The fans who embarrassed Liverpool

Last man back February 1, 2011 26

Player idolised by the fans ups and leaves. It hurts. I get it. We all get it. But burning your club’s shirt? No. Just no.

Liverpool fans burn their club's shirt

Burn Fernando, burn

It might have Torres on the back but on the front is the Liverpool crest. Kenny Dalglish said:

Players leave the club and players come in, though more have come into this club than gone. It’s no different now. People move on. The most important thing is the club.

It might be a symbolic gesture but anyone who thinks they’re doing anything other than disrespecting the club is entirely wrong. Protesting citizens setting fire to the flag of a warring neighbour or an oppressive regime, fine. Torres was a Spanish footballer (not genocidal despot) who scored lots of goals for Liverpool FC and on whom they have just made a profit of £30m. I fully understand fans feeling a bit betrayed by him  but to go as far as to set fire to the shirt is frankly pathetic.

Beyond that I think Liverpool have taken two big gambles in Carroll and Suarez. South American strikers who make a Premier League impact are few and far between. Those who have failed more than outnumber those who have not. He has a lot to do to prove he’s not the next Alfonso Alves or Matej Kezman, players who score a bucketload in Holland but flopped miserably in England.

Yes, he looked exciting in the World Cup but then Liverpool fans won’t need reminding that so did El Hadj Diouf before he joined.

As for Carroll, I’m just flabbergasted that anyone can think £35m on him is anything other than massively overpriced. Sure, there’s potential and Liverpool are making an investment in that, but when you spend that kind of money you expect the finished article. He has half a season of decent performances under his belt, a suspect temperament and a history of off-field issues.

It will require Steven Gerrard to supply him with the kind of service he got from Joey Barton at Newcastle. Whatever you think of the cigar-man his dead ball delivery is up there with the best. Dalglish can teach him a lot too but Carroll at £35m+ is the ultimate example of the ‘English tax’. Transfers of English players between two English clubs rarely represent anything like their real value.

In a world where David Villa is sold for £33m, Edin Dzeko for £27m, there’s just no justifcation, other than desperation, for the Andy Carroll fee. I’m not saying he can’t do a job at Anfield, but with that kind of a price kind comes expectation and responsibility and I don’t think Carroll can fulfill either of them well enough.


  1. Maddy February 8, 2011 at 11:03 am -

    What they should’ve done was burn a Torres 9 Chelski shirt. That way they were not disrespecting their club, they were disrespecting an autocratic despot AND they were disrespecting Torres all at once.

  2. Kratik Malhotra February 7, 2011 at 11:15 am -

    Ha ha
    Well written
    Nice article
    Well done Liverpool for their victory yesterday
    Kenny Dalglish is certainly doing a decent job. As for Liverpool, all you wonder is when would the bubble burst. They are playing impressive football but all you wonder is where is the depth?
    As for the Liverpool fans and Kenny Dalglish, have a read:

  3. Torres Shirts for Africa?? February 2, 2011 at 2:37 pm -

    I like the idea of donating the unwanted Torres shirts for the footballers in Africa. We all saw how little they had during the world cup and a Liverpool shirt with Torres on the back would be perfect for someone out there with no kit.

    Have a look at this as an example.

  4. lordofthewing February 2, 2011 at 9:28 am -

    I’m sure that is a can of Lynx in that picture. Surely if it was Liverpool it would have been Asda price?

  5. Jeanmarie Mccroskey February 2, 2011 at 3:15 am -

    Can you believe Torres joined the Blues???

  6. Daniel February 2, 2011 at 12:21 am -

    Last Man Back – Yes it did have the crest on the jersey. I agree it seems silly, but I back Kevin’s post about how they own the shirt and the club already received the profit. If you want to say “oh but they could have donated it to some small African country where they really need it…” well next time you don’t finish a meal, freeze it and pay shipping to a third world country where there are starving children. But that would be irrational, right?

    On another note, we did get Suarez for a decent price, but Torres’ surprise departure didn’t give management enough time to make a sensible bid. Yes we got replacements, but it would have been much better with time. Imagine if that happened to your club.

