The moment Luis Suarez sank his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic on April 21, the fog that engulfed many Liverpool fans began the slow process of lifting – a process only grinding to a halt in light of the interview given this week stating his desire to leave and wailings against broken promises.
It is not unfair to say many Liverpool fans now have a view of Suarez that large parts of supporters from other clubs always have – special, even world-class player, but someone who will always let you down one way or another, on-or-off the pitch and leave you with a sour taste in the mouth.
The outsider’s view is fairly uncomplicated. As a footballer, not one fan wouldn’t take his energy, desire to play and his no lack of quality in many areas. But the person? Nah, no thanks.
Of course, it’s never as black and white as that. Everton fans supported Duncan Ferguson through his jail sentence, Arsenal fans saw Tony Adams through his. Both returned the support given – Adams lifting the league title and one of three legend statues outside the Emirates. All clubs have rogue galleries.
But looking outside in, it’s obvious Liverpool fans will no longer give the Uruguayan that love and support because it has already been thrown back in your faces.
The Evra incident and the consequences i.e. not shaking the hand when insisting to Kenny Dalglish he would and then biting another professional player AND NOT FOR THE FIRST TIME.
While it’s not ‘I told you so’, it’s not unfair to say you’re starting to see what many fans could see unfolding all summer and Liverpool fans steadfastly refused to – Suarez wanted to leave.
It’s not new. I still believed Wayne Rooney would wear an Umbro kit at Everton. Arsenal fans thought Nicolas Anelka would lead their attack for years to come.
But to aim the abuse cannons at journalists who have been spot on, whether you like the agendas or not, and to continue to support a player whose heart was clearly not at your club, made a usually knowledgeable fanbase look – put bluntly – very stupid. Though not all fans need be tarred with that brush, I agree.
And I honestly feel that’s a massive contributing factor to part of the Suarez problem at Anfield – the tribal, blind loyalty and creation of (false?) icons.
Look, as you know, I’m a Blue, and while I despise the ‘Bitter’ tag for certain reasons, I know we can get a bit one-eyed about a few things. Allow me to go off-piste here, but in the superb Terry Prachett Sam Vimes/Discworld book ‘Jingo’, Vimes is accused of being a suspicious bastard who only suspects his own. That sums up Evertonians best i.e. don’t have a go at our lad….that’s our job.
But this, for want of a better term, ‘human shield’ Liverpool fans put around Suarez created an air of being untouchable. You can never do that – you didn’t allow it in 2004 and 2005 with Steven Gerrard when he wanted to leave, and allowing it to happen with Suarez only made this public break so much worse.
Love your club, support the players in the shirt, but never put the player before the club, which is my honest feeling of what happened. Learn the lesson on this.
Now, helpfully, as I write, John W Henry has announced publically described the notion of selling Suarez to Arsenal as ‘ludicrous’.
Again, my outsider’s view is simple – Brendan Rodgers must be prepared to be pragmatic about the whole thing. Ostensibly (look it up), Rodgers has handled this well, with scathing criticism of his star man, and is clearly offended by the suggestion of broken promises.
It was said on Twitter about how Bill Shankly would deal with this. I don’t think that’s a fair question – football is too different now. The question is, and you won’t like it:
“How would Sir Alex Ferguson deal with this?”
Simply, he would get rid of him at the first available opportunity (Stam, Keane, van Nistelrooy, etc). But that option has gone with Liverpool’s refusal to sell. So what does Rodgers now do? Put him back in the team to help Liverpool win football matches – it’s as simple as that.
If he doesn’t, the top six will be difficult to crack, never mind the Champions League. Manchester City would never have won the league without Roberto Mancini putting Carlos Tevez back in the team. Ferguson used his best players for his and his team’s end, no-one else’s.
All fans are fickle – if he fires you to 4th place or even to challenge for the title, you’re not going to care.
But at least the blinkers will be off and you all know what he is. A very good player, who isn’t that loyal and prone to moments of mentalness.
Ferguson would get rid of him? Just like he got rid of Rooney when he handed in a transfer request? Without sounding paranoid, just another example of Ferguson being placed on a pedestal viewed with rose tinted goggles
Yes, SAF got rid of many good players during his years at Man U. But only when they had a strong enough team anyway. Suarez is Liverpool’s ONLY world class player.
Compare with Rooney instead.
2 1/2 years ago did SAF get rid of Rooney? No, he gave him an extended and improved contract instead, because he was to valuable to the team at the time. Liverpool did the exact same with Suarez last summer.
Would SAF get rid of Rooney 2 1/2 years ago if they had RVP at the time? You bet he would. SAF is smart and knew he couldn’t get rid of him at the time. Now Rooney isn’t their number 1 anymore and want to get away again. They have RVP up front now and many young and promising strikers behind him + Kagawa can play in Rooneys position as an attacking midfield player. They are covered.
