There is a great sense of naivety about all this, as if Brendan Rodgers hasn’t quite grasped the concept of wrestling with the big boys in the transfer market.

The whole song and dance about being admirable in standing up to higher powers (sort of, in Arsenal’s case) will only go so far. I don’t think anyone at the club sees a great deal of sense in keeping Luis Suarez beyond this summer, football reasons or not. But the fact is Liverpool desperately don’t want to sell to a club who they deem rivals in the Premier League. That’s fine, we get it, everyone should hold that line of thinking. But this whole thing is really blowing up in Liverpool’s face following their course of action in this particular battle.

Let’s get owner John W. Henry out of the way first. I saw his tweet, at the time retweeted by hundreds of users. I wasn’t too shocked honestly. I thought it was one of those parody accounts so I just ignored it. It was only when a handful of journalists caught wind of it and started to comment that I saw it for what it was. Maybe it’s funny, maybe it has some legs to stand on; indeed what were Arsenal smoking when they threw in an extra pound on the £40 million bid? It’s a provocative move that would surely wind up anyone if taken in the wrong context. Furthermore, if Arsenal are willing to pay £30 million above their comfort level, what’s an extra £100,000 for the sake of diplomacy?

But the story here is the owner of a major club in England using the kind of language that would normally be associated with a gathering of “yutes” (thanks, Joe Pesci) who are clumsily trying to form an amusing backlash to something deemed out of hand. I don’t know, maybe that’s the way they do it in the MLB. Ozzie Guillen?

Luis Suarez wants out. Were it not for Gareth Bale, this story would be the biggest transfer talking point of this summer, surpassing the Wayne Rooney affair. Liverpool have every right to man their posts and unleash a barrage of flaming arrows upon anyone who tries to invade (metaphorically, of course). It’s the way the transfer game is played. Daniel Levy has gotten plenty of criticism for leaving it late on many occasions, but never has the Tottenham chairman been questioned for his lack of professionalism.

Brendan Rodgers has quickly taken to being a manager at a big club. He’s dived right in and attempted to retain and reinforce the values of the club. Again, nothing wrong with that. There’s a popular insult levelled at Liverpool for them taking on a victim approach, regardless of whether it’s right or wrong to use that against them following certain incidents. But those aside, this is very much the club, and specifically Rodgers, playing the victim card. Liverpool have a wonderful winning tradition, but I don’t think the world needs the current manager to use it in the fight to keep a player who clearly couldn’t care less.

Why should Suarez apologise? Doesn’t the manager know that his star player wants out? Apologise or you’ll never play for Liverpool again. Well I’m quite sure Suarez would take the latter. He didn’t apologise to his teammates and fans following the Patrice Evra incident, at least not publicly, and he didn’t do it following his “clash” with Branislav Ivanovic. Would John Henry’s choice of words be inappropriate now? For me, yes it would, but it applies.

Suarez is Superman: he’s training in his icy fortress of solitude and won’t be paired up with the rest of the Justice League until he sees the sins of his ways. As Rodgers continued to pile on the matter, trying to force something from the player that benefits the club by mentioning previous misdemeanours, Suarez, in his icy fortress, is having a party knowing his days at Anfield are coming to an end. Rodgers’ words have played right into the player’s interview with the Guardian and Telegraph last week. It seemed as though nothing more could be done to signal the Uruguayan’s departure. Apparently not.

So who is this benefitting? I wrote last month that Liverpool would do extremely well to just move the player on and get it over with. Take up arms if you must, but Suarez won’t be at Anfield long term, and the building towards Champions League football and eventually a place among the title contenders is bigger than the player, although judging from the manager’s actions you have to question that.

It doesn’t matter that the six-match ban more or less gives Liverpool the time to run this one down to the wire, it’s the fact that the fans clearly don’t want him anymore (there’s proof: something about Ian Ayre, Ryanair, Celtic, and a handful of Liverpool supporters) but the club are steadily chipping even further away at their own reputation, the same one that took a real battering during Kenny Dalglish’s second term in charge.

I get it: for Liverpool at this time, Suarez is one of a kind. Rodgers wants him to stay because it makes his job easier. Sort of. Even with a return of £40-50 million from the sale, Liverpool may struggle to replace adequately. It’s one thing to have no European football on the cards this season; it’s a completely different story to have an increasingly diminishing pool of talent from which to choose, specifically those who can make up Suarez’s 30 goals.

But sometimes you just need to accept it. Don’t try and justify diving, cheating and biting and then take the supreme moral high ground over a player who expresses a desire to leave and play elsewhere.

