Mid-Day Ticker: Torres faces drop against Napoli, FA Cup draw set, and more

Torres getty

Fernando Torres' time may have finally run out.

The big-money striker has been largely unimpressive in Didier Drogba's absence and was taken off at halftime of Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Birmingham in the FA Cup. Now manager Andres Villas-Boas is rumored to drop the Spaniard to the bench for Tuesday's massive Champions League trip to Napoli.

Torres has scored just three goals in 34 appearances for Chelsea. Drogba is likely to make the start in his place and even 18-year-old Romelu Lukaku has an opportunity to see some playing time over Torres.

Chelsea is still fighting for fourth place in the Premier League and will likely be the last English team left in the Champions League. The future of Andres Villas Boas will largely depend on his performances in Europe.

Here are some more stories to keep you going this afternoon.

FA CUP QUARTERFINAL DRAW

The quarterfinal draw of the FA Cup is noticeably devoid of big-name teams as a number of upsets and early-round draws between the larger teams gives hope to a few Cinderella stories. Chelsea and Spurs face fifth-round replays but already know their opponents should they take care of business against lower-league opposition. Here is the quarterfinal draw with Everton vs. Sunderland the highlight of the round.

Chelsea/Birmingham vs. Leicester
Everton vs. Sunderland
Liverpool vs. Stoke
Stevenage/Tottenham vs. Bolton

IRANIAN CLUB CANCELS FRIENDLY OVER GRANT'S NATIONALITY

Iranian club team Sepahan has canceled a scheduled friendly with Serbian side Partizan Belgrade due to Avram Grant's Israeli citizenship, according to the manager. A statement posted on the club's website called the decision "shameful" and drew a strong defense from the former Chelsea and West Ham manager.

"I never mixed politics with sports," he said. "I had worked with many [Muslims] while I was in England, and I made friends with many of them."

Partizan had to switch their training facility from Dubai to Antayla due to Grant's citizenship.

FERGUSON WANTS AMBASSADOR ROLE

Sir Alex Ferguson's lengthy rein at the helm of Manchester United is sure to come in the next few seasons but the legendary Scottish manager doesn't want to leave Old Trafford all together. Ferguson said in an interview with BBC Radio that he wants to stay on as manager for two or three more seasons and would like to end his tenure on a winning note.

The ambassador role would be similar to the one Sir Bobby Charlton currently has.

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What do you think of today's stories? Should Torres be dropped? Offended by Iran's actions? Excited for the FA Cup?

Share your thoughts below.

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30 Responses to Mid-Day Ticker: Torres faces drop against Napoli, FA Cup draw set, and more

  1. Steve C says:

    So, this weekend I was watching the History Channel w/ my father. They had a program on about Hitler and Nazi Germany. I kept thinking to myself how I would love to go back in time and smack him around, and then I thought…. if there was never a Hitler, then there would never be a Timothy Chandler, Jermaine Jones, Fabian Johnson, etc etc etc. Weird how that works.

  2. Air Jordanz says:

    FIFA can ban them from international competition.

    Politics and sport should not mix. It consistently shocks me that governments (run by supposed adults) behave this way.

  3. isaf says:

    Poor Torres. what happened to him? 4 years ago he was the best striker on the planet. what happened?

  4. isaf says:

    Steve Cherundolo? Happy late birthday dude

  5. isaf says:

    Hat trick for Dempsey this upcoming weekend? He’s on 16 goals. Can he make it pass 20 and earn the title of Greatest Yank to ever play in Europe?

  6. Won_Ton_Animal_Chin says:

    Hasn’t FIFA banned African countries in the past when their governments interfere with the their FAs?

    What is ironic with Iran’s decision is probably some of their players wear Levi’s, sport Nikes and watch Jersey Shore.

  7. chris says:

    Wheres Adrian to blame everyone else except Torres?

  8. Zach says:

    Kid, you should stop worrying about other people and focus more on the hate filled comments you are always posting. Adrian might love Barcelona and Spain but he never says rude things, doesn’t chop other people’s opinions down, and certainly doesn’t randomly make comments like you are.

    Ive noticed you mention the guy on most threads dealing with something Spanish. Give it a rest. He loves Spanish football and there’s nothing wrong with being excited about great form. You don’t have a monopoly on what can or cannot be talked about.

    You should take heed in the fact that LSU Chris added words to his name to avoid being mistaken for you. Lighten up.

  9. Award says:

    Yet FIFA awards a World Cup to a region of the middle east where surrounding nations and even Qatar itself knowingly discrimantes against an entire race of people. Unbeleivable I tell you.

