(Credit : The Daily Mail)
Traumatic is how Brendan Rodgers described that week where Suarez’s hunger for success went a step too far. It was pretty stupid to take out his frustration and anger on the poor arm of Branislav Ivanovic. It was undoubtedly, bad timing in many ways. A couple of days earlier, Gordon Taylor of the PFA was defending the inclusion of Luis Suarez on the shortlist for PFA Player of the Year award.
“This is a footballing award and Suarez’s footballing ability shines through.”
By the end of the 2-2 draw at Anfield, Taylor was most probably preparing to eat his words. Yet this was far more detrimental for Suarez, who again whipped up controversy when it seemed like the dust was settling following previous incidents. This time round, the footage of the ‘bite’ made international news and there was no escaping from what the media turned it into. However, Suarez’s subsequent 10 match ban might just turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Liverpool football club and the footballing world overall.
I don’t think that a team should be a ‘one man’ team. I’ve seen it far too often how the overall team becomes too reliant on one star man to carry them through to a win. Suarez has been that man without a shadow of a doubt. Whilst Liverpool fans will appreciate him carrying the team on his shoulders, they will look to the other individuals on the pitch who the club invested in, to come up with the goods on a consistent basis. Steven Gerrard has been doing it for several years and has a few years in him to chip in 10 plus goals a season and keep on delivering those quality free kicks, corners and passes. I’ve seen how India had always looked at the Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar to hit a century to win a game of cricket. What no fan wants to witness is the ‘player is bigger than the club’ situation no matter how precious his footballing credentials.
Suarez’s ban might just allow the likes of Sturridge, Coutinho, Borini, Henderson and Allen to show what they are made of. Let’s not forgot that there is no way we can burn out Suarez by making him play every fixture on the list. There will be times where Rodgers will look to rotate, rest the lad and Suarez might even end up with a niggling injury which forces him out for a few games. In such a situation, the other players have the responsibility of playing the part. Now is the perfect time to get into a mindframe of playing football where a star player is not involved.
Suarez’s ban also serves as a reminder to players that such behaviour is unacceptable. You know things are serious when the police and Prime Minister David Cameron get involved. It also acts as a final warning to Suarez, that he cannot continue to dig himself a grave by losing his cool. It might just be, that this ban might help him to cool down and reflect on his position at Liverpool football club.
I do question whether PFA Scotland Player of the Year, Motherwell striker Michael Higdon will be stripped of the award, having been arrested over an alleged assault. If the accusations are proven true and the PFA do nothing about it, I would wonder why a severe punishment wasn’t dished out to Higdon as well. Surely on and off behaviour should be exemplary to set an example to young children out there passionate for the game? Will David Cameron have much to say on that topic I ask you?
Suarez will mull over this season’s events. He continues to be the apple of the eye for Liverpool fans, regardless of the commotion he causes.
(Credit : liverpoolfc.com)
In situations in which Uruguayans display bravery in the face of overwhelming odds, the expression “garra charrúa” (Charrúan tenacity) is used to refer to victory in the face of certain defeat.
Sums the man up perfectly.