Fernando Torres Flourishes At Liverpool While Thierry Henry Struggles Without Arsenal

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Peter brings the latest Two Men Enter… by comparing a surging Fernando Torres against a flailing Thierry Henry.

Fernando Torres or Thierry Henry? That’s right sports readers, it’s a Carling Cup midweek and frankly I’m fed up of reading about how everyone loves Jose now that he’s gone and how everyone feels sorry for Jol now that he’s going to join Mourinho on the doll.

I was watching the Barcelona vs. Real Zaragosa last night and one thing was evident, Thierry Henry couldn’t buy a goal right now. He’s making all the same runs as he was and play the same as he was in England but when it comes to the one on one or the shot from distance, they seem to either hit the keeper or go hopelessly wide. This isn’t to say he hasn’t contributed to goals as he’s come up with assists and you can’t measure the benefits of having a player like Henry in your team as he can take 2 or 3 defenders away and create openings for his team-mates. I wouldn’t say he was the same player as he was last season for Arsenal but he doesn’t seem to have lost his touch or speed it’s just a matter of confidence.

That and the Arsene Wenger factor, a manager who gave him license to play anywhere on the field and express himself freely and it’s not to say that Rijkaard isn’t allowing him to express himself but you get the feeling that at Arsenal it’s encouraged while at other clubs it’s just not discouraged! You also measure a player’s success by how well he’s done in previous years and his achievements prior to joining a club and for Henry he’s had to live upto the expectations he created for himself. He arrived at Arsenal, a Juventus reject lacking in confidence and went onto become the most prolific Arsenal player ever, scaring the life out of opposing defenders with his pace, passion and finishing touch.

Fernando Torres on the other hand has been attributed with the aforementioned qualities of late. His performances this season have had defenders very much on the back foot and even the most athletic have had difficulty keeping up with him. So much so that he’s drawn comparisons to Henry himself and Liverpool legend Ian Rush which goes a long way to indicate the sort of impression he’s made already. Torres came with a great reputation but not with the greatest goal record and so far this season he’s shown that given the service he has a cool head in front of goal and can also take on defenders. Questions were asked when Liverpool shelled out 20 million pounds for him and they’ll always require answering but so far so good for Senor Torres. He isn’t a stranger to pressure, as back in Madrid he was expected to score all the goals and win games by himself along with captaining the side at a very young age.

Admittedly I had my doubts about him as it’s always a risk when a player comes from abroad but he’s come over with his girlfriend and it appears he’s settled in well unlike Henry who left after divorcing his wife. Although both are footballers it’s important to note that you have to deal with what life throws your way. Yes they get paid the money to be professionals but even the best of them suffer like the rest of us mortals! Before the transfer window had opened I think the majority of people would have told you they would have preferred Henry to Torres but after seeing El Nino strut his stuff I wouldn’t change him for the world. He’s a top quality striker that if given a good run of games can match Henry’s scoring record!