Tag Archives: fernando torres

The £50 Million Goal

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I hate Fernando Torres… Seriously.

Even in my infancy as a Chelsea fan I’ve been able to transfer some of my New York uncalled for hatred towards a soccer player that has resembled Carl Pavano more so than Wayne Rooney.

When Chelsea decided to pay a ginormous transfer fee to get Torres from Liverpool last January I became skeptical almost immeadiately.

I wondered aloud why did Chelsea need another striker? They had Didier Drogba coming off of a career year, vets like Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda and young guys like Soloman Kalou and Daniel Sturridge coming up.

Paying a kings ransom for an up and down, yet immensely talented player like Torres seemed like overkill. It was like watching the Yankees trading for Alex Rodriguez, we didn’t need him but hey you can’t have too much offense right?

Well once Torres hit Stamford Bridge the offense must have been left behind in Liverpool. To say that Torres has underachieved with the Blues is like saying the Rangers giving Wade Redden $39 million dollars was a slight mistake.

Torres has scores 4 goals in 16 months with of premier league play with Chelsea… 4. Including FA Cup and Champions league action he’s scored 13.

The man who has the highest transfer fee ever has been a disaster on the field. Either Torres has had the worst luck in the world or maybe he really is just a bum.

Ever since his arrival Chelsea dropped from first to third in last year’s EPL table and is currently sixth. To compound things he has been outscored by the man who he replaced and is now a substitute in most matches that being Drogba.

Hell in it’s semifinals match against defending champion Barcelona Drogba scored the only goal to give Chelsea the advantage in aggregate.

So in entering Tuesday’s second match against Barca you had to figure that Drogba would once again outshine Torres and lead Chelsea to an unexpected appearance in the Champion League final.

And then divine intervention took place.

At the 80 minute mark with Barcelona leading 2-1 (and tied in aggregate scoring) manager Roberto Di Matteo subbed out Drogba for Torres in an effort to get some fresh legs on the field for a late push.

With Chelsea on the brink after losing John Terry to a red card and a bad foul taken by Raul Meireles deep in their defense end somehow the ball found Torres with nothing but green grass and Barca goalie Victor Valdes in front of him.

With one quick move and a leap Torres found the back of the net and Chelsea found its way to Abromovich’s much wanted Champions League final.

Ain’t that a trip.

It was easily the greatest and most memorable goal in Torres’s career. In ten seconds Torres took all of the bad karma that he had gathered since coming to Chelsea, all of the disappointment, the underachieving and poor press and buried in victorious fashion leaving the Blues sideline jubilated and Camp Nou stunned.

It was what Abromovich had envisioned when he signed Torres coming to pass. After 16 months of disappointment, sorrow and despair Fernando Torres finally arrived as a member of Chelsea FC and proved he was worth the hefty price paid for his transfer from Liverpool.

Am I exaggerating? Maybe a little. But coming through in the clutch goes a long way for any athlete with his perception and fan base.

Torres was facing pressure to succeed and was viewed as a disappointment by most everyone around the game. By lifting Chelsea to the Champions League final Torres has excersized a lot of those demons and has given himself another chance to prove his worth on a bigger stage.

If Chelsea defeats Bayern Munich in the final in late May we will look back at the Torres goal in Camp Nou as the defining moment in their run.

It was the moment that sprung Chelsea to an elusive title, that makes them one of the premier clubs in all of football and means that £50 million was the proper price to spend on a mercurial forward who had seen better days in his career but finally proved he was worth the money.

I wish I could say the same for Pavano.


Random Thoughts Vol. 3

OH GOD THERE'S MORE?!?!

Beginning of the month, been watching a lot of sports… yep, it’s time for another round of random thoughts.

Fernando Torres has scored one goal since being acquired by Chelsea in January… one. I always pick the best teams to follow don’t I?

The Yankees wouldn’t trade for Ubaldo Jimenez due to concerns about his velocity. In a possible trade the Rockies would’ve wanted Ivan Nova as part of the deal… Jimenez hasn’t made it past the 5th inning in 3 of his 7 starts with the Indians, Nova hasn’t lost since June… I think Cashman got that one right.

Losing to a FCS school should be like relegation in soccer shouldn’t it? Hi Oregon State.

