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Liverpool icon Nicol could not believe Torres substitution

Liverpool icon Steve Nicol says it was madness to hook Fernando Torres during their 1-1 draw with Birmingham City.

Nicol is reluctant to criticise Rafa Benitez openly, but he believes Liverpool simply haven't been good enough this season, and he admits that the manager's eagerness to ignore Torres can be counter-productive.

"The bottom line is that, compared with the teams above them, Liverpool's squad simply isn't good enough," the New England Revolution coach told the Mirror.

"I mean, take Pepe Reina, Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres out of the equation, and how many players would be in Chelsea's team? Or Manchester United's? It's not many.

"From halfway on last season, it seemed that the shackles came off and they were going after teams and playing their football with enjoyment. Then when this season started it seemed all that had gone.

"Torres is world class, and you'd want to use him at all times. I was lucky enough to see two really great Liverpool sides. When I first joined we had people like Souness, Dalglish, Kennedy, and McDermott in the side, and then later under Kenny [Dalglish] we had Barnes, Beardsley and Rush.

"Torres can already be safely mentioned amongst those players. His record is phenomenal and he still has time on his side. He is one of the best around already, that's for sure, so it seems strange not to use him whenever you can, because he has the class to always get you a goal."

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Tribal Football Staff

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