It’s a sign of how far Fernando Torres’ stock has fallen that Irish fans will actually be disappointed he’s been omitted from the Spain squad and probably won’t make the Euros.
The way he’s been playing lately, the sight of Torres lining out against Ireland would have been welcomed by the likes of Richard Dunne and Shay Given come the summertime, but that prospect is looking increasingly slim after he was excluded from the squad to face Venezuela in a friendly next week.
Coach Vincent del Bosque can hardly be blamed for overlooking the Chelsea striker; he’s scored a paltry four goals all season, even Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has more goals than him in 2012 and such is his fragile confidence at present that he’d be liable to do something like this if presented with an open goal.
He hasn’t scored for Chelsea since netting a brace against Genk in the Champions League in October and hasn’t scored for Spain since he scored twice against Liechtenstein in September 2010.
Valencia’s Roberto Soldado and Iker Muniain have been included instead of Torres for next week’s friendly and considering that David Villa will probably return from a broken leg in time for the tournament in the summer, the chances of Torres making the squad appear as remote as the chances of him actually scoring a goal between now and the end of the season.
Torres was once one of the most feared strikers on the continent, but the chances of regaining the form of his Liverpool and Atletico Madrid days seem to be vanishing with every passing game.
Commenting on his exclusion, Del Bosque said: “He (Torres) is a player we appreciate a great deal and it pains me to leave him out but I wanted to be fair.”
How about being fair to us Vincente? We'll be raging underdogs when we go up against Spain in the summer, but at least with Torres in the side, we'd have half a chance.