Me at 8:30 pm last Saturday of the Boise State-Georgia game: “those Georgia uniforms are hideous.”

Me 48 hours  while watching the Maryland-Miami game: “those are the worst uniforms I have ever seen.”

Nyjer Morgan called Albert Pujols “Alberta,” does he realize Pujols is 4 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier than him?

Oregon State should probably leave this out of the recruiting package.

Baylor is mad that Texas A&M is leaving the Big 12 and possibly breaking up the conference leaving them in football limbo. Somewhere Rice, TCU and SMU are uttering to themselves karma is a mother.

Wait a minute, Kevin Durant has tattoos?

At least David Garrard and Byron Leftwich have something in common to be mad about.

The way that analysts were criticizing his QB skills you would’ve swore Tim Tebow was black.

Appalachian wants to join the FBS… after getting drubbed 66-13 by Virginia Tech they should reconsider.

Tom Brady said he would welcome back Randy Moss with open arms. I’m not saying that’s in some way related to Chad Ochocinco… but I’m saying.

So if John Isner wins the U.S. Open is his career a bigger success than Andy Roddick’s?

Utah State almost beat Auburn, BYU beat Ole Miss, and Utah beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl years ago… maybe the SEC should stop playing teams from Utah.

Stephen Strasburg’s back, and he looks good.

(honestly it didn’t matter if the Nats lost that game or not, all that mattered was if Strasburg looked like he was the same pitcher he was before he left or not and he was. His movement and velocity were pretty darn good, he made everything look effortless and dominated a decent Dodgers lineup. If I’m the Nats and I look at a rotation with Strasburg, a rejuvenated Chien-Ming Wang, Jordan Zimmerman and John Lannon at bats like Ryan Zimmerman and Mike Morse then I’m feeling good about next year. that is if Jayson Werth can hit with that $18 million per year salary on his back.)

That Carlos Beltran deal isn’t working out so well for the Giants… shocker.

Who’s the next program to get stung by the NCAA? I’ll take South Carolina.

I’m still blinded by Maryland’s uniforms.

TIki Barber is shocked that no one threw him a bone this offseason. I mean who wouldn’t want a 36 year-old running back that hasn’t played in 5 years with tons of public baggage?

Ndamukong Suh is not dirty, he’s just playing football the way Deacon Jones would like.

It might be time for Tiger Woods to consider new career options.

This hasn't gone exactly as planned.

I will not talk about A.J. Burnett, I will not talk about A.J. Burnett, I will not talk about A.J. Burnett.

Aaron Rodgers called out Mark Sanchez for his GQ pictures. What can Sanchez respond with? Rodgers just won a Super Bowl he can say what he wants.

I think we might actually have a season without Brett Favre.

I have a feeling Luke Fickell might be more conservative than Jim Tressel.

By the way, how does Tressel get a six game suspension from the NFL for his NCAA violations?

(Goodell needs to keep college problems in college. Their penalties don’t transfer to the NFL. Tressel quit/ got fired by the Ohio State University so his 5 game suspension is pretty much obliterated. The fact that Tressel and Terrelle Pryor for that matter have carry over suspensions from college shows that maybe Goodell has too much power when it come to these disciplinary actions and should some of that power stripped. And it will be… in ten years with a new CBA. Good job NFLPA.)

Doesn’t it seem like Lance Briggs and the Bears have been beefing since 2006?

Apparently the NBA is making strides to getting a CBA done real soon. How does Wilson Chandler feel about that?

If the Philadelphia Phillies don’t win the World Series it would be a Greek tragedy.

I have a few choice words for how the Baltimore Orioles handled the makeup games with the New York Yankees and the results of those games. I can’t say them on this blog but I’ll let your mind wander.

After all of the controversy surrounding Ohio State this year how do three more players get suspended for taking benefits? I should’ve went to Ohio University.

I expected more from the Winnipeg Jets jerseys.

Mike Fisher you lucky son of a gun.

At least they weren’t Maryland’s.

(you know what’s even scarier than what we witnessed on Monday night? There are more than 12 color combinations that Under Armour has in store for this year. Under Armour is based in Baltimore, Maryland and I guess they are doing to the Terps what Nike did to the Oregon Ducks… except Oregon’s outfits look extremely cool. Oregon’s designs have flair and eye popping designs, Maryland’s are a horror show. There was way too much of the Maryland flag for any human being to take. A message to UA: emulation is the sincerest form of flattery but leave the flashy stuff to Oregon. By the way Maryland’s football team is going to make some noise this year and you should pay more attention to Danny O’Brian than his jersey.)

