Rafa wants Torres protection talk, not rotation talk

Rafa Benitez insists English football needs to clamp down on the heavy handed approach to Fernando Torres.

The Liverpool manager has been angered by the rough treatment dished out to Torres in the Reds' midweek Carling Cup victory over Reading.

Torres scored a hat-trick in Liverpool's 4-2 victory over the Royals, but Benitez's striking ace was on the receiving end of some robust challenges from Reading centre-backs Michael Duberry and Andre Bikey.

Recent football discussion has been on the subject of Torres' constant rotation from the Liverpool starting XI, but Benitez is adamant attention must turn to protection of the Premier League's stars.

"What puzzles me is why people are talking all the time about Torres when he plays, when they should surely be talking about how we can protect him when he plays," said Benitez.

"There was lots of talk about how Torres coped so well with the kicking he received, but why aren't people saying that kicking was wrong.

"I'm surprised people aren't talking about the need to protect players of quality because if we want to see exciting matches with real quality for the fans then we must ensure the quality players are allowed to play, and not kicked out of it.

"With Torres defenders feel they have to stop him by kicking him and it's up to the officials to stop that.

"I won't comment on the referee at Reading, but you could see yourself. He (Torres) was kicked badly in the first minute, it was a challenge that could have kept him out for a month."

(Courtesy: www.football365.com)

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