Monday 21 March 2011 by Nigel Solanki & Stephen Mawhinney

Journalists play down fears of a drought of ‘Torres goal drought’ analogies


As Fernando Torres yet again failed to open his account for Chelsea, journalists have been keen to play down fears of a drought of analogies to describe the situation.

Observers had noted that while early articles about the Spaniard were full of references to banjos, barn doors and cow’s arses match reports have recently become more ‘analogy-light’.

A headline in one tabloid newspaper this week that simply said ‘Torres doesn’t score again’ was cited as an example of how bad the problem has become.

However, a spokesperson for the sports writers union said that although the issue was ‘a concern’ he felt confident that this was ‘just a blip’ and that he and his colleagues ‘would come through their barren spell’.

He went on to say, “Suggestions that we rely on a handful of stock phrases and clichés’ is, at the end of the day, insulting.”

Torres goal drought continues

A few journalists have tried to buck the trend with varying degrees of success.

The News of the World won plaudits for the topicality of ‘Torres fails to hit a trainee from 10 yards with an air-rifle’, whilst El Pais’s ‘Torres couldn’t inflict an act of cruelty on a farmyard animal in a bell tower’ was acknowledged as ground-breaking, despite losing something in translation.

Some have suggested this is symptomatic of a wider trend in sports journalism of a shift from analogies to clichés.

A senior media commentator told us, “Pick up any Sunday newspaper and you’ll see Alan Shearer’s ‘Torres must keep believing in himself’ or Gary Lineker’s ‘He just needs one to go in off his backside’.”

“But try finding a well-crafted metaphor these days – you’ve got no chance.”

A BBC Insider said his heart went out to sports writers everywhere adding, “especially as this has come so soon after Heskey’s performance in the World Cup last year.”

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