What Ana Ivonivic could’ve been.

Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly broke up… hide your girlfriends New York.

NHL training camps start this week…

That mean we’re a month a away from Rachel McAdams shots at Vancouver games and Carrie Underwood at Predators games.

God I love hockey.


What’s Torres Really Worth?

Fernando Torres brings great talent to Chelsea, and lots of baggage.

Chelsea plays Liverpool on Sunday in a matchup of two of the EPL’s historic franchises. Fernando Torres will be the main spectacle of the afternoon as he brings his game, which has gotten back on track of late, to Stamford Bridge to aid The Blues who are looking to make a late push for the Premier League title.

 

Yeah that’s right, Torres went from The Reds to The Blues and four days later takes on his former club in primetime. Oh the drama. Drama doesn’t even begin to discuss the last five days of events.

 

Chelsea acquired Torres from Liverpool for 50 million pounds in the third highest transfer in the history of the sport.  It was a move that Chelsea had been looking to make to make their roster younger and deeper for years to come once aging stars like Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka leave.

 

Upon his arrival Torres had made controversial statements one by one. Makes you wonder if he hired LeBron James’ publicist.

 

He said that couldn’t wait for Liverpool to return to the top of table in the EPL and wait out their rebuilding process under new owner John Henry. He claimed that he never loved Liverpool like he did his previous club of Atletico Madrid stating that “…the romance in football has gone. It’s a different thing now. People are coming and leaving. When you are joining a club you want to do the best for yourself and that club and that’s all.” He made it clear that he wanted to play for Chelsea two weeks before the closing of the transfer window and that the “broken promises” made by management were the reason for it. In other words the guy was a little tired of life in Anfield.

 

You can’t blame him though. They sold two of their top players (Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano) to La Liga and previous owner Tom Hicks brought the franchise down to new depths with their prolonged open sale of the team and lack of progress.

 

However, dude, do it on the field and not in the papers.

 

Torres says that he respects the fans of Liverpool and that he wouldn’t celebrate if he scored a goal tomorrow. Yet if you respect them so much why run the team into the ground and claim you never kissed the badge of The Reds? Fans burned Torres’ merchandise outside of the stadium (like James) and in future visits they might not be so kind to him upon his entry onto the field.

Torres didn't to hang around for the rebirth of Liverpool.

Here’s what I get from Torres. He’s the Spanish LeBron. A super talented player who can control a game whenever he wants and can single handedly lead a team to victory, yet doesn’t like the responsibility of it all.

 

He leaves Liverpool right as the club is making a big push up the EPL table and is close to a Europa league spot. He leaves right as Liverpool acquired a great goal scorer in Luiz Suarez from Ajax to be his right-hand man. Their schedule for the rest of the year is more than favorable as they don’t face Man U., Man City or Chelsea after Sunday.

 

So why would you leave a situation that looks like it getting better to be a front-runner on a better team?

 

That’s who he is. He doesn’t want to be the guy. He wants to be a big name that scores a lot of goals but isn’t counted on to lead a team. he’s going to enjoy being behind Drogba, Anelka, Florent Malouda and John Terry in the same way that James enjoys being a part of a large group with Wade and Bosh. However, what happens when they leave?

 

As a Chelsea fan I like the acquisition because we needed a shot in the arm offense and we needed to get younger past Solomon Kalou and Daniel Sturridge. What I don’t like is that he’s a guy that you cant count on in tough times, and seeing as how Chelsea just got out of a horrendous 9-game rut it makes me wonder  if that were to happen again how much worse it would be with Torres there.

 

So tomorrow morning the Fernando Torres era begins at Stamford Bridge against is old mates. It’ll start with all of the cheers, fanfare, glitz and glamour that it should with an acquisition of this nature. Yet I wonder how this will all play out in the future? After all we all know Torres won’t be kissing the seal of Chelsea anytime soon. Maybe his allegiances will lie elsewhere and maybe in quicker fashion than his 3-½ year stint at Anfield.