Today it was confirmed that Fernando Torres has ruptured his thigh muscle after pulling up at the end of the World Cup Final
At the final whistle in Johannesburg I was looking for Torres during the initial Spanish celebrations but couldn’t see him which caused me to conclude the worst. However, he eventually joined them and was pictured afterwards looking happy enough draped in a Liverpool scarf holding the World Cup. The shot I saw was from the waist up so clearly, if today’s news is anything to go by, he was being held up by scaffolding!
It remains to be seen for how long Torres will be out the ECHO describes the injury as a “a grade one muscle fibre rupture in his left thigh” I’m no expert but it sounds serious or is grade two, or three, even worse? Is there a doctor reading this blog? There is more confusion. Newspaper reports suggested that he will miss our opening game of the season against Arsenal. However, low and behold, the TV reports last night suggested he will make it – The Sun Always Shines on TV!
I’m probably reading too much into this but hopefully the fact than Torres was wearing a Liverpool scarf on Sunday is significant and means that he intends to stay with us? However, if not one wonders just what part the injury will play in any move? Will it for example put clubs off bidding for him or, more likely, will they attempt to drive down our asking price saying this is an example of a whole series of regular injuries Torres has picked up since he joined Liverpool?
Some arguments have already suggested that we should “cut and run” as they feel that Torres’ injury problems will get even worse – the more you are injured the more you are likely to injured again. I’m not so sure that’s necessarily so however, it is a worry I would hate him to go down the path Michael Owen went where he was out for longer and longer periods. It’s easy to comment with hindsight but perhaps Spain should have gone a little easier on him in the World Cup using him sparingly say bringing him on for just half an hour at the end of the group games whilst at the same time working on his fitness? However would Torres, this being the World Cup and everything, have wanted this? I suspect he will point to his medal and say it was all worth it and of course Liverpool fans should be proud of him and what he, and Jose Reina, have achieved?
Elsewhere now that events in South Africa are over other players seem to be turning towards more domestic concerns. We are no exception. Sadly the reports I’ve read so far seem to concern players who are linked with a move away rather that those we are activity trying to attract. Apart from Torres and Gerrard (no news there) the biggest rumour seems to concern Javier Mascherano. This has been dragging on for some time now. Last summer there were some utterings from his agent Walter Tamer about him going to Barcelona
“It is an honour for Javier that a club like Barca pay such close attention to him….”
Now, as the chance of an “agents percentage” resurrects itself again, Tamer has turned his attentions to Italy with Rafa and Inter appearing to be the major objects of his desire?
“For him to be linked to Inter has a magical taste … it’s a dream. Think about it; the strongest team in the world wants him, a team where many of Mascherano’s compatriots play and a side that is guided by a coach with whom Mascherano has a personal bond.”
For all his agent’s flowery words we have heard nothing from Mascharano himself? I guess the situation is quite simple, if Mascharnao says he wants to go he should but we should ensure that we get value for money ie. much more than the £17m we paid for him. Last season Rafa slapped a “hands off” price of £50m on him. I doubt this will happen this year however, I would think it reasonable if we get £25m – £30m for him?
Part of the reason for Rafa’s intransigence over Mascherano was that he had already sold Xavi Alonso and one wonders if Roy Hodgson, with rumours about Lucas also going to Italy, could find himself in the same situation ie. facing the prospect of losing two first team midfielders? A disaster or not? Of course this depends on who, if anyone, Hodgson brings in a replacement, we all know Aquilani hasn’t exactly softened the blow of Alosno’s departure (yet?), and of course the formation / line up he decides on. Will Hodgson go for Lucas and Mascherano in the holding roles as Rafa did in so many of our scintillatingly, attractive to watch games last year? Perhaps Hodgson may find one or both of the players tactically surplus to requirements and decide to bring Gerrard into the middle with Aquilani, and move Kuyt or Babel in from the wing along side Torres? Alternatively he could…. continued in every pub and club where there are some Liverpool fans.
Whatever the case I’ve a feeling that Hodgson will have to, and want to, make changes which will start by having to face up to life without the Argentinean. It is sad but, given the words and stories over this and last summer, seemingly inevitable?