As the January transfer window shut Torres hastily stepped into a blue jersey amid a 50 million pound record signing and out onto the pitch at Stamford Bridge where he received a warm welcome from Chelsea fans only to be shown up by his former club.
Liverpoolâs Raul Meireles, who in the 69TH minute slammed the ball past Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, has been on a scoring tear lately. With new signings Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez, Liverpool are sure to continue improving.
As the squad have pulled together in recent weeks, accolade for positive action on the pitch should be handed to manager Kenny Dalglish. A lot can be said for what the consensus has put forth lately: How players adapt to what is put in front of them. Or in this case behind them.
Which may mean Torresâs success would be a question of what Dalglish could have done with his talent vs what Ancelotti will do with his talent.
Ironically, Liverpool has come back to play like the team Torres dreamed of playing for, as he was quoted saying, âThis is the best club in the country so the targets and expectations are always high. Hopefully we can stay at our level. At Liverpool the aim is to fight for every title.â
So did he leave too soon before the fight was up?
The answer depends on how long Torres really wanted a career move.
He announced in August 2010 âMy commitment and loyalty to the club and to the fans is the same as it was on my first day when I signed. I am looking forward to the challenge aheadâŠâ
But in a contradictory statement he mentioned that his mind had been made up 18 months earlier as he watched the club flop when Xabi Alonso left followed by the rebellious stunt not to show up for games by Javier Mascherano (who now plays alongside âthe best player on the planet.â)
Finally wedding truth to that statement 10 days ago, Torres had a very public change of heart by putting in a transfer request.
Nobody should be begrudged pursuit to further their ambition, but timing is everything.
What if Torres decided to wait it out until the next transfer date? We can only predict that Liverpool, having made it to an impressive 6TH place on the Premier League chart compared to relegation months ago, will climb up to the top four by the end of the season. Perhaps Torres would have had no reason to go.
If Torres wanted to leave Liverpool solely because the club wasnât offering him a chance to play at his very best, he should have looked again.
While itâs true that it wasnât feasible to buy Carroll and Suarez if Liverpool didnât get the cash for Torres, theyâve been winning recently without the two current signings. He should have trusted Dalglish.
One match may not be enough to say though that Torres made a mistake by defecting. If he didnât debut against his former club, it may have been an easier defeat to take and the criticism wouldnât be as acerbic.
It could be argued that Liverpool played with a vengeance to prove they could succeed without their star strikerâand against him, although Dalglish has played down that accusation.
After the match when Ancelotti was asked why he took Torres out, he rambled that it was because he âWanted to change the system, he played his best, itâs difficult to find the space, the ball was played slowly in that area, the ball was played in the back too slow and wasnât possible to move our strikers.â He hinted that he would use the same system in their next game against Fulham.
I canât say I believe Torres made no mistake â yet. If playing against Liverpool wasnât his first game I do not think this much emphasis would be placed on his performance or lack of scoring. The media wouldnât have been so hyper to get his story.
As Jamie Redknapp noted, âIt takes time, theyâll work hard in training, theyâll keep working and theyâll get it right.â
Possibly, but itâs no wonder the second Torres was torn off the field, all cameras honing in on his despondent expression and reaction when Liverpool scored, that his critics would be ready to pounce on him with their claws out.