A sad day but we're stronger without Torres, insists Dalglish

 

It is a measure of his curious lack of inner belief as a player that Kenny Dalglish never felt that he could have left Anfield in the way that Graeme Souness did, when he departed for Sampdoria in 1984.

"I never fancied going abroad simply because I was afraid," Dalglish reflected years later, explaining that he feared a struggle to grasp the language and to master the dressing-room banter.

The way Dalglish has breezed back into the manager's dugout and imbued Liverpool with life and a love of playing – a rather essential quality which had gone missing – makes it hard to believe that fear ever belonged within him, though evidently it does so no longer. Dalglish exudes the air of a man who has lived through so much of the unexpected at his club that nothing surprises him now.

It is certainly the case with the departure of Fernando Torres. Yes, Dalglish explained yesterday, he had tried to talk the 26-year-old around. "Of course I spoke to him. I did what you thought I would do; what everybody hoped I would do. I did my job properly and correctly and we were disappointed that he left." But was Torres leaving any different to Souness, all those years ago? No.

"If somebody wants to leave a football club they will always find a reason," Dalglish said. "You can't cover all eventualities. Our determination is to get back up to where we were before: that's where we want to go. But even when you get there [you lose people]. Souness left after we won the European Cup. It was something he had in his mind. He wanted to go. So you cannot criticise him for doing that. It does not matter where you stand – whether you win trophies or you don't win trophies – footballers will always find a reason to go. Movement is part and parcel of the game."

Of course, there wasn't a £35m Andy Carroll waiting around the corner in 1984. Jan Molby was Souness's replacement, which only goes to show that Dalglish also knows a bit about handling players with challenging lives off the field.

The squad Dalglish has inherited is also a long way from the supremacy of 1984 and after this heady week at Anfield, there are some brutal statistical realities heading into tomorrow's encounter in west London. Torres has scored seven goals in eight games against Chelsea – the same number that Liverpool have managed to muster in 18 league visits to Stamford Bridge, where they have won only twice in 20 matches.

Dalglish's mild articulation of the fact that "we are disappointed that Fernando Torres is not here and with the timing" gives Liverpool the air of calm they need. Jamie Carragher, whose recovery from a dislocated shoulder might place him into direct opposition with Torres, was equally wise yesterday. "I'm not going to criticise him, we bought him for £20-odd million and sold him for £50m," Carragher said of Torres. "I think for us it was probably better that Fernando moved on, if he didn't 100 per cent want to be here. It's probably better for everyone all round."

Liverpool, whose defensive frailties have looked far more pronounced since Carragher departed White Hart Lane with his injury on 28 November, are looking ahead in many ways, with principal owner John W Henry hinting in an interview with Fox TV yesterday that Fenway Sports Group may build a future around the Anfield stadium and Dalglish. Henry's discussion of Dalglish certainly sounded like an endorsement of his credentials to remain beyond this summer. "It's still early, but in retrospect you could not have made a better choice. It was very fortunate for us," he said. "I know [that] he, for a long time now, has wanted to be in this position, so it's a great thing for the club, for Kenny and for us."

And of the decision whether to build a new stadium or refurbish the current one, as the Boston Red Sox did at Fenway Park, Henry declared: "The Kop is unrivalled, the atmosphere... We've heard so much about needing a new stadium [but] we were surprised at how beautiful Anfield was, both viewing it as an empty stadium and then with the first game. It would be hard to replicate that feeling anywhere else."

These words resonated in ways that even Henry could not have anticipated. They were a reaffirmation of what Liverpool once stood for, not of what they have come to stand for. As Dalglish put it: "The most important thing is the way we reacted [this week.] We didn't mope around. Our lives will all move on. In different directions – but they will all move on."

News
i100
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices