Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Kam shafted

IN many professions poor preparation would get you the sack. Or, at the very least, a severe word in your shell-like.
But not, it seems, if it’s your job to comment on football.
The myths perpetuated by the media regarding Liverpool FC are many. One of the favourites is the Fernando Torres myth.
The notion that Rafa Benitez cost Liverpool a tilt at the title this year because he rested - or ‘rotated’ as this is so lazily referred to these days - the Spaniard too many times in the league.
This particular rather smelly old chestnut was pulled out the bag again on bank holiday Monday by Chris Kamara.
Speaking on Sky, with a pained expression rising above his ridiculous moustache, he mused that we can only wonder what would have happened if Torres had played more in the league.
And so, yet again, Benitez is painted as the villain of the piece. The mad ‘rotator’ who doesn’t want to win the Premier League and only cares about Europe.
So, back to the preparation. Now, if ‘Kammy’ hadn’t been as busy trimming the tash and putting a bucket of gel on his head, maybe he could have done a little research.
And if he had, he would have discovered the following – out of the 37 Premier League games Liverpool have played this season, Torres has played in 32 of them with 28 starts and four sub appearances.
Of Liverpool’s outfield players, only Jamie Carragher (34 appearances, 33 starts) and Steven Gerrard (32 appearances, 31 starts) can top that.
And Torres has played far more than his fellow strikers with Dirk Kuyt starting 23 games, Andriy Voronin 12 and Peter Crouch just nine (ouch!).
No manager plays their best player in every minute of every game - Alex Ferguson has rested Cristiano Ronaldo, Arsene Wenger has rested Cesc Fabregas and Avram Grant has rested Didier Drogba.
So why pick on Benitez? Over to you Mr Kamara. And a little tip - maybe you should prepare before you answer this one.