Monday, 19 September 2011

Lay off Nando

Dear reader, if you are rampant in liking the anti-Torres pages on Facebook, and revel in his failures, this post is not for you... is what I would've said, but scratch that. This post is made for you.  Just you. Not aimed at you in particular though, but at the people being paid to 'write' about football.

My goodness, it has become very fashionable to make fun of Fernando Torres, hasn't it? So much so we do it even after he's scored.

He was in his element throughout this game and the last. His work rate, touch, reading of passes from midfield and skill were top class. He was unlucky to be denied a goal against Leverkusen (still got two assists) and brilliantly finished Anelka's pass straight from second half kick-off at Old Trafford. He was Chelsea's most dangerous player in both games, at the heart of two very good performances, trying very hard to be both provider and finisher. And most importantly, doing utmost justice to his selection.

Yet, all the headlines about Torres have his name and 'personal hell' or 'disaster' or something similar in the same sentence after last night's game. Why? He ran United's defence ragged, especially in that second half. One could feel something was going to happen each time he got the ball, and that isn't a feeling people have had lately.

His touch of class for the goal was not a disaster. He wasn't undergoing personal hell after outrunning Jones to lay it on a plate for Ramires, or skinning both centre backs only to be denied by de Gea. He wasn't having a torrid time picking off Anderson's loose balls or tracking back and tackling.

In fact, I might actually go on to say he wasn't as bad as he's being made out to be. Very good, even!

No idiot will say he's been in anything resembling good form since he's signed. But it's absolutely outrageous, the things that are being said about Torres after his two best games in a Blue shirt (some may say, any shirt since 2009). No idiot will say Torres is undergoing personal hell after two games in which he's contributed a goal and two assists, which could've been so much more.

Is it because he missed an open net? Diego Forlan did it for Man United against Juventus. Didn't stop him becoming great. Pele did it too. Name is familiar isn't it? In fact, lots of notable players have done it. And not all of them scored in those games either.

Remember, this is coming after the same game where Wayne Rooney tried his best John Terry impression from the spot, only ending up looking worse than the 'original'. And scored the same number of goals as Fernando Torres in the match.

No denying that his miss could well go on to become Blooper of the Decade, but to say it defined his performance based on one poor kick of the ball is a travesty of journalism. I understand just how much people want him to fail (It does make for rather easy journalism, see. Appreciate Torres? God forbid! Better you than me!), but sometimes credit must go where it is due.

I end my post/rant here (if you feel it's a rant, don't bother telling me, I know myself that this isn't the most composed piece of work to come off my keyboard :P )