    As for you saying that the last owner regime is anything but oppressive, think back about how they held out because they wanted more money (And they wanted to take it to court even though G&H knew about how the club could receive administration punishment) . I find it hilarious that you think it was a melodramatic comment when this whole post oozed melodramatic opinions.

    I understand the main point about this post,
    but think you are focused on the wrong idea about this whole drama of a transfer window.

  7. stevethepirate February 1, 2011 at 11:27 pm -

    READ THIS!!!

    These fools burning the shirt are danish FC Copenhagen fans! They are worried because FCK are playin Torres and Chelsea in the Champions League..

  8. Holloway2Holland February 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm -

    Hope you all realise that L’pool now have Andy and Lou as their strikeforce;

  9. BDYeye February 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm -

    Burning the shirt showed a ridiculous lack of perspective. In terms of football transfers this was hardly bitter and drawn out (3 days), a betrayal of Campbell-esque proportions or even a case of a player forcing his way out of the club for a cut-price deal (£50m fer chrissakes!).

    This was a ridiculously good piece of business for a striker with more injuries than goals this season, and one only one great season under his belt. That’s not to deny his quality, or suggest Chelsea got a bad deal, simply that a player who will be worth £50m to them, isn’t worth £50m in a side where he’ll get the square root of eff all service.

    And what big trophies are Liverpool genuinely in with a shot of winning in the next three-five years? Nothing. Chelsea might not be the smartest destination (aging team requiring significant – further – investment), but they’re a lot closer to being competitive than Liverpool.

    Carroll at least offers a gameplan the club can manage (back to the hoofball of Hodgson, tho with the saintly glow of Dalgleish to make it feel different), even if they appeared to have paid around 2.5x his real value.

  10. Last man back February 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm -

    Seems fair, Tom. Thought his ‘Now I know about playing for a big club’ comment was a bit out of order really.

  11. TomD February 1, 2011 at 11:40 am -

    The shirt burning looks staged to me. Shirt burning is always embarrassing and these young lads look as though they’re not the most clued up. Either way, the manner of Torres’ leaving and his subsequent interview leave a bad taste in the mouth and diminish him as a one time Liverpool great. He is the best forward on the planet, but not the most honourable or truthful. He will now always be a statistic in the club’s history – no more than that.

  12. Andy Kerr February 1, 2011 at 11:40 am -

    Starts out as a correctly stated fact but soon turns hypocritical. These players that you doubt have been picked and signed by the manager and they now represent the club so please don’t question Thierry ability until they pull on the shirt and go to work. You are disrespecting the club, the manager and the players. What they cost is in all purpose irellivent, they have been signed by Kenny to do a job and backed by the owners.

  13. Kevin February 1, 2011 at 11:39 am -

    Oppressive-Unjustly inflicting hardship and constraint. . . Seems quite apt to me. It was also done to use in context what is usually reserved for grave political situations, as such emphasising my point that Football is the only situation amoungst Scousers that’d provoke such a response. The only oppressive regimes we know or care about are footballing ones.

  14. Last man back February 1, 2011 at 11:31 am -

    The timing was the cause of this mayhem! If it was in summer, we would have shaken hands and departed leaving with enough time to find the replacement.

    Erm, you had time to buy two strikers.

  15. RedNProud February 1, 2011 at 11:30 am -

    Unbelievable, although I don’t like the way Nando left or his timing, he has given us some great memories and I wish him good luck for the future.

    The idiots who are burning LFC shirts will welcome Andy Carroll, even though he has left newcastle in similar circumstances.

    People have to put things in perspective when it comes to players, clubs and transfers.

  16. Larsen February 1, 2011 at 11:25 am -

    The timing was the cause of this mayhem! If it was in summer, we would have shaken hands and departed leaving with enough time to find the replacement.

  17. Last man back February 1, 2011 at 11:24 am -

    Unlikely, Yinka.

    Kevin, it was hardly an ‘oppressive regime’. It was shit, no question, but that’s a bit melodramatic.

