Luis Suarez: Have We Finally Had Enough?
Like many Kopites, I went into the World Cup fully expecting there to be drama surrounding Luis Suarez. His new contract and recent declarations about how happy he was at Liverpool did little to reassure. Being a realist I thought there was every chance that he wouldn’t be lining up against Southampton on the opening day of the season, but I did have hope.
Turns out all of our worst fears are about to be realised. However, what none of us could have expected was that our number seven would once again dramatically press the self destruct button. That he chose to do it on the biggest stage in world football simply adds insult to injury.
Last season all our troubles seemed so far away. The rehabilitated Suarez was conquering all and collecting plaudits everywhere he went. He spoke glowingly of life in Liverpool (the city and the club). His work with Steve Peters, we were assured meant he was a changed man. His wife had also waded in asking him to ‘do it for the children’.
To be fair to Luis he did. His disciplinary record last season was exemplary. Gone too were the histrionics that usually accompanied a decision going against him. We seemed to be witnessing a true redemption. Here was a player who had cast aside all of his negative baggage, whilst losing none of his brilliance.
However, just as he has done before Suarez has shown that the mad man is never far from the surface. We now face losing Suarez not to a rival or Spanish superpower, but to yet another ban. Our troubles, it seems are here to stay.
Speculation is rife but what is clear is that this could be a lengthy one. With the PFA fearing for his career and talk of two year bans, Brendan Rodgers must have his head in his hands. We don’t know what FSG or our main sponsors make of it, but you can be sure that the transatlantic phone-lines will have been busy last night.
Of course it is now out of their hands, but they would do well to run the rule over possible scenarios. If a ban extends to club as well as international football then at least Liverpool can get on with planning for life without their star player. Yes the financial hit would be huge, but in a way this may be preferable to him just receiving an international ban.
If Suarez is allowed to continue playing club football, then this is surely a harder situation for the club to manage. The clamour from friends and enemies to offload him would be irresistible. The club stood firm in the past. To do so again would make them a laughing stock.
How would Standard Chartered and Warrior feel about Suarez advertising their brand? Some may lament the power of sponsors in the modern game. I tend to agree. However you do not shell out £25 million a year without having some voice in the boardroom.
It is hard to see what Suarez could say or do to repair the damage he has done to his image and by extension his club. His position at Liverpool is now untenable.
So here we are in the midst of one of the most important summers in years and our manager is having to tear up his transfer plans. He may well have prepared a plan for replacing Luis should Madrid eventually get their man, but he would have been banking on circa £100 million with which to source a suitable alternative. He can forget that now.
If FIFA’s ban should only extend to International Football, than Suarez’ value will plummet. The Reds will be lucky to get half what they had hoped. Make no mistake there will be suitors and at £40-50 million there could be more than the one or two clubs we expected to bid.
On every level Luis Suarez has royally screwed the club. Yes he has potentially wrecked his own career and while as a human being I have some sympathy for this, it is the damage to my club that concerns me the most.
This should have been a summer of promise, of hope and joyous expectation. Instead we find ourselves back at square one and picking up the pieces after another reckless suicidal moment from our fatally flawed genius.
I don’t know about you, but I have had enough.