As I write the curse of the international injury scare hangs over Anfield like a dark forbidding cloud. Reports today suggest it might rain on our parade big style in what is probably our biggest week of the season so far?
What is it about the international game that gives Liverpool such bad luck? Barely a round of them goes by without some mishap occurring to our players. Why? Is it the way they train or prepare? Perhaps players get into a routine with their clubs and once they go on international duty, and go through different exercises, their body reacts? May be it’s the travel and being away from home? Whatever the case it happens so often that it it’s almost become expected? This week’s suspects are the usual ones, namely Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres but also Dirk Kuyt.
It seems that Steven Gerrard won’t be lining up for England against Belarus tonight because of a groin injury. I guess this explains why he was substituted on Saturday? Unconfirmed reports suggested that he could be out for a week or so but who knows presumably we will get the full picture when he returns to L4? I read that he has already gone back however, the question remains will he be required to travel back to London for the game and to attend Fabio’s Fabulous Post Match Fondue Festival? Apparently Michael Owen, the international equivalent of Cinderella to the ugly sisters of Defoe and Rooney, has also been invited. We he go and if he doesn’t will he will blow any chances he has of “going to the ball” next year?
The situation regarding Torres and Spain continues to frustrate. This is umpteenth time he has come back from international duty injured. With Spain Rafa must feel like someone who continually lends his brother his favourite toy only to see his trust and love betrayed as it is always returned broken or damaged? But what can he do?
In this case it’s Torres’ abductor muscle which is source of the problem. Noises from the Spanish camp don’t seem that encouraging. Their website said
“Fernando Torres will not abandon the Spain camp as several media outlets have said. The forward, who has been hindered by some adductor pain, underwent a scan after lunch which showed encouraging results. The player has improved thanks to the physiotherapy carried out by the medical staff and we are studying the possibility of the player participating in part of the afternoon training session”
Correct me if I’m wrong but haven’t Spain already qualified for the World Cup so why the need to “study the possibility” of risking Torres at all? Nonetheless we are assured all is well. Said Manager Vicente del Bosque
“Torres is in very good hands here, yesterday he stayed at the hotel and did not train because we went to a pitch in which there was no stretcher”
Del Bosque’s interpretation of the phrase “good hands” takes some imagination. What if another member of the squad injures himself and needs a stretcher? However, our concern is Fernando and in fairness Del Bosque has assured us that if there is the slightest risk he will not play. We shall see.
If Torres and Gerrard do not play then no doubt the age old debate about us being a two man team, together with the associated accusations of lack of strength in depth, will be raised? It should be remembered that Torres and Gerrard started less than a third of our games together last season so hopefully the situation will not be alien to us. However as ever the results will judge and fact we had similar problems last season with Torres and Gerrard and still went on to beat the Mancs at home without them shows what we can do?
Finally the stupidity of the international break was highlighted by the fact that Dirk Kuyt might also doubtful with an injury sustained during Holland’s trip to…. wait for it Australia! Which bright spark thought that one up? Worse still the game finished 0-0, I bet that was a great trip! The injury is to his ankle which surprised me. I would have thought he would be more likely to miss Saturdays’ game because he is knackered!