United can also sell to Chelsea as they will both finish in the top 4, question is if they might sell the title with a motivated Rooney. That’s a question for Moyes and the owners now, but United won’t be as hurt by it as they would last time he wanted out. Liverpool can’t sell to Tottenham or Arsenal for obvious reasons.
You make some excellent points, but the one of Ferguson are well wide of the mark. One of his players attacked a fan(after numerous incidents in France of ill discipline), fled the country & yet Ferguson chased him to Paris, got him back, gave him a pay rise & made him captain. Some punishment that was!
Did Fergie get rid of Ronaldo at the earliest opportunity? No, he told him to be quiet he was staying for one more year…. Simple!
A lot of truth there but wrong on the point of we should have sold him straight away. Not to Arsenal, who are the only team that want him at the moment. A 30 goal a season striker won’t win them the league (though the last one they had won the league for Man U), but it may keep them in the Champions League and us out. There is no price that makes that OK. In fact it’s worth £20-30 mill just to deny them a striker like Suarez.
If we could sell him elsewhere it might make sense, if we could get another one or two to replace him. But that isn’t going to happen this window.
So will he pull a Tevez? Who cares? He could go back to Uruguay tomorrow and play golf for two month, or go comfort eat in MaccyD’s with Rooney and it would make no difference. We can’t use him for 6 matches. That’s plenty of time to sober up and start thinking about whether he’s gonna get to play in the world cup. And unlike Tevez – I think his value will stay high, whether he plays or not.
One other advantage is this gives Brendan a chance to build a team around a set of players rather than just Luis. If Luis comes back he will have to slot in. I couldn’t see BR being able to sell that to Suarez if he was still ‘with us’.
For once I think LFC really do hold all the cards. All we need is for John Henry to have the balls to bluff Luis and Arsene out.
Poorly written article saying nothing new. The point about SAF is completely wrong as he only ever did things on his own terms. And ‘ostensibly’ is not the kind of word most people need to look up!
A bit of quality control needed on TAW.
I’m sorry, I stopped reading after you suggested we look up the word ostensibly. Are you assuming readers of TAW are uneducated? Maybe, instead of worrying about our level of education and whether or not we can understand your vocabulary, you should proof read your article and correct the appalling grammer.
I get what you lads are saying about not selling to a CL spot rival and fair play to LFC but — and this bugs the shit out of me — WTF did Arsenal sell RVP to Manchester United, gifting them the league title for £24m, when they knew Juve were keen?!??? I’ll never understand that one.
Me neither, was piss weak in my opinion. But then I think Wenger had already been burnt by the Fabragas and Nasri episodes and was probably just sick of it all. I think with situations like this you need to pick your battles carefully, and in hindsight Wenger definitely got it wrong both trying to hold back Fabragas from going back to his home club, and selling RVP to an otherwise crumbling ManU (not much he could have done with Nasri I reckon).
If Arsenal were Bayern or Real, I think Suarez would have been long gone by now. He is just a real shit for driving down his price for one of those clubs to come and swoop in January.
Agree with the replies here and would also point out that it makes no difference to Liverpool fans and the club what other clubs fans think of one of their players. I couldn’t care less to be honest.
I regularly see postings on various sites on the internet ridiculing Suarez and the LFC. It’s basically because said fans are jealous of LFC having such a world class player. Take note of the Arsenal fans who did an about turn when they thought Wenger would be signing him. I very much doubt EFC or any other fans would be any different.
Don’t get me wrong he is a flawed character and at the right price I wouldn’t be sorry to see him go. But this is not a decision that needs the club to take account of anybody but their own.
I thought it was an interesting article and I concede I have read it with the benefit of hindisght, in as much as JWH has stated last night that Suarez won’t be leaving – end of.
I don’t agree with your suggestions as to what SAF would do and this has been eloquently argued by other people that have commented before me.
Throughout all this saga, my primary concern has been that Liverpool should never ever sell to our rivals and emphatically and unequivocally (to use JWH’s words) never to our direct rival Arsenal, who whether we like it or not are our direct rivals. Personally I could come to terms with selling Suarez to some european team, if we could use the money to replace him with a suuitable replacement by the start of the season.
But Barrie to use your words “The moment Luis Suarez sank his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic on April 21, the fog that engulfed many Liverpool fans began the slow process of lifting” and now gives us with JWH’s announcement, the opportunity for redemption for Suarez by way of a genuine apology to us the fans. If he doesn’t apologise, at least Arsenal (who I detest) won’t have him and that has got to be worth it.
