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Fernando Hails Unsung Hero


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Fernando Torres has pinpointed Liverpool goalkeeping coach Xavi Valero as one of the key men behind his success in the Premier League.

Torres smashed in 33 goals last year, including 24 in the league - a record for a foreigner in a debut season.

The striker has almost doubled his goals tally from his Atletico Madrid days, and while various explanations have been put forward in the press, the man himself is keen to credit one of Melwood's unsung heroes.

"We've a Spanish goalkeeping coach and he has been a genius at telling me every week exactly what kind of task lies in front of me in the following match," said Torres.

"Nobody has ever worked with me like this before. It's outstanding. Basically, I know days before the next game exactly the best way to finish a chance against the keeper I'm about to face.

"Xavi Valero tells me precisely what each keeper tends to do - stay big, go down early, if they have a preferred side they try to push you to. It's vital information. I've refined the way I take chances as a result.

"This Liverpool side also works its socks off. Dirk Kuyt, for example, is spectacular in how cleverly and how hard he works to make sure I get top-quality possession near goal."

Meanwhile, Torres claims Ricardo Carvalho is the toughest defender he has faced in the Premier League.

El Nino has been adept at exposing the league's most physical defenders since his arrival in England last summer, but admits the Chelsea centre-back is a different proposition.

"John Terry is captain so gets a much higher profile. But he's only secondary to Carvalho," said Torres.

"The central defenders (in the Premier League) are usually big, strong, aggressive lads but Ricky is superb. He has every quality that is needed."

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Re: Fernando Hails Unsung Hero

It is quite amazing how the backroom staff at Liverpool have helped individual players. The staff are top-class there, Benitez has really brought in the best to help his team.

Torres scoring that many goals in one season, it is very interesting to know the better defenders he has played against as they don't get as much credit as the strikers normally. Carvalho for me has been excellent anyway, the reason maybe why he doesn't is because in England he is over-shadowed by Terry ???

However, both are very good and compliment each other very well.

But was nice to see who Torres finds it harder playing against, and all credit to Carvalho, would be interesting to see who Ronaldo, Adebayor, etc find it hard to play against, because defenders deserve credit aswell.

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Re: Fernando Hails Unsung Hero

Thing is though, he can score another load of goals next season but if Benitez doesn't bring in some real quality, world class players and stops his ridiculous rotation system then it won't mean anything.

Sure, he scored a load of goals this season but Liverpool have won nothing. Benitez needs to make some quality signings and have a good think otherwise the 20 million they have spent on Torres will have been a waste of cash.

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Re: Fernando Hails Unsung Hero

Agree about the rotation thing. One rule about football is always have the same back 4, if you can. A connection between your back 4 is more important than any orther position, as once the back 4 click, very few goals are conceded.

Examples are Man United and Arsenal. Man United's defense are constantly the same and work very well together, meaning they concede very few goals (although this may also be down to VDS).

Whereas Arsenal's back 4 were all over the place for the second part of the season, this is one of the main reasons they fell apart.

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