It was fascinating to hear Lou Macari slaughter Fernando Torres on BBC Radio 5 Live before Manchester United’s showdown with Chelsea – and even more so to reflect on those pre-match comments after the Spaniard had blown the Blues’ chance to get back in the match with one of the worst misses you will ever see.
Radio presenter Ian Payne was flabbergasted when Macari insisted: ‘Torres has never been a great player.”
Clearly shocked Payne asked: “You are joking Lou?” But Macari was adamant. “Some players are over-rated and I don’t think Torres has ever been a great player. That’s just my opinion.”
It was a stunning pre-match dismissal of the Spanish international Chelsea paid Liverpool £50 million to sign in January. But no less shocking than the unbelievable miss by Torres when he raced clear of United’s defence and waltzed past David De Gea only to shoot tamely wide of the empty goal with his left foot from six yards out.
The worst miss of all time? It has to be one of the biggest blunders ever by a top striker in a big match and it is a moment that will be re-played forever by TV channels the world over.
The harsh reality is that Torres cost £50M but he is a hopelessly one-footed player. For any professional footballer who gets paid to train all week not to be able to kick with both feet has always baffled me. For a player feted by some as one of the world’s great strikers to be so blatantly one-footed is a disgrace.
Just when Torres seemed to have signaled his return to form with a superb right-footed finish at the start of the second half that reduced Chelsea’s arrears to 3-1, it is another hammer blow to the confidence of a striker who has become a laughing stock since he chose money over loyalty to Liverpool and made the move to Stamford Bridge.
As for Macari’s pre-match rubbishing of Torres, it is hard to disagree when you consider that the Spaniard is a one-footed wonder.