Liverpol boss Rafa Benetiz last night told the media that if superstar Spaniard Fernando Torres was not injured as much as he has been this season, then Liverpool would not have slipped so far behind Premiership leaders Manchester United:
The worst thing has been the injuries to Torres. Maybe if Torres had not been injured so much things would be different.
He has been our main striker and scored a lot of goals for us last season. And this season could have been totally different with him.
With the former Valencia manager pointing out this very obvious fact, is he admitted that he has made mistakes this season, mainly in the shape of not getting the best out of Robbie Keane and his teams inability to convert chances?
Fernando Torres was, no doubt, the star of Liverpool’s 2007/2008 season. The Athletico Madrid idol arrived in July for a hefty £23 million and proceeded to score 29 goals in all competitions. This season, Liverpool were expected to challenge Manchester United’s dominance at the top of the Barclay’s Premier League, and for a time they did so.
However, Liverpool faltered, having drawn 6 of their 13 league matches at Anfield and also drawing 3 times and losing once since the turn of the year. Benitez has been criticised for failing to break down teams like Stoke, Fulham and West Ham.
Benetiz has pinpointed the lack of a striker of Torres’ quality as the main problem, but that leads to more questions. If you have noone beyond Torres that can score goals, why let Peter Crouch leave? Why let Robbie Keane leave? Why not focus on bringing in a backup striker in the summer instead of endlessly chasing Gareth Barry? Did he seriously think that he could rely on N’gog and Babel to lead the line?
With this admission, Benitez has taken a small step in admitting that the title is lost and that he made mistakes. The summer will tell us if he further admits those mistakes, by bringing in a true squad striker who can bring the title closer to Anfield.
He finished the conference by stating:
The squad is good, but there are too many games when things go wrong and that makes a massive difference
Try telling that to Sir Alex’s defence over the past month, however, Manchester United pulled through. Liverpool need a squad, not a handful of stars.