Will Tidey - El Nino terminado? Fernando Torres on trial
Published: 16 Sep 2010 - 06:58:37
For all their exposure to stadium crowds and huge television audiences, Premier League footballers remain a sheltered and insulated bunch.
Behind the scenes egos are rigorously massaged, and everything within reason done to ensure these millionaire superstars have very little to worry about aside from how they'll spend last week's wages.
This cotton-wool culture negates much of the negativity we perceive from a media perspective - and cocoons footballers in a world where everybody loves them and they can do wrong.
For Fernando Torres Liverpool football club have played the role of doting parents in recent months. The psychological blow of a woeful World Cup, from a personal performance perspective, has been countered by a summer of affirmation at Anfield, and an outpouring of love from the fans who adore him.
Liverpool begged him to stay. Roy Hodgson begged him to stay. And so it was.
But is it fair to suggest the Spaniard's failings in South Africa played a role in his decision? Let's be honest, if you're low on confidence is the pressure of justifying a massive transfer fee really a sensible responsibility to take on?
Equally, would Liverpool have got full value from Torres after a widely-acknowledged dip in his share price?
Whatever the context behind El Nino's decision, the 26-year-old has done little to silence the critics this season. A winning goal against West Brom made a statistical impact, but belied the underlying problem.
Torres, on the evidence of what we've seen, appears to have lost all confidence in his abilities. The striker has returned from knee surgery and left the best parts of his game on the operating table.
It's as if the real Torres is locked away in a basement somewhere and a League Two look-a-like has taken his place. That's the problem with being a sensational footballer - if your standards drop everybody notices.
What happens next will depend largely on how Torres copes with the very public battering of his form, and reacts to the notion of the very same manager who begged him stay having to justify his place in the team.
If Torres continues to misfire Hodgson will be faced with a serious dilemma. Leave him out and risk further damage to his confidence, or trust him and risk missed points in an unforgiving league.
Based on the medical expertise available to footballers these days, you have to assume Torres is physically ready. But perhaps the injury that curtailed his season last year left a lasting legacy on his confidence.
For Liverpool's sake, let's hope El Nino gets back in the goals quickly. And what better stage than Old Trafford to make a point.
- FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:Will Tidey
- Will Tidey writes on sport for CNN, Eurosport-Yahoo! and Bleacher Report, amongst others. His first book, 'Life with Sir Alex', an account of Sir Alex Ferguson's 25-year reign at Manchester United, is set for release in October this year. Pre-order it now at http://tinyurl.com/6xzl62b. And follow Will on Twitter here - www.twitter.com/willtidey
Previous Blog Posts
- It's now or never for Arsene Wenger's Arsenal
- My Premier League predictions for the new season
- Twitter is the closest we get to modern footballers
- Why the Premier League needs Mario Balotelli
- The Five Greatest Premier League Transfers
- Levy should cut his losses and let Modric leave
- False Arsenomics have put Arsenal on course for mediocrity
- After Goal-line technology, what's next?
- Villas-Boas has been mentored for greatness
- Optimism is once again through the roof at Anfield
- Ferguson's United re-lay their foundations
- Time to talk up England's chances at Euro 2012
- The best Champions League final build-up...EVER
- Kaka to Kettering: Transfer Gossip Rules the Web
- Please corruption, take the 2022 World Cup away from Qatar
- Why Manchester United will beat Barcelona at Wembley
- Lionel Messi unlocks the door to greatness
- Why Arsenal and Tottenham should sell Fabregas and Bale
- Real Madrid could whitewash the El Clasico World Series
- Ferguson's United have rediscovered their sense of timing
- Can Bernard Mullin bring back the 1980s at Everton?
- Wilshere must be trusted to spark England's evolution
- Are Liverpool fans ready for the Andy Carroll era?
- All hail Harry Redknapp, the next manager of England
- Charlie Sheen shows Rooney and Cole how it's done
- Smalling could give Ferguson a big decision to make
- Arsenal took Spurs' feat in Milan and raised it
- There are no real winners in the Olympic Stadium debate
- Gary Neville was the ultimate fan on the pitch
- Tekaboo Andy Gray and Richard Keys
- The legendary New York Cosmos turn to Cantona
- Is Sepp Blatter right about the Premier League?
- Tottenham have everything to gain from Beckham
- 2010: A Footballing Odyssey
- Can Arsenal win the title without beating their rivals?
- Alan Pardew rolls up at the Newcastle United circus
- FIFA get ready to play God for World Cups 2018 and 2022
- Chelsea without Lampard are a ship without a rudder
- Free-flowing French give England a lesson in progress
- Cautious City suffocated the Manchester derby
- Mourinho's Madrid are everything you'd expect and more
- Meanwhile, in a Galaxy far far away
- Jack Wilshere has the talent to define his generation
- Ferguson revelation could threaten Rooney's United future
- Red Sox story is the stuff of Liverpool dreams
- True fans couldn't care less about tactics
- Manchester City v Chelsea: The Future's blue
- El Nino terminado? Fernando Torres on trial
- Stuart Pearce represents the future for England