Torres fans flames with dig at Anfield's false promises

New Chelsea hitman claims 'weakened' Liverpool are heading in wrong direction
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The Independent Football

Liverpool supporters love to sing – and will doubtless do so again at Stamford Bridge this afternoon – that "Chelsea's got no history". It is an inescapable fact, however, that the London club currently have more chance of making history than their rivals and therein lies the principal reason for Fernando Torres's record-breaking transfer. He confirmed as much after a third training session at Cobham on Friday while looking ahead to today's fixture between the teams, which represents a coincidence as unfortunate for the two clubs and the player as it is delicious for the rest of us.

Chelsea would have liked him to have more bedding-in time than the few sessions possible with his new team-mates since last Monday's dramatic move. Liverpool's defenders, all too familiar with his ability from training sessions of their own, cannot relish facing him. The player himself would surely prefer that his old team and his new one would not be meeting again until some of the bile at least had been diluted next season. He was being honest rather than provocative in suggesting: "Liverpool has more history and is a massive club but right now Chelsea has more options to win everything and they are building a great future."

While insisting he would "never say anything bad" about Liverpool, he also felt compelled to complain – echoing his compatriot and former manager Rafa Benitez – about a missed opportunity caused, he says, by broken promises. "Liverpool were giving me what they promised, but not now. In my first two seasons at the club they played in the semi-finals of the Champions' League and finished second in the Premier League, very close to Man United.

"Then we were very, very close to being one of the top teams for a long time because everyone was together and everyone was moving in the right direction. But when you let [Xabi] Alonso and [Javier] Mascherano leave, that is a clear message. The old owners were wanting to sell the club and during that time the team was being weakened because we were not focusing on the team.

"If the promises had been true, Liverpool would be fighting with Manchester United and Chelsea. I think we were very close to achieving these things."

Of course, many Liverpool supporters would agree with all those sentiments, as well as an apparent indictment of Benitez's successor Roy Hodgson: "Maybe we never understood what Hodgson wanted or Hodgson never understood us. I think that is not his fault." The peace offering he made, equally true to an outsider, is that both clubs will benefit from the hectic transfer dealings of the transfer window's final few days: "I think they have signed two very good strikers."

One of them, Luis Suarez, has already had the benefit of half an hour's playing time with his new colleagues. Torres must wait to see how he fits in with Carlo Ancelotti's plans, which seem certain to feature him in a potentially formidable pairing up alongside Didier Drogba, leaving Nicolas Anelka either to slot in around them or sit (and sulk?) in reserve. "I talked a lot with Anelka and Drogba, especially asking them about the system and how they play," said Torres. "I know them but when you have the possibility to play in a side with Drogba and Anelka and Lampard or Essien or Mikel behind, you only have to enjoy [it]."

As a World Cup and European Championship-winner, and having scored seven goals in eight appearances against Chelsea, Torres will not feel inferior in that company. "I have nothing to prove. I won the two most important trophies in the world." Unfortunately for today's visiting supporters, they were the only ones to date and neither is available to Liverpool.

Chelsea v Liverpool is on Sky Sports 1 from 3.30pm today, kick-off 4pm

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