Free the Anfield #9!


Recently having disassociated myself from Rafa’s rotation policy and having adopted a neutral stance (yet still retaining some of my sympathizing tendancies), I’m here to announce that I’ve fully entrenched myself in the newly created (by me) ‘FREE THE ANFIELD #9’ campaign, a movement solely dedicated to the idea that Fernando Torres should be starting (when not injured) every Premier League game.

Preferably, the young Spainard would be starting every Premier League and Champions League game, but I understand that’s not really realistic. To be honest, starting every Premier League game is equally unresonable, but the point is clear: Alongside Gerrard, Carragher, Agger and Reina, El Nino should be one of the first names on the team sheet.

If Liverpool are truly going to have a chance at winning the Premier League, then its best talent should be starting in the bulk of the league games, not rotting on the bench in hopes of keeping fresh legs for the months down the road when the team could (and recently has) find themselves significantly behind the league leader(s) and effectively out of the title race.

By no means would I expect Torres to start two games each and every week, but in light of his place on the bench against Portsmouth and Birmingham and the results of those matches compared against his performance against Reading, the #9 must start with more frequency!

His talent is more than sheer pace, which would relegate him to games where ‘there is no space’. No, the 23-year old has a multitude of skills. His touch is sublime but can play with power and he’s already demonstrated (on multiple occasions) the ability to seemingly create a fantastic chance where none previously existed.

But, mind you, he’s not strictly a finesse player. He took a battering he took at the hands (and feet and elbows) of the Reading defence without overreacting or dramatically going to ground, instead battling on and carving himself out his first Liverpool hat trick. Why wouldn’t we want this burgeoning superstar to lead the line in the league and help restore Liverpool to past glory?

So, we (er, me) put forth this imperative to Rafa:



Like with any dynamic movement, there needs to be a recognizable logo. So, after having whipped up a few proofs (some which would look quite sharp on a t-shirt, JT), I need your help in selecting the FREE THE ANFIELD #9! image.

While I’m no Photoshop wizard (I just downloaded a trial version to do this – I learn quick), I am quite proud of these efforts but need your opinions (because, unlike other South Carolinians, I can’t kill my babies).


This one sort of employs that Che Guevara t-shirt look. It could stand to be cropped –I’m not sure.



A black & white picture, offset with some red. I played around with the texts on different pictures; Some say ‘Torres’, other use ‘El Nino’, while some say ‘#9’. Which do you prefer?



An untouched picture, but I used the number on his shirt to complete the slogan, without employing a pound sign. Methinks it works better without it.



Based off the picture from above, but slightly cropped. I rather fancy the ‘brush painting’ look as it envokes memories of Leroy Neiman’s work for me.



This might be the most t-shirt worthy of them all.



I feel like this should be one of those smug Kenneth Cole magazine ads for world hunger or AIDS. But, I like it nonetheless. I’ve also got one made without the red ‘Start Torres’.


Credit to JT for linking to Play Torres in the comments of ‘I Smell A Rat’, which got me thinking…


11 Responses to “Free the Anfield #9!”

  1. 1 JT September 27, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    this needs to be posted everywhere!

  2. 2 Georger September 27, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    the first one is great

    he should start every game

    BUT if he doesnt this weekend, we beat wigan 4-0 on the road last year with bellamy and kuyt starting. if torres sits and we cant score, theres something else wrong aside from the rotation policy. we cannot rely on only one person to score goals

  3. 3 Nicholas September 27, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    I presume(or even more so, HOPE) that this is all a joke upon which you’ve spent far too much time? I’d advise you to read Paul Tomkin’s latest article on the subject.

  4. 4 Cally September 27, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    You fucking whopper.

  5. 5 beingsven September 27, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    Nicholas, it is mostly for fun, but I wholly believe the team needs a spine upon which rotation can take care of the rest.

    And while I do read Tomkin’s stuff, I’ve grown a bit weary of reading the same old rah-rah/’don’t criticize the team’ bullshit mixed with his newfound love for statistics. He’s a talented writer, but each article sounds like the same tune but with the lyrics changed.

  6. 6 ArkansasLFCSupporter September 28, 2007 at 1:25 am

    Love them all…If we’re voting, I’ll pick #3…Working the “9” in his jersey into the pic is great, plus there’s the bonus of seeing the Chelski guys in the background and remembering how great El Nino’s first Prem goal was.

  7. 7 Jörgen Ohlsson September 28, 2007 at 3:37 am


    I’d go for #6. I pre-order 3 t-shirts, thanks.

    Karlstad, Sweden

  8. 8 The Fan's Attic September 28, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Why doesn’t Rafa rotate Arbeloa? He’s started each game so far I believe. Also, if you look back at other successful squads from last season, you will see that most of the big names started nearly all of the teams games and were rarely used as a sub. Either start him or sit him.

  9. 9 Alex September 28, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    I love the “Free El Nino” design. Why he would start a midweek C.C. match and not a BPL game is beyond me. Sometimes I can’t understand Rafa, and here up until a couple of weeks ago, I thought his evil looking facial hair was making him smarter.

  10. 10 nate September 28, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    @ The Fan’s Attic: Rafa seems to trust Arbeloa a lot more than he’s letting on, but Arbeloa started more often than not because neither Riise nor Aurelio were fit (and now Agger), or Riise was playing LM (earlier in the season).

  11. 11 unnamed October 22, 2014 at 4:19 am

    wow! super!

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