16 October 2008

More apologies for the absence, and further frustration with internationals

I am sorry for the radio silence – as usual, an international break combined with the middle of the academic term means I’ve been less likely to seek out topics to write about, and thankfully, there hasn’t been a ton of Liverpool news to begin with.

Until yesterday, that is. I don’t have any solutions and can’t do much else but bitch, but how many times is Torres going to come back from an international break injured?

16 minutes into yesterday’s match with Belgium, Torres clutched the back of his right leg and immediately motioned to be substituted. That’s the same leg he suffered a hamstring tear in against Villa, which kept him out of the United match.

I could rant about the early season international breaks for a 1000 words. It’s happened before. I still find it hard to understand why it’s so important to have them at this point of the season (almost all of the next WC qualifiers aren’t until March), with the World Cup over a year and a half away, but that debate’s been done to death.

What I will say is this. Fernando Torres needs a fucking rest. He’s basically been playing non-stop for over a year. He appeared 46 games for Liverpool last season, more than at any time for Atletico except the 04-05 season where he featured in 49. And then there was Spain’s Euro run.

When a player suffers minor injuries like this in quick succession, his body’s telling him something. I’m fully aware how crucial Torres is to Liverpool, but if he continues to be run into the ground, he’s going to miss a lot more time than three weeks (after the last tear) or ten days (hopefully, the extent he’ll miss with this knock).

To make matters worse, Babel was also injured yesterday. Like Torres, it was a recurrence of a previous injury, suffering ankle problems (he missed the Euros thanks to tearing ankle ligaments). As of now, I haven’t seen any indication of how long he’ll be out, but as with Torres, my sneaking suspicion is he was rushed back too quickly. I distinctly remember reading about how Babel returned faster than expected after the ligament damage.

All I can say is I sincerely hope they’ll both be back for Chelsea on the 26th, but maybe Torres should be held out for longer. It’s a shame that he’ll miss out on the trip to Atletico (which, thankfully, looks like it’ll take place in Madrid), but Liverpool should be able to cope for that and Wigan on Saturday. But Chelsea has started the season better than any other side, including Liverpool. The Reds will have to be at their best, even better than against United, to take points from Stamford Bridge.

Preview of Saturday’s game up sometime tomorrow.


Ibracadabra said...

I agree about the timing of Intl breaks, but Rafa's ideas to have "small" teams play first then face the "bigger" countries is BS. The joy of qualifying for the greatest event on earth is to group the minnows with the sharks. Torres isn't injured because of qualifying, he's injured because he's had no break from footie. If there was no Intl break he'd still be playing games for club! Rafa should just rest/rotate him like he does to everyone else..

nate said...

Agreed. Like Benitez's idea of letting reserves sides play in the Football League, this is honestly a step too far in protecting his club.

But, of course, I want to see Liverpool's manager looking out for Liverpool's best interests above anything else.

Abhiram said...

I, for one, am pro-internationals. A player needs to play well both as a club player as well as a country player. He should not direct his priority to the club or the country alone. Its just sheer bad luck that Torres' injured. Come to think of it, he needs to improve his fitness. I don't see Kuyt,Gerrard or Mascherano going to internationals and coming back injured all the time. I am not having a go at El Nino, its just that i want him to be fitter and better for the coming matches.

Abhiram said...

@Nate: Was bored to death for 10 days with nothing to watch or talk about. And please don't go missing for 10 days mate. :)