23 September 2007

More on the Torres decision

Just to continue on the Torres discussion from yesterday, because a couple of thoughts have been lingering.

In the past two seasons for Atletico Madrid, Torres played 40 games each year. He’s only played more than 40 games a season once in his career.

Liverpool played 58 games last season (62 the season before that), and chances are (hopefully), they’ll play a similar amount this season. Pennant had the most appearances with 52; only Pennant, Carra, Gerrard, Reina and Alonso played more than 50 games.

Given Torres’ importance to Liverpool’s season this year, and the necessity he’s fit for “big games,” those stats make his place on the bench yesterday a little more understandable, no matter how angry I still am with the draw. Again, I reiterate, it was Birmingham, at home, and Liverpool should have done better regardless.

But today quotes, in which Benitez says that leaving Torres out was a tactical decision, is still baffling. That can’t be the sole reason, and if it was, then Rafa did make a mistake. I was under the impression that Torres was one of the players bought for games exactly like yesterday’s, where Liverpool needed class and creativity to carve open a stingy defense.

Fernando Torres is not Craig Bellamy. The sum of his game is not just getting behind defenders, even if that’s what he’s done best so far.


Paul Heron said...

That's a prefectly logical explanation for leaving Torres out, but I also do buy (to a certain extent) that it was also for tactical reasons, Voronin and Kuyt should have been easily capable of doing a job, Kuyt had his chances and Voronin wasn't on form.

being sven said...

That is precisely what a friend and I agreed on yesterday. We didn't buy Torres to be our speedster, we bought him because he's a sublime talent with a range of skills. He's clearly demonstrated his ability to create something from nothing. His backheel to Crouch in the box?

I'm not buying the 'behind the defense' talk either. Play who you want Rafa, but don't lie to us. I don't think any of us, including you, actually believe that.

Is this betting said...

It sort of backfired on Rafa. Kuyt and Voronin should have been able to do a job but as things turned out it didn't.

End of story but I'll carry on. It has always been his policy to play his 'weaker' strike force against weaker opposition. Fowler played against Sheffield last season after Crouch had scored in the previous game against Chelsea. Pongelle played against Birmingham when we lost (!!) a couple of seasons ago having not been picked the game before.

I think his philosophy is either the squad will get confidence if it wins with a weakened side or he wants to put combinations together in case he is forced, through injury or suspension, to play that pairing in a more important game. At least they will have played together before.