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Torres Vs Carroll: Who Has Been The Bigger Flop?

Tuesday 20th March 2012
Last weekend's FA cup tie between Chelsea and Leicester City saw Fernando Torres finally end his latest goal drought. The £50 million signing had gone over 26 hours of competitive football without a goal.

Chelsea fans will be hoping that under Roberto di Matteo, Torres can find the form that prompted Carlo Ancelotti to smash the British transfer record to bring him to Stamford Bridge. Many football fans have labelled Torres a huge flop since moving to West London after scoring only 7 goals in 52 appearances for the Blues.

The transfer of Torres from Liverpool to Chelsea went through on the final day of the 2011 January transfer window, which left Liverpool with their prized asset gone but with plenty of cash to replace him. They ended up paying £35 million for Newcastle's Andy Carroll, which made him the second highest transfer in England and the most expensive British player ever. He too has been labelled an expensive flop, scoring just 8 goals in 42 appearances.

But which of the two has been the biggest failure?

Torres scored 81 goals in 142 appearances for Liverpool before his move to Chelsea, which is better than a goal every other game, and also scored 27 goals in 91 appearances for Spain. When he was on form for Liverpool he could almost beat teams on his own, scoring from positions that most people thought would be impossible. He was one of the most feared strikers not just in England but in the whole of Europe.

At Chelsea, Torres looks like somebody who is scared to even try a shot in case he misses. Just look at the FA Cup replay against Birmingham City, when he turned down the opportunity to take a penalty. This is quite likely due to the pressure of that huge fee Chelsea shelled out on him weighing him down.

Realistically, Torres is not playing as bad as a lot of people say he is for Chelsea. He is still making goals, he makes lots of good runs and gets into good positions so it just seems to be his finishing that is letting him down. A prime example of this was against Manchester United at Old Trafford early in the season when he missed the open goal that not many people will forget in a hurry. He made a brilliant run and rounded David De Gea in superb fashion but managed to miss an almost open net. However, if Torres can find the form that prompted Chelsea to pay such a vast amount of money for him, the goals will start to flow.

Andy Carroll has also struggled to justify his huge price tag, however Carroll's case is not the same as that of Torres. Liverpool should never have paid even half of what they did to bring Carroll to Anfield. For that amount of money a striker should score at least 25 to 30 goals a season. He has never been a proven goalscorer for Newcastle, his highest return being 19 goals in 42 appearances when Newcastle were in the Championship. Although he had scored 11 in 20 during the season in which he moved to Liverpool.

For £35 million Liverpool could have bought a world-class striker, or even two for. Manchester City paid this fee for Sergio Aguero. But the Merseyside club panicked when Torres left and felt obliged to pay huge amounts of money for anyone that would come to them to fill the void left by the Spaniard.

Both players have been huge disappointments, and have done very little to justify their huge price tags. The key difference between the two is that Torres was worth the fee Chelsea paid for him at the time, but has failed to show it so far at Chelsea. Whereas Andy Carroll was never worth £35 million in the first place.
James Morris

Total articles: 5

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