feel loved” while also quite literally buying into the aspirations City were aiming to achieve: winning the Premier League and getting into the Champions League.

Unfortunately for Tevez, the latter failed to occur as they were beaten to fourth spot by Tottenham. That left City in Europe’s second rate competition, while former club Manchester United just lost out on the title by a mere point and retained the League Cup.

For all of the “Welcome to Manchester” signs that Tevez is plastered on, you didn’t need a billboard to know his decision to leave Old Trafford wasn’t going to plan.

In truth, his goalscoring exploits have been far greater at Man City than they were during his two seasons at United. However, this season hasn’t quite gone the way Tevez and City would have hoped.

At the end of last year, the Argentinian shocked the blue half of Manchester by handing in a transfer request, citing reasons of homesickness and not enjoying his football.

Fortunately for City, Tevez remained loyal and retracted his request, until the end of the season at least.

The change of the year hasn’t seen City march on as Tevez would have wished. Faltering in the Premier League, they were dumped out of the Europa League by Dynamo Moscow, around the same United progressed to the Champions League quarterfinals.

And so the irony of football remains, City’s realistic shot of silverware this season is the FA Cup where they must first tackle past foes United.

However, Tevez wasn’t the only striker in the vicinity at Stamford Bridge who has swapped red for blue of course. Fernando Torres, two words no longer mentioned around Merseyside, left Liverpool for Chelsea in the final hours of the January transfer window in the hope for silverware.

To be fair, Liverpool fans will find it hard to argue with Torres wanting success and to win medals and trophies, something he hadn’t achieved at Liverpool. However, it was the manner of which the transfer occurred that has left a bitter taste amongst those on the red half of Merseyside.

To begin with, his form of late has been nothing to write about, let alone pay the £50 million Chelsea did for his services.

This season the Spaniard has helplessly struggled for form, and once Chelsea lodged an initial bid, Torres verbally and then physically handed in a transfer request, a move that angered and upset Liverpudlians.

An idol of the Kop was ‘betraying’ the Anfield faithful, a set of fans he had sworn an allegiance with.

Although it was not just the lack of form, lack of goals and the transfer request that would have angered Liverpool fans; it was the timing.

The return of Kenny Dalglish to the helm lifted the early season gloom that was hovering over the club and performances and results were picking up.

Nonetheless, Torres decided it was time to leave. Dalglish wasted no time in ensuring no one was bigger than the club and took Chelsea’s £5 0million and bought Andy Carroll from Newcastle and Ajax’s Luis Suarez.

The latter had all but replaced the memory of Torres, following a debut goal and wholehearted performances.

On the other hand, Chelsea have a striker who has failed to score since arriving at the club, a statistic made even worse by the fact that fellow January signing, defender David Luiz has scored two goals.

Torres didn’t get off to the perfect start in his Chelsea career neither. A home match against former club Liverpool ended in a 1-0 defeat in a match where he was virtually anonymous and was duly substituted in the second half.

Granted, Liverpool are out of the Europa League and Torres has a possibility of claiming a Premier League and Champions League medal, but to do so without scoring a single goal could be just as possible.

In his first couple of seasons at Liverpool, Torres scored freely, but injuries have prevented him from playing at his full potential with many suggesting he could fall in the Andriy Shevchenko flop bracket.

Yet while Chelsea are unable to get a goal from Torres, new Liverpool signing Suarez has already scored two in addition to various assists.

Tevez and Torres cannot be vilified for wanting to leave to better their careers, if they believe they are doing so. They have both made decisions to leave clubs where they enjoyed relative success, Tevez with two trophy laden seasons at United while Torres’ goalscoring record made him one of the best strikers in Europe.

It remains to be seen how much of their decisions to move was influenced by those close to them, notably agents suggesting a move would entitle more money.

But money can only do so much. Thousands of pounds more a week cannot make up for the fact Tevez is far from his family or that Torres finds London hard to adjust to. Either way, it is a decision that both players have chosen to make and one that will undoubtedly define their careers.

When both players were in red for their former clubs, they were given a unique place in each of their former fans’ hearts. A special bond was formed that cannot be replicated elsewhere by other fans.

Ironically for both, leaving red for blue, they have left a sense of destruction that cannot be reconciled to their former fans who adored them so. A decision may seem good at the time; the grass may always look greener on the other side, or at least greedier on the other side.

But for Tevez and Torres, there’s no doubting, it surely isn’t redder. 


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