With Steven Gerrard committing himself to Liverpool for the foreseeable future I guess many thought that Fernando Torres would follow?
Torres, in an interview around the time of the World Cup, described Gerrard as “Mr Liverpool” Perhaps, as the Spaniard rests on holiday and nurses his World Cup Final injury, might be thinking “Mr Liverpool” has decided to stay. He’s seen something so perhaps it might be worth me also staying?” Sadly things are never as simple as that.
Since the end of the season doubts have been raised and questions asked about whether Torres will stay. However, until this weekend hints as to the answer have been as rare as rain this summer. Although they didn’t spell it out in big ten foot high shiny letters Roy Hodgson’s quotes about Torres’ take on the stay/go situation seemed to hint that we should prepare ourselves for disappointment?
The quotes were widely reported with Mr H ,despite having talked to Torres, feeling that he “cannot do much more” to keep the striker and that the reason for him having doubts about his future is because his “beef is with the club, not me”.
Firstly I don’t think Roy needs to speak in this way. If Torres left only the most wooly headed of reds fans would lay the blame at the new manager’s door. Leaving aside the fact that he has only been with us for five minutes the seeds of Torres’ discontent go back further than that. As always if there is a problem or something not right at Anfield and if you look hard enough (and most times you don’t even need to do that) the source of the discontent can normally be found at the feet of Hicks and Gillett. This time it is what Torres perceives as broken promises regarding the strengthening of the squad.
I think this is a case of six of one and half a dozen of the other. Hicks and Gillett have undoubtedly back tracked on a number of issues however, Torres’ quote that we need to bring in four or five top quality players this season to strengthen the team would be unrealistic to even the most wealthy of clubs? Although he has done it all with his country Torres, quite understandable, wants domestic silverware. However, even if we were miraculously sign all and sundry there would be no guarantee that things would improve immediately? For example does anyone still think that Manchester City, after all the money they have spent over the last twelve months, are nailed on certainties for any kind of silverware this season? Which is why, despite their claim yesterday that they are no longer interested in signing him, is probably why Torres won’t to go there? Indeed, for what it’s worth, if Torres goes any ware then surely it will be back to Spain?
So will he stay? Yesterday, via Kenny, the club tried to suggest that all is not lost!
“I hope Torres stays. Only Fernando knows what is going to do. “Unfortunately for him he is injured but he is a fantastic player and is very happy around the club and the city. The fact that Stevie is staying will be a great help and players like Joe Cole, Milan Jovanovic, Jonjo Shelvey and Danny Wilson means there is buying for present and the future”
Although this is not on the scale of Torres’ four or five top quality signings at least there are signs that changes are afoot and no doubt, through talks with the likes of Purslow, he will be aware that there will be more sooner rather than later once the Star Spangled Duo’s seemingly limpet like grip on the club is finally prized away.
Will Torres have the patience to see this out? My hunch is that he will stay for another season at least and then assess the situation next summer. The reasons why? Partly through curiosity to see how things go under the “post Rafa” era (a change is as good as a rest?). Partly because he is injured and doesn’t need the hassle of a move and the resulting agro that goes with it and partly, I would like to think, because even though Torres has yet to see silver, Liverpool has been good to him in his development as a player. They also showed patience when he was injured. Now is the time for Torres to be patient with the club while it gets itself back in order?
After the World Cup Torres complained that he hadn’t had a holiday for three years. Torres doesn’t strike me as mercenary or the type to make rash decisions without weighing up the whole situation. So I hope as he sits on a beach somewhere with much needed time to think he will eventually come to the conclusion we’re still worth it, for little bit longer at least?