Gary Neville has made some odd comments about Fernando Torres ahead of Saturday’s game between Liverpool and Manchester United.
Between 2007 and 2011, Torres and Neville consistently came up against each other in crunch clashes between the rivals – predominantly when Rafa Benitez and Sir Alex Ferguson were in charge.
Torres enjoyed his peak years at Liverpool and was considered by many as the best centre-forward in the world during this stint, but Neville reckons that if his supply line was stopped, he wasn’t all that.
“Yeah. Cut the channel off,” Neville told Carragher, when asking how much the striker came up in Fergie’s team-talks.., adding: “I have to say about the couple of experiences I had playing against him.
“One playing for Spain in the Bernabeu where I thought, ‘wow, what a player,’ and he obviously was and is an incredible player.
“But we always felt like there was something missing, there was something just not quite right.
“He’d had that unbelievable partnership with Steven Gerrard, [Xabi] Alonso, passing balls through to him, but I felt at this point he might just have been going over the top a little bit.
“People had worked him out a little bit in terms of how to stop him.”
From our own memory, Torres used to have his way with United… Nemanja Vidic, supposedly the Premier League’s best defender, used to get bullied by the forward twice a season – most notably in the infamous 4-1 thrashing at Old Trafford in 2009.
Torres scored two other goals against United the following season, one in a win at Anfield, and the other during a defeat away.
So for Neville to claim the striker was ‘missing something’ during this period is a little harsh!
Although in fairness, when Torres left for Chelsea and didn’t have Gerrard and Alonso behind him, his goals and form dried up.
How much that was due to him losing his legs and confidence of course is up for debate…
Quotes from Soccer Box, cited in the Mirror