Torres sees three amigos at Anfield

Players like Silva, Mata and Villa can give Liverpool the imagination to turn home draws into wins

The timing, coming as it did in the week of Spain's surprising defeat to the USA, was perhaps a little curious, but Fernando Torres believes that if Liverpool are to win the Premier League next season, they must become more like his national side.

It is not hard to pinpoint where Liverpool lost ground on Manchester United last season. Although they beat the champions twice, and finished the season unbeaten in the League against the other members of the Big Four, their challenge was undermined by home draws against Stoke, Fulham, West Ham, Hull and Manchester City. Had just two of those been converted into victories, the title would have been theirs.

"We have to improve at home," Torres said. "We lost a lot of points at home against teams in the middle of the table. If we can get 10 more points at home I think at the end of the season we can win the Premier League. It was frustrating but football is difficult against these kinds of teams. We need players with quality to try to win these kinds of games and I hope Liverpool will bring in players like this. I hope Liverpool will bring in players like [David] Silva, [Juan Manuel] Mata or [David] Villa: small players with quality – like Manchester United had [Carlos] Tevez or [Paul] Scholes.

"It's players like this who can make the difference. These are clever players. Yossi Benayoun plays like this, and I hope we can bring more like that so we have different options."

Had he recommended his international team-mates to Rafa Benitez? "Of course," he said. "But I don't know if we have the money." He has mentioned Villa as a dream partner plenty of times before, while accepting that he is far more likely to join a Spanish club this summer. Silva and Mata, though, are more realistic targets as Valencia's ongoing financial problems force them to offload.

Mata, at 21, was used mainly as a left-winger last season, but can also operate as a second striker, meaning he would not merely provide competition for Albert Riera, but could also cover for Steven Gerrard in the central role behind Torres. The 23-year-old Silva, similarly, is versatile enough to play in any of the attacking midfield positions in a 4-2-3-1, and is known to be a favourite of other senior (and not necessarily Spanish) members of the Liverpool squad.

Both are under six feet tall and neither could be described as physically robust, but for Torres it is their imagination that makes them stand out. "English football is very difficult because it's very physical and at a high tempo," he said. "With Spain we play with quality, passing the ball, slow, don't lose the ball. And in England we play with more pace, we try to arrive in the opposition area as soon as possible. Liverpool have a fantastic team to play against the big teams; we are competitive. But maybe against those other kind of teams we are not good enough. We have to improve that."

The need for sides to have a Plan B was demonstrated on Wednesday, as Spain's 15-match winning run came to an end with a 2-0 defeat to the USA. "We had to lose sometime," Torres said, and given the balance of the game and the chances Spain missed, he is probably right not to be concerned.

That said, though, USA showed that by defending deep, and shutting off the space for Xavi to exploit, Spain are not invincible. "We decided we were going to keep it tight in the middle," explained the goalkeeper Tim Howard. "If they wanted to play wide, fine, we'll try and get guys out there and close down the crosses as much as we could but that wasn't the priority. We just said, 'Right, we're going to deal with as many crosses as you can swing in because we believe we're better at clearing these balls'."

With Watford's Jay DeMerit outstanding and Torres perhaps not quite at his best, the policy worked, with neither Riera nor Sergio Ramos able to provide the necessary quality of service. Spain, perhaps, could have done with being more direct, just as Liverpool sometimes need more imagination. Versatility, always, is vital.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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
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
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
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
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
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.

Career Services

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