Has the Spanish international acted with a complete lack of respect towards both his Anfield employers and the club’s shell-shocked supporters.
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As Chelsea prepare to test Liverpool’s resolve with an improved offer in the next 24 hours for want away striker Fernando Torres, fans have been quick to voice their disappointment.
Former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit, Phil Thompson, speaking on Gillette Soccer Saturday, was damning of Torres’ conduct and sees it as a “complete lack of respect towards Kenny Dalglish”. Few could vehemently deny this undermining of authority.
What has most disgusted Liverpool fans, aside from the transfer request itself, is the silence following Chelsea’s reported interest earlier in the week. No statement of intent was forthcoming as doubts grew as to where the Spanish strikers’ loyalties lay.
Posting on social network sites and websites, one Liverpool fan said “I’m gutted. He’s had nothing but love from the fans and this is how he repays us”. The feeling of resentment towards the Anfield striker was not in short supply. These were sentiments echoed from many fans of the Merseyside club.
Gestures such as Torres’ only serves to alienate fans and the faith shown in their players with loyalty becoming an almost archaic attribute in the modern day footballer.
As unfair as this may be on some players who have remained committed to their respective clubs for a prolonged period, we have now seen Torres join Wayne Rooney, of Manchester United, and Carlos Tevez, of Manchester City, in asking for a move away from their current clubs.
Rooney cited a vision of decline at Old Trafford as his excuse for wanting out, whilst Tevez complained of being homesick.
Torres has yet to give a reason for wanting to leave but one can only assume that he has become disenchanted with life at Anfield. If this is the reason then the timing could not have been worse.
Liverpool fans may have forgiven Torres had he demanded a move when the club was in turmoil and under the ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett, but he didn’t. Instead he chose a time in which the club has agreed a £22.8m fee with Ajax for Luis Suarez, a signal of real intent from the club, and a time in which the club appears to be getting on the right track to salvage their season.
The usual conspiracy theory following a transfer request is that of the player hankering for more money. If this is to be the case then, yet again, it seems poor timing on Torres’ part as his performances have been a shadow of his previous two seasons.
One thing is for certain though, Liverpool fans are not best pleased with their number nine. They feel betrayed, disrespected and let down. Not so long ago Torres had said that he would not play for another Premier League team as ‘ it was the least he owed to the fans’. In this instance they are joined by United fans and, to a lesser extent, City fans in this feeling.
Nothing, it seemed, could end the love affair between Liverpool fans and Fernando Torres but the romance is in severe danger of ending.
Should Torres still be a Liverpool player on Tuesday morning and Dalglish doesn’t deem recent events to be a distraction then he should prepare himself for an extremely frosty reception at Anfield on Wednesday evening.