‘There have been very important people for me in different times. With Benitez I reached a level I perhaps never dreamed of,’
– Fernando Torres
Alan Shearer, Andy Cole, Les Ferdinand, Shola Ameobi, Andy Carroll…Could Spaniard Fernando Torres be about to join former boss Rafa Benitez & the list of legendary strikers to have worn the Newcastle shirt?
The brilliant 6ft 1in blonde speedster who loves taking players on and scoring goals would be adored on Tyneside by a faithful in need of a new hero on the pitch after gaining the manager they love off it.
Torres is extremely well known in English football after scoring 81 goals for Liverpool after a £20M switch to Liverpool in 2007 under Benitez, whom he credits with making him a world-class striking force then a further 45 goals for Chelsea after a £50M move where he again linked up with his favourite boss.
Add to the above illustrious names of former NUFC strikers that of England Captain Kevin Keegan, who swapped the top flight of English football with Southampton for Division Two with the black and whites stunning the football world in the summer of 1982, so there is precedent for such a switch.
‘Expect the Unexpected’ should be the official motto of Newcastle United, whose larger than life existence continually surprising followers of the beautiful game, not least lately when they landed Champions League boss Rafa Benitez. After narrowly failing to keep the club in The Premier League, Benitez committed his future to the Geordie club determined to restore the good times to a club and fanbase who have welcomed him like a football God sent from heaven.
Benitez has made a disappointing start to life in The Championship after the officials swept Newcastle’s leg at Fulham with non-decisions. Its a situation being monitored on both sides of The Atlantic after BeInSports highlighted the continuing controversial treatment by officials towards a club who have now gone 101 games without playing against ten men and should have had at least two stonewall penalties and opponent Denis Odoi dismissed for a professional foul on Ayoze Perez in their opening game ensuring the famous Northern club did not get off to a dream winning start to the bookies delight.
Tomorrow night’s ref of Newcastle against Reading is Andrew Madley, the brother of Premier League ref Robert, who failed to award this penalty for Newcastle’s Gini Wijnaldum then wrongly sent off Fabricio Coloccini in controversial circumstances in last year’s Wear-Tyne derby against Sunderland.
It was one of three controversial red cards then Black Cats Manager Sam Allardyce benefited from in his first 5 wins for the club, two of which were then rescinded enabling Sunderland to bank 9 irreversible points and claw back a deficit and bank £100M in TV money at their local rival’s expense.
Striker Crisis and Swap Deal Fernando Torres For Wantaway Moussa Sissoko?
Two games into their season in the second tier of English football, already the alarm bells are ringing at Gallowgate – quite literally on Saturday due to an electronic fault – in front of goal after The Magpies have notched just once through Dwight Gayle mopping up a missed pen in 180 minutes of football.
A striker crisis is rarely felt as keenly anywhere on Planet Football than at St James’ Park, Newcastle upon-Tyne whose Geordies famously love a no. 9 goalscorer.
Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is back soon when he completes his four-match ban for a the kind of reckless challenge that Diego Costa got away with last night & will increase Toon firepower.
Yet the striker notched only 9 goals in 34 games in his first Premier League season & Newcastle must bolster their goal-scoring ranks in the event of injury and suspension over the course of a long 46-game season.
Another of Benitez’s former proteges, Stoke City striker Peter Crouch has been linked after the Spanish manager rightly identified the urgent need for a target man after Saturday’s largely toothless display.
Jaap Stam’s Reading are up next at St James’ Park and many in the Newcastle faithful would be wishing they could call on the services of former club legend Shola Ameobi who scored a hat-trick against Reading to kick off Newcastle’s Championship-winning season in style in 2009.
Newcastle’s last game against Reading at St James’ Park ended in a 2-1 defeat in January, 2013 after Alan Pardew took off Yohan Cabaye almost proving that his squad needed strengthening, which it duly was with the arrivals of Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Massadio Haidara.
Rafa Benitez is aware he still needs at least one striker yet two big name arrivals like Fernando Torres and Peter Crouch would restore The Fear Factor to Newcastle’s attack that ey have lacked since the loss of Dembas Ba and Cisse plus Loic Remy and Hatem Ben Arfa.
With France international Moussa Sissoko, who impressed so much in The Euros Final for France against Portugal, itching for a move to Madrid and the Champions League, it would make sense to offer him as a makeweight in any deal with Real’s rivals Atletico who are looking to switch up their attack.
Thus far, Gayle Force Nine has not proved strong enough to affect the barometer of Newcastle’s football trajectory yet the arrival of the legendary Spanish international El Nino would change that.
Never say never when it comes to Newcastle United…