  18. Yinka February 1, 2011 at 11:21 am -

    In addition to my earlier posting, I hope Chelsea never qualifies for the European Champions league while Torres plays for them. That lesson alone will teach players a bit of loyalty.

  19. Warren February 1, 2011 at 11:21 am -

    How is Charlie Adam proven and Carroll not? For me, Adam is a good player when everything is revolving around him (ie for a lower level side). He would not get in the Liverpool team. Great on the ball but cannot run. Pass, yes. Move, no. And please don’t compare him to Molby or Redknapp as they were in a different league.

    Carroll was overpriced but I have no doubt that he will be a top player. He will give us a threat at set pieces, he is quick, strong, scores with both feet and the fact that he has only played 19 league games is a plus. He could become an astonishing player.

  20. Kevin February 1, 2011 at 11:17 am -

    The people who burnt their shirts bought their shirts and in turn paid the handsome wages its bearer received. If they choose to burn it, wash their windows with it, wipe their a*** with it, use it in the cats basket it, it’s their choice. Fact. As for comparing it with people burning the flags of oppressive regimes? The poster obviously doesn’t reside on Merseyside where football takes on far greater significance than any political or other strife that may or may not be going on in the world around them. Couple that with the fact we’ve been living under an oppressive regime of our own over the past 3 & 1/2 years and when the dawn finally rises after the turbulence of it all, the man we’d entrusted with the responsiblity of rebuilding the empire decided he’d join a club the antithesis of everything about the club he’d professed to love. So if putting Fernandos name on their jerseys was a symbol of their love for him then burning them is a symbol of their rejection. Football isn’t a matter of life and death. It’s much more important than that. Maybe not on the Kings Road, but it certainly is on Merseyside. Adios Fernando. Hope you can smell the smoke.

  21. Last man back February 1, 2011 at 11:10 am -

    Mark – as I said I understand the frustration but surely Liverpool fans understand better than anyone the state the club is in at the moment. There’s no chance of making the Champions League this season and Torres left Atletico, the club he really loves, because of lack of CL football (amongst other things). I just think burning the shirt – while surely the actions of a minority – is pathetic.

    Teasle – would Charlie Adam have been a good signing? Another guy with half a good season in the Premier League. Hardly established.

    It might also show that Torres isn’t convinced the Suarez signing.

  22. Yinka February 1, 2011 at 11:08 am -

    As much as I was upset with Torres’s departure, burning a Liverpool FC jersey with his name on it was unnecessary. Liverpool finishing above Chelsea in the league, attaining a European Champions Leage spot, and above all, Torres always finishing on the losing side against Liverpool and never scoring against them. That would be a dish best served cold for Torres.

  23. Mark February 1, 2011 at 11:05 am -

    Yes we all know players come and go but to lose your hero on the last day of the January transfer window in such a manner is really unforgivable. He was supposed to love the club, love the fans, would it have been too hard for him to wait three more months? Why didn’t he give kenny a chance? He lied to the fans when he promised to honour his contract, he lied when he said he loved the club. What else can Liverpool fans conclude? We feel betrayed and gutted he did this now, how can you blame the fans for feeling so disrespected by their hero?

  24. Teasle February 1, 2011 at 11:02 am -

    Every village has its idiots. As for Andy Carrol, only time will tell? When we signed Ryan Babel, he was a player with potential. I thought that NESV’s transfer policy was to sign more proven players. Charlie Adam would have been an example but Ian Holloway has now become too big for his boots and is beginning to beleive his own hype. As for Torres, Liverpool need world class players. Rafa Benitez understood this, but lost sight of needing a stronger squad to win a title for instance. However, on our day Liverpool could beat any team in Europe on thier day under Rafa. Liverpool at the momemt are a million miles from this. Would not have held a grudge against Torres if he left at the end of season but his timing shows a lack of respect esecially as Suarez was touted as his strike partner.

  25. Bill February 1, 2011 at 10:56 am -

    What about a ritual burning of Torres shirts at the weekend in the middle of Anfield Road. Or maybe a donation box and send them to an African football charity.

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