The transfer window slammed shut yesterday. What began last Thursday ended late Monday—Torres is gone. That short time exposed us to twists, turns and helicopter rumors but two thoughts stayed constant in my mind: enough drama already and this is a dishonor to the fans.
The two thoughts are inextricably linked because it has been such a tumultuous season. To be more exact, it has been a tumultuous two seasons. Have we seen the last of the drama? Is the exodus of Fernando Torres the full stop to the drama of ownership concerns, sacked managers, court rooms, poor poor performances, or frantic, record breaking transfers? It is probably naïve to think so. Some of these events are just part of the game but we have recently experienced the extreme.
In talking with other fans, many have expressed the belief that more players might leave this summer. That’s what I thought Torres would do—wait until summer, see out LFC and the fans through the season, then be on his way. His on-pitch demeanor has seemed to, at the very least, hint at dissatisfaction. But who could have predicted this move and in with few days left in the transfer window? What message does this send to fans?
While I think it is in poor taste to burn an LFC jersey because a player departs, I absolutely heard the message those fans were sending (even if you think they were prompted by media): you burned us, we’re going to burn you. No matter when Torres left there was always going to be animosity expressed towards him and his decision. In this instance, however, it is clearly the manner in which he chose to leave that intensifies matters. Given his past statements about Liverpool, how he’s embraced the city and LFC fans have embraced him, it’s impossible to imagine fans reacting with anything other than anger. What has happened to loyalty and honesty? Do we expect players to stay at a club their entire career? I certainly do not even though the idea appeals to my sentimental side. Do we expect people to show some class and sophistication? I’m not sure anymore; I’ve become too cynical on human intelligence and behavior but I think we should expect it. So, how should Torres have handled this situation?
We are all aware Torres made a statement that he would not play for another Premier League team but put that aside. Everyone’s desires and circumstances change in life including players who have no doubt experienced the stress of the last two seasons as well. They have life goals, be it a financial goal, award or otherwise. Let’s focus only on this situation. After all the drama, could he have not released a statement saying something like, “I want to thank Liverpool, its citizens and the fans of LFC for their support. It is time for me to move on in my career but I appreciate the support I’ve been shown.” The message is not any different—he would still be leaving—but would your opinion of him be better because of it? Would it have shown him to be a properly-spined human being?