When people ask me do I think LFC will get a top four spot this term? I reply I will tell you on the 2nd of September, when the transfer window closes because then we will be able to see how our team stacks up against the lot! I will say this though – not having Europen football is dissapointing, but our focus will be totally on the premier league without foreign travel and that could be a compelling proposition!
Err… I fail to see why you’re even on here writing about our club?!? What the fuck’s it got to do with you anyway? And besides that, the points you make are not even valid, as many on here have already pointed out.
Totally pointless article.
Suarez is a menace in many sense of the word, but no club’s supporters should be sitting on their high horses saying “we wouldn’t have him at our club”.
Yes, you fucking would…
Wthout arguing the points I dont agree with, I just want to say that I honestly dont see the point in putting that on here. If I want a Blue’s opinion I know where to go to get it.
You know you are on a sticky wicket when you address straw-man arguments and have to resort to utter falsehoods to support a tenuous argument.
What a pile of shit, who let this cunt post this here? All clubs and managers stand by their top players. Go and look at how Arsenal fans have done a 180 on Suarez as soon as they thought he play for them.
And as for Ferguson, his best player assaulted someone on live TV. Cantona should have gone to jail for fucks sake. But the club backed him after a issuing a suspension that was mostly over the summer down time.
Next time I want a blue’s “opinion”, I’ll refrain from flushing my morning turd and talk to the contents of my toilet.
I reckon a bit of diversity in opinion is always good, and don’t have any problems with civilised fans from other teams writing articles on TAW. But I would also agree with all the comments saying that if the holy and untouchable (ranting, FA in his pocket cheating, how did he become a sir, bastard) Fergie were in our position, hell would freeze over before he would sell Suarez to Arsenal. I don’t think you really thought that through.
Personally, I think after Suarez bit Ivanovic that was it for Rodgers. Because, as a good as Suarez is, he has been a lot of trouble and he doesn’t fit into Rodgers “philosophy” very well. At least not as well as any ridiculously talented player could not fit into a system. But getting rid of him, was always going to be dependent on finding a star replacement and not selling him to fucking Arsenal!
Agree with a lot of this, but not the bit about Ferguson, as others have mentioned he kept Cantona. I always felt Ferguson was a pragmatist, but was lauded as a psychological genius for the way he handled players when all he was doing was what he thought was best for the team, unless he was really angry, followed his own personal agenda and got rid too soon (Beckham, maybe Stam). So far, I think BR has handled all this impressively.
to the guys who run the webiste – look guys the only reason that i log on to this website is to hear people who are passionate about LFC talk about LFC. Not for some idiotic generic below-average non-sensical illogical ‘outside opinion’.
This is called ‘TheANFIELDwrap’ not the ‘MerseysideWrap’
paul – HAHAHAHHHAAAAHAHAHA. That was funny!!
To reiterate what others have said you are being disingenuous with regards to ferguson.
He did not sell the three players you mention to Premiership clubs never mind a direct rival. One of many reasons why that was a bullshit comment.
just read a source from bbc about you guys… ‘if he sounds like he means it when he says sorry’… forget him! don’t sell out, be liverpool
I was looking forward to reading this but it really adds nothing to the debates that go on here and elsewhere. The grand conclusion in the last sentence sums up the triteness of the whole piece – no Liverpool fan needs educating that Suarez is very good, not very loyal and a bit mental. If that was the purpose of writing of the article, I can’t understand why it was commissioned in the first place.
FROM OUTSIDE THE HATRED
Viewed from the outside, the hatred for Luis Suarez seems a peculiar thing. The interminable angst over the handball against Ghana, the hysteria over diving, even the teeth…
Defence of him, by Liverpool fans, during the Evra case is almost universally reported as some sort of irrational myopia at best, or as if harbouring a racist is acceptable to the majority of Liverpool fans provided he is good at footy.
Very odd. *
From outside of the hatred, there was an acceptance that he was a live-wire with a chequered past, that sooner or later he would probably be off to La Liga. But that here was a player of supreme talent that would fight for the team every second he was on the pitch.
Watching Arsenal fans trying to rationalise acceptance of Suarez, to move from inside to outside of the hatred was both intriguing and amusing – for one thing, unlike a significant proportion of Liverpool fans, they had been convinced he was racist. Perhaps after years in limbo and a poor transfer window they were now prepared to make the ‘deal with the devil’.
Or maybe blind ‘hatred’ or blind ‘love’ are too simple as concepts, perhaps rather it is a sort of ‘tribal opportunism’, where the seductive opportunity to attack another tribe is simply outweighed by the tangible benefits the player could bring their own tribe.