  10. Zach says:

    Added:

    Never seen him say Torres is blameless. But he has said what mist reputable people would agree with that Chelsea’s problems extend far beyond Torres who has had a run of poor form for a bad team lacking a system. He’s certainly correct.

  11. isaf says:

    Torres has like 6 assists for the seasons. Career high. He’s had bad form and poor morale but more reasons. Chelsea’s mid-field is crap outside of Lampard/Mata

  12. Jimmy Bobo says:

    Yeah, wow. This is the first time anything I have posted has been censored. I want everyone to know that all I did was call out Iran’s hatred. I used no offensive language. I would really appreciate an explanation as to why my post was removed. I gave a reasoned point of view. To remove it is to side with closed-mindedness. I am a professor at an American medical school. I know a little about intellectual freedom.

  13. Vic says:

    I want to nominate this for the stupidest comment of the year on Ives website.

  14. Chris says:

    Nooot much of a trade-off, but I see your point.

  15. Dimidri says:

    I’m sure you don’t mean for it to come off this way, but you basically just said that the systematic genocide of 6 million Jews, 5 million Roma, Polish, political prisoners, mentally disabled people, etc. is in some way ok because it made the US better at a game that has little relevance in the life/death of people. Think before you post.

  16. F7 says:

    Don’t worry JB, my post got removed all together and the text for the Iran story was changed from national to club team.

    Ives, we all make mistakes but man up, or even show some class or professionalism, and stand behind your work.

  17. Steve C says:

    I think people are misconstruing what I wrote. I’m not saying “Oh thank heavens for that Adolf fella. We has soccer playerz now.”

    I merely thought, initially, going back in time and eliminating someone like Hitler and all of the side effects that would come of that. Since i’m on a soccer page, I brought up soccer players… there obviously would be lots of other worldly changes.

    My post wasn’t meant to be as a “trade off.” Geez.

  18. isaf says:

    I blame Obama. LOL

  19. CSD says:

    If you are looking for a sport and Nazi Germany sports reference I would recommend going another route next time young man. I would recommend you go with Jesse Owens at the Olympics in Germany or the second bout with Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling. Either one may get you to the same conclusion and earn you significant more positive responses.

  20. Steve C says:

    That makes no sense though, CSD. Jesse Owens was a great athlete no matter what Nazi Germany said or did. Same goes w/ Joe Louis. My comment is about outcomes of terrible events in history.

    It’s Monday. Maybe people haven’t fully recovered from the weekend. My comment was never meant to be taken positively or negatively. It was just a statement about a thought I had.

  21. John says:

    Why was my comment banned? It’s true you can’t go to the middle east if you’ve been to Israel prior. Why the cover up Ives?

  22. Dimidri says:

    fair enough-you can probably make the point ‘if one thing in history changes an infinite amount of things also would change’ without invoking Hitler and, via the toneless internet, seemingly implying that he was a bad but necessary prerequisite to something inconsequential.

  23. Steve C says:

    lol. Thank you! I only brought it up, because it was fresh in my mind as I had watched the program just yesterday.

    And yes, you could use the same example of someone like… Gavrilo Princip. If he doesn’t assassinate Franz Ferdinand, World War I never happens, which doesn’t put Hitler into power, which arguably doesn’t create Israel, which doesn’t create the Cold War, etc etc etc.

  24. nic d "the TEXAS 2 stepper" says:

    How many games til AVB gets the boot?

  25. Jimmy Bobo says:

    I agree. Whoever removed our comments needs to take responsibility. Who is the moderator? Ives, since this is your blog then you need to assume the ultimate responsibility. I realize you may have others monitoring the minute-to-minute work but this is your baby. I have been in your Mafia since you were writing for that rag in New Jersey. I read your blog every day but rarely post. Dude, you have insulted one of your most loyal customers.

  26. mikebsiu says:

    God I hope Israel qualifies for the world cup in Qatar!

  27. fischy says:

    Which means that the USA-USSR hockey match doesn’t happen, which means Jim Craig never makes that Cola-Cola commercial. Thank heavens history spun out the way it did, or we would have missed that ad.

  28. Ted in MN says:

    Now that would be something. Best of luck to them.

  29. Jya says:

    That is the one thing I don’t like about this site. I have had post deleted and have responded to post deleted that I still don’t understand the logic behind.

    Ives you have a great site but the mod practices are bit heavy handed in my opinion.

  30. Jose Is A Translater says:

    LMAO!