Sunday, 4 May 2008

Birth of the next Anfield legend?

After witnessing the truly outstanding debut season of Spanish striker Fernando Torres at Liverpool this season, it begs the question as to just how great the man known as 'El Nino' can become.
Can he become a Liverpool legend to follow in the likes of Dalglish, Keegan, Fowler and Owen? In truth he has the ability to surpass the achievements of them all. This season, with one game still to play he has notched 32 goals in all competitions. This, when taken in context with how poor Liverpool's season has been, is a quite staggering achievement. He has taken to the English league like a duck to water and has rammed it in the face of any critics who thought that he may struggle to adapt to the physical nature of the game in this country.
The moment that comes to mind for me that summed up that Torres had the qualities to succeed, was not an outstanding goal, but when he stood up to John Terry early on in the season. Terry is without doubt a centre half with brilliant intimadatory qualities and a lesser player might have backed down in the face of such ferocity. Not Fernando Torres. He laughed in Terry's face and then scored the sublime goal, rounding the Chelsea defence and slotting calmly past Petr Cech in the Chelsea goal.
Another aspect that sets 'El Nino' apart from the rest is that he is without doubt, a big game player. Some players have been known to bully the small teams but then when the big match comes along are known to crawl into their shells. Torres has been outstanding, carrying Liverpool virtually on his own through the group phases of the Champions League, and then maintaining that form all the way through the competition, until they were eventually knocked out by Chelsea in the semi finals.
The flmaboyant striker has stated many times in interviews that he could see himself finishes his career at the club he now calls home. This will be music to the ears of Liverpool fans around the globe, whilst a collective groan can almost be heard from Premiership defenders up and down the country.
The scary prospect is that he is only 24 years of age. It is still impossible to tell how good this man can become. However if he carries on scoring at the rate he has, and stays at Anfield for the next ten years Ian Rush's all time goalscoring record could be at stake.
The Anfield fans sing 'You'll Never Walk Alone' and if Fernando Torres keeps on playing the way he has done Liverpool supporters will ensure that he never walks alone.