Suarez: Tainted Love

There has been lots said about Luis Suarez this transfer window (summer 2013). Some love him, some hate him, and some flip between the two. People have come out asking, even pleading with him to stay at Liverpool. Our beloved Captain Marvel (Gerrard) has spoken with Suarez in an attempt to convince him to stay. We’ve heard the manager, the owner and other members of the management team, praising him and stating we need him. They’ve said where they want the club to be, with Suarez being part of that vehicle to help the club get there.

However, it has not all been about praise and convincing Suarez to stay. There are those that have argued the club would be better without him, even going as far to say he is ‘poison’. With the success of the January 2013 signings of Sturridge and Coutinho, their displays in the second half of the 2012-13 season showed Liverpool can cope without Suarez. Cope is probably the right word, we weren’t overly dependent on Suarez as we once were but we certainly needed his 23 goals in the league. Liverpool fans will know that Rodgers is keen to get a ‘tika taka’ system in place and that as Rodgers has stated has been fitted around Luis.

If I had to give my personal opinion, I’d agree with Gerrard. Liverpool would be in a much stronger position to finish in the top four with Luis in the team. The Liverpool way and the old cliché of no one man is bigger than the club couldn’t be more evident that it is now. When I look at the transfer rumours with Spurs about Bale and the lack of transfer activity with Arsenal; I thought Liverpool have a genuine chance of breaking into that top four again. Whilst Spurs could afford two, three, maybe four player to fill the void if Bale left, would they have had the same impact? The same point could be argued with Liverpool and Suarez. How difficult would it be to forge that understanding between Gerrard and a new striker? Of course, Liverpool fans have been here before with Torres, but that’s a different story.

Throughout the summer, I’ve frantically been checking Sky Sports, papers, Twitter, in the hope of reading something I like about the situation. Trying to take Luis’ quotes in a positive manner yet doomed to acknowledge this wasn’t the same passionate player we saw on the pitch a few months ago. It was almost with some relief that he came out and outright said it in the recent paper interviews that he wants to leave. Broken promises or not, inviting a paper into your own home to give an interview was not the best approach. You have to wonder how far Suarez had thought this through and what impact his agent had made on his decision making. I’ve pondered though, why has only one club made an offer for him all summer? This is a player that scored over 30 goals last year, in a prime age of 26, has done well for his country and has the moment of magic to win a game. Yet, only one club has made a bid?

Is it that the other clubs have seen or at least acknowledged, what we the loyal fans have chosen to ignore? When you support any team, you will defend that team, or a player with blind passion. I myself have commented on many Facebook statues about Suarez and his antics. Yet now I feel let down by a player with a chequered history and feeling a tad embarrassed with the latest comments. It is with some irony that the fans that state how ‘disgraceful’ Suarez has been in the past, would still love him at their club. That is the passion of football; we will look past everything, in the hope of finding a new idol.

So Luis has finally officially said he wants to leave the club. It brings back memories of when an ex-girlfriend wants to have a ‘chat’ with you. You thought the world of that person, you would put them on a pedestal and they could do no wrong. You’d never listen to your friend’s advice because she was perfect, yet you never realised that inside they were a mess or a broken person.
Those feelings linger parallel with “The Cannibal of Ajax.” There is the Evra incident, the lack of handshaking after making promises, sticking his middle finger up to the Fulham supporters. Then there is the diving, admitting to diving, and finally losing control which resulted in biting another player. We have looked past all of these things because he is such a wonderful player with real talent, someone we idolised week in and week out. This, all without regard to what it has done to the image of our club or the impact on previous managers. We ignore the fact that he will try to take on a whole team, or try to do the impossible, simply because we love him. Although granted, some of his maze like runs do succeed and he does make the impossible, possible.

So now I find myself in a love, hate relationship with Luis. It’s difficult to admit to your friends they are right and that girl was crazy all along. They say there is a thin line between love and hate. Yet if Suarez apologises, signs some autographs, we will welcome him back with open arms won’t we? After all, we love him for all his faults, isn’t that what “Tainted Love” and football is about?

Andy

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