Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Liverpool striker Luis Suárez poised to make return against Manchester United ... -

He still wants out when the Liverpool owners, Fenway Sports Group, soften their 'no sale' stance, something that will not happen until next summer.

The last briefing on his behalf suggested without a hint of irony that the American owners proved they cannot be trusted because they had the audacity not to sell Suárez to Arsenal, even though they had no legal, sporting or financial obligation to do so.

It can only be a matter of time before FSG is blamed for the inability of Suárez's agent to be able to read, or certainly understand, the small print of the contracts he negotiates.

Suárez's capacity for switching persona from the perpetrator to the persecuted does not possess the deftness of one of the his trademark nutmegs.

Let us not forget his brief period of soul-searching after his 10-game ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic concluded that it was the English media's fault. You cannot blame him for trying. There will be those who agree.

There has been little in the way of contrition.

His manager at Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers, usually such a confident speaker, sounded like a man fearing the cracking of an eggshell when facing questions about Suárez in the build-up to his comeback.

He has no idea what Suárez is going to do next, living in hope rather than expectation that the Uruguay international will be the source of serenity for the next eight months rather than a prolonged migraine.

In the aftermath of the Ivanovic bite Rodgers spoke about his willingness to rehabilitate; to get inside Suárez's head and ensure that all future assessments are monopolised by football.

Liverpool employ renowned sporting psychologist Dr Steve Peters. Each time the club are asked if Suárez has met Peters since the Ivanovic incident, there is an understandable reply about such matters being 'private'.

There is no suggestion that Suárez believes he needs help, let alone spent the duration of his suspension seeking it.

The only meetings it was claimed he sought during the summer were with lawyers.

So he returns to the No?7 jersey with no tangible evidence that he is any different to the player exiled five months ago, having given the impression that there were no classes to attend, let alone lessons to learn.

For all this, there will not be a single Liverpool sympathiser who is not thrilled to have him back against Manchester United.

He has let them down, frazzled their emotions with his flirtations with rival clubs and said nothing about how he is prepared to put the immediate past to one side and keep Liverpool moving forward.

That is exactly what Suárez will do, however, because as a footballer it is what he has done since the day he made his Liverpool debut.

He is mesmerising to watch. Liverpool fixtures are elevated by his genius.

This is why the club fought to keep him and why it seems there is no line he cannot cross without mitigation being offered, unpalatable though it is for those with no emotional connection to him or the Merseyside club.

If Liverpool win that trophy, finish in the top four and convince Suárez to stay, supporters and observers might eventually laud the greatest player in the club's history.

Suarez can at least start the next mile on the road to redemption with a matchwinning performance in Manchester on Wednesday night.

No comments:

Post a Comment