Although the moral narrative, presented by Barrie White is somewhat naive, it is true that the Ivanovich bite was a set-back, if not a turning point in the views of Liverpool fans. Suarez form was going from strength to strength, his composure on the pitch calming and improving. While every article and every tv commentary on Suarez was still preceded by a précis of his prior misdemeanours – which presumably is why Barrie feels he had a special insight into Suarez somehow missed by Liverpool – it did appear he was gradually maturing.
Until the bite. It was clear that to do something like this, under the relentlessly negative gaze of the British press, was an act of somebody still out of control at some fundamental level. Never mind the subsequent hysteria and punishment, Suarez has a problem that no opprobrium or punishement is ever going to fix.
Not to say its not fixable of course, but together with Suarez breaking the standard ‘fans romance’ with his cack-handed attempts to get in the Champions League, no wonder he is starting to appear more trouble than he is worth, and patience is drying up for rehabilitation.
Still, notwithstanding recent events and indeed perhaps because of them, its understood he is the same ferociously driven character, with a great intelligence unfortunately limited to his feet. An as yet untrammelled force of nature capable of creating as much chaos as wonder on the pitch. From inside the hatred the chaos is celebrated, from outside the hatred the wonder: the path to redemption forever closed from inside with angst and resentment over why it isn’t closed from outside.
But the blinkers could be coming off from inside the hatred. Arsenals ‘tribal opportunism’, and John Henry’s definitive statement have served to expand from Suarez individual problems and the weekly pantomime of hurling abuse at him, to the broader issues.
Who knows – if the footballing world shows signs of being able to mature, maybe Suarez can too.
*ostensibly not a proper sentence.
Nice post. I especially liked the use of ostensibly in the footnote. I would have to say, that my take on it was that Barrie was mainly trying play down the fact that he felt like a bit of a tit using a word like ostensibly in a post about football, rather than him being condescending to the learned readers of TAW. Is that right Barrie?
I’m an absolute and unswerving fan of TAW, but that this is pretty much your first unadulterated voice of dissent on the Suarez matter is poor. TAW has to accept what it is, a remakably important voice for this club and the lack of condemnation after the Evra affair is one thing, but for that to be repeated after the Ivanovich bite is, to put it politely, short sited. Perhaps it’s a bit too homogeneous, and on the really big matters of the day, too much agreement.
And Barrie, surely a prerequisite (look it up) to a well received piece is to not insult your audiance
*honourable exemption for Steff Navarro (looking like a wise sage now)
Getting the cretins from the blue quarter of the city to talk bout Liverpool is blag, the nonsense they come out with is incredible, dismissing ferguson and adams JAIL SENTENCE as something a club should accept is as a bitter as it gets and use whiskey nose as an example when he stood for cantonas assault on a fan, absolute shite, this kind of sanctimonious crap shud be left to the bitterblues.co.wales or some other one eyed webshite for the bitters to bang on about us
Well, I totally disagree with him – but getting somebody who knows more about us than your average opposing team fan, and who has a vested interest in criticising us to try to put a coherent argument together is quite a healthy thing to do.
A view from a Blue? Well,thanks for that.Very informative.We didn’t know what was going on.It helps us no end.
But haven’t you got something else to have a view about?What about your Club?
Would you like a view from a Red?
Just let me know.I’ll see if I can help you out.
Calm down Reds. No need to vent frustrations on our Blue brothers now. Perhaps Barrie might have just got us back with our ex-wife. I can’t help feeling that a key point has been made. The only way for the club to retain integrity is to ensure Suarez stays for the time-being. Given that scenario, getting games and goals from the man will be an achievement in itself given that we know he will stop at nothing to satisfy his own desires. Subsequently if he does stay, there’s another big job on in getting an acceptable fee from an acceptable club. There is no room for error now. Whilst the sublime is always waiting in readiness, Suarez has stretched the clubs resolve to its limits on a number of occasions. He will continue to do so. Make no mistake about that. Given this, plus the risk of a lower selling price post Arsenalgate, we risk losing out on all fronts imaginable, not least on the clubs image during our players-in search. We have little option but to tie him down and gag him until the mercurial ‘right’ offer comes. Yet everyday, Luis is well and truly doing the club over. The little so and so.
But to still show some support? That really is blind faith.
But its ok. Everyone does it……
Would it add to the argument that most Blues just want what is worst for Liverpool ? Or is that too simplistic ? Certainly reflects my view.
I’m not against supporters of other clubs contributing on this site providing of course it’s worthwhile and not the sort of school playground wind up shite that can easily be found elsewhere. The thing is Barrie, you’re really on a hiding to nothing by passing comment on this subject – we all have blue mates/family who are banging on constantly, mostly trying to get a bite and finishing with “but we’d have him”. In short, if keeping him and he attracts top players which can improve us then all well and good but the Torres situation should be a lesson in blind attachment to a player. The team will go on.
Darcy, great second sentence there lad, give yourself 100%!!