Liverpool risk wasting the greatness of Torres

The best striker in the world needs help; Photo by Matt JamFernando Torres’ winner on Sunday against Manchester United rescued Liverpool’s season from the brink of disintegration. True, Liverpool were far better than a remarkably tame Man U (more on that later this week), but their superiority had not translated into many clear goal scoring chances and a stalemate beckoned. That is, until Torres lit up the Kop with a breathtaking turn of pace and finish. He is a genuine superstar and I would say clearly the best striker in the world. Even though he is just entering his prime at age 25, seasons like the one Torres is putting together don’t come along very often and if Liverpool doesn’t bring in more attacking options in January, Benitez and co will have wasted the greatness in their midst.

Fernando Torres is now the best striker in the world. Ronaldo and Messi, while remarkable players, are not out and out strikers. Who else is there, really? Thiery Henry is on the wane. Samuel Eto’o is great but not the best. Zlatan Ibrahimavic is very good and has the potential to get better, but he’s still not in the same conversation as Torres. Didier Drogba is a fantastic player, when he is interested, but inconsistency has plagued his career even when he is at his best. Wayne Rooney doesn’t score enough goals. I could go on, but it’s not necessary: Torres is the best.

What he is doing this year is amazing even by his standards; played nine, scored nine, including a number of vital goals for a club that has got off to a rough start:

  • An early goal (fourth minute) against Stoke in Liverpool’s second game after a miserable loss on the first day at Tottenham – exactly what the team needed to settle in and the Reds went on to an easy win;
  • The goal that pulled Liverpool level at Bolton and allowed Gerrard to get the winner;
  • A brace against West Ham that included both the opener and the winner;
  • A practically single-handed demolition of Hull that put the game out of reach by the break;
  • And the aforementioned winner against Man U.

He’s not scoring a hat trick and then going without a goal for three or four games – he has scored in six of the clubs matches and only scored more than once in a game twice. At this rate he will certainly rival Ronaldo’s ridiculous haul of 31 in 2007-08.

But the comparisons to Ronaldo should also be a warning to Liverpool – Man U won the league that year not just with Ronaldo’s goals, but with major contributions from a bevy of other stars. Torres can keep Liverpool in the title hunt (which he already has) but its unlikely he can win it for them without more help. Steven Gerrard should be back soon, Javier Mascherano looks like he has returned to form, and Alberto Aquilani is close to making his debut. But the January transfer window opens in nine weeks – Liverpool need more attacking options this year. They may never have another player having as good a season as Torres is now.


One Response

  1. whoa whoa whoa Ken. Dismissing Drogba with one line is a bit premature. True he is temperamental, but these days are becoming few and far between. Most importantly, his 5 assists proves that when he does not score he has the ability to help those around him put the ball in the back of the net. That being said, he has already scored 8 goals in ten games and won 3 penalty kicks, of which he took none. (I realize stevie g takes pool’s, but still). Torres is great, but an in form Drogba is better.

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