Tag Archives: Kenny Dalglish

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Liverpool's Kenny Dalglish defends Andy Carroll, Santos' Neymar confesses admiration for Barcelona and Lionel Messi: Morning's Top Stories — The Beautiful Game (@iWorldCup) November 20, 2011

Fernando Torres – Mystery?

59 million Euro and still no goal for Chelsea. While in Liverpool the supporters can’t hide their smiling faces, Chelsea fans and officials are wondering what is going on with Fernando Torres. Coming from Liverpool in January, he hasn’t scored in 11 games. Roman Abramovich’s face is getting longer and longer as the season goes on. Carlo Ancelotti even “admitted” a mistake in bringing Torres from the beginning in Chelsea’s Champions League game against Manchester United.

So, what is going on? Torres can’t play anymore? He lost his ability to play soccer? As it always is when players, coaches or teams are in crisis, there is quite a number of people who knew that (in this case) Torres is not as good as the press made him. Looking at his game at this time, if you wouldn’t know better, it almost looks like it. However, in my opinion, Torres is still a world class player. Yes, he is completely out of his game, nothing works. There are quite a few reasons for that. Some easy to understand, other’s need a little understanding and experience of the subject.
Let’s go back to the Euro 2008. Torres just made Spain European Champ with his goal against Germany in the final. He came back from the Euro 2008 and had a good season in Liverpool with awesome games, against Manchester United in March of 2009 for example. At one point, he caught an injury and Liverpool, including coach Benitez, a crisis. As it often is the case, Torres is not the first player that faces a problem to find form after injury and other issues, the dynamics take over and the entire “run” comes to a stop and all of the sudden nothing works. The pressure is increasing and one thing comes to the other and the problems mount. In between is the world cup, where Torres got injured again. While, like every other player, he was happy the world cup and the long (unsuccessful) season was over and he could rest, the new injury just put him back again. Injured, only a short break after the world cup, no real good preparation for the new season and a lot of pressure in Liverpool to do better than a year before. It didn’t look promising.

Playing Europa League wasn’t good enough for anyone at Anfield Road. Pressure, injury, only a short break after world cup and a team that is actually not a top class Premier League team is a recipe for disaster in an environment like Liverpool. By the way, Torres is not the only one that is suffering from loss of performance. As the best example you can use Bayern Munich and a few players of that team, including Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery.

To keep your cool in a situation like that is difficult. You want to perform, you can perform, but everything seems to be against the team and the player. Liverpool wasn’t able to stay in touch with the top five in order to play for Champions League glory in the next season. Torres, and a few others became nervous. While “the others” didn’t have offers, Torres had one, Chelsea! Was it the right thing to do? In my eyes not. It wasn’t good for both, club (Chelsea) and player. The only one that made good in that deal was Liverpool. With that, I want to bring your attention to my blog post from early January, “Liverpool and the p…”! In that post I talked about luck in soccer and that sometimes luck comes back for some incredible reason. In this case, Torres leaving the club served as a turning point for Liverpool. Deep inside, this freed the team and club of pressure and somehow things that already started to get better with Kenny Dalglish, turned the curve for good. Personally, I was hoping it would have been something else and it would have turned out good for both, Torres and Liverpool. I think he had a good platform at Anfield Road. All it took was the turn of the tide, somehow.

If you can blame Torres for anything, it is the bad advice he took. If he acted on his own, he made a wrong decision. This, however, can be made up very quick. Soccer is a fast pace business, what happened yesterday is worth nothing tomorrow. Liverpool is already out of the woods, Torres will score goals again, I am sure of that, and Chelsea will play Champions league again next year. If that is enough for the “ownership” of Chelsea, is a different story. There could be the next storm coming up for Fernando Torres. Back in January, I gave Liverpool the advice to stay cool and have a beer, the tide will turn. Now I am giving Torres advice: Forget about yourself for the rest of the season, rest mentally and just support the team. Try to shift your focus on something else. Go to the coach and ask him to only bring you after 60 minutes and start with the others until you get your game back. Your game is scoring goals, and once you hit again, many more will follow. Until then, you need to get out of the firing line. Small example, Wayne Rooney and his crisis after some “private matters” earlier this season.

Liverpool and the “p…”!

Manchester United vs Liverpool 1:0, 01/09/2011

Soccer is life! Who of the Liverpool supporters would disagree with this statement? Ownership discussions, issues with the coaches, all kind of other stuff and, most important, no results. Legend Kenny Dalglish took over and the move created high hopes for the FA-Cup game on 01/09/2011. After 90 minutes the result displayed nothing else than the results before: Empty hands and watching the coming rounds in the cup from the sideline.
Soccer is a game of physical fitness, strategy, desire, will power and trust in your own abilities. Everyone who has ever played the game knows that and is operating accordingly. However, there seems to be a rule the Liverpool supporters experience first hand: Once you sit in “p…”, the ladder rolls up the hill (one can express it a little milder and say, they just have no luck). The game just started and you are already behind. Penalty kick for nothing, 1:0 United. Not enough with that, the most important player sees a red card for “not much”. If you go back some time, to the more successful time of the Club, both situations would have resulted in a corner (at the most) and a yellow card. But because it is Liverpool at the current stage, it is the game deciding goal and finishing the game with 10. Adds to the frustration.
Looking at the game, ManU wasn’t that much better, but they sit on the other side of the hill. Everything they do right now works. Or, if you want, the “p…” rolls where its supposed to roll. So, what can Liverpool do? Man, if I would know, I would be the best paid coach in the World. Well, here is the best I can say: Sit down, lay back, accept the situation you are in (the “p…” rolls up the hill) , write-off the season, have a beer together, keep practicing as hard as you do, play the game as good as you can and, wait. Sometimes soon some ridiculous event will occur that will help you win a game and luck will come back. Yes, sometimes it is that easy in soccer. I admit, this is not something you can openly state in front of the press, so, blaming the referee or the weather is a good way out. Keep trying, it will get better again.