Arsenal have their critics and a list as long as your arm of things they shouldn’t have done in the past. But what exactly have Arsenal done wrong here? Arsenal remained dignified in the face of the whole of Catalonia driving the knife in while the then wantaway star took the handle and added a few twists. The sale went through but that saga will be remembered for Barcelona’s underhand tactics, not Arsenal’s poor performance on the transfer front. It remained behind closed doors as best it could from the Arsenal standpoint, and they eventually moved on.

Rodgers would be wise to follow suit. Suarez is an outstanding player, but no player is worth the long-term reputation of a club.

Have Liverpool handled the Suarez saga poorly thus far?

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  • Martinmarx
    8 months ago

    Sorry mate, yer missin the point here. It’s not about Suarez, it’s about putting down the foot and stand up against player Power (reckon the Mancs are doin the same with Rooney). It’s about sending a message “if you sign a 4-year contract that’s YOUR decision not the club’s!”. I think Liverpool in general and Brendan in particular is handling the situation brilliantly in a way that makes me proud! So there!

    Reply
  • Red Courtinho
    8 months ago

    Arsenal fan get it into your head! the first thing you needed to do was offer the correct amount (£60m plus) then that’s what I’d say was the players true value. Then if Liverpool still say no you try and negotiate a deal! £40m is not enough period so you get real!

    Reply
  • Top Gunner
    8 months ago

    What Martinmarx said.

    Reply
  • Andy
    8 months ago

    The only naivety is in your article mate. Liverpool are sending a strong message to Suarez, his dodgy agent, and to potential buyers who decide to get contract information without permission.

    Two fingers to the lot of em

    Reply
  • Cupsui
    8 months ago

    you two guys are ridiculous!!

    Suarez is NOT worth 60million pounds. There are two players worth that Messi and Ronaldo. NO ONE ELSE! To say Bale is worth 80-100 is ridiculous.

    I agree with the player power thing but its just the way it is. And its not Liverpool or Arsenal that are to blame it is Oil money from Russia and the Middle East inflating wages beyond the revenues of the game.

    And finally clearly Rogers and the Liverpool board/owners have a big part to play in this. Something was put in his contract that’s obvious for it to be a clause that is simply to force Liverpool to consider an offer is underhand at best on Liverpool’s part. And that’s not even mentioning the alleged promise if champs league wasn’t met, which I think 95% of the football world bar Liverpool probably believe happened. Rogers/Board probably said it with every intention of revoking that promise (as what has happened) if they didn’t make champs league and then just deny it. To claim Roger/board of the puddles have been stand up in this situation is delusional…

    Arsenal are taking a huge risk in signing Suarez for 40-50million (which is the upper range of his actual value) as he is likely to agitate for a move in a couple more years. Furthermore they have to take on a fairly nasty bit of off the park baggage that the latinito brings with him. Liverpool need to get on with it replace him and stop ruining morale of their squad and the clubs reputation. Look at Arsenal’s starts the last two years with the Fabregas and RvP transfer turmoils. Horrible!! but even without them the squad has still be quality and when morale has improved as the season went on the team got on GREAT runs and made up impossible ground to make CL both years…Sell him sooner rather than later otherwise you will regret it liverpool

    Reply
  • Titto
    8 months ago

    I am a Liverpool fan and much as I wouldn’t mind seeing the back of Suarez, this is about LFC not turning into the laughing stock that Arsenal made itself into. Yes, it may not be good to keep a player that wants to leave, but it would be a bigger mistake to make contracts players sign worthless. I am fully behind LFC in this one.

    Reply
  • Jed
    8 months ago

    Its not Liverpool’s fault Arsenal are too tight to make a respectful offer. The sly hints about wages that they are willing to pay and letting Suarez know that the only party against this deal is Liverpool, to ignoring John Henry and Brenda Rodgers when they tell your club Suarez is not for sale. It is Arsenal Fooball Club that is handling this saga terribly and its verging on tapping up now.

    Reply
  • Cupsui
    8 months ago

    Well if you all get your way enjoy having the best reserve team player of all time. Roger & Henry should have handled this a lot better from the start. Clearly Guardiola (agent version) leaked info but you cannot blame Arsenal for making an offer on that information. Player agents are the other thing along with oil money that are fucking up the game. You have no basis that Arsenal are offering wages or anything like that and it is not “tapping up”.

    But the way things are going it looks like he is going to be forced to stay and that is going to make Liverpool an absolute ticking time bomb of squad division, low morale and having your best player not committed on massive wages that a club struggling financially (like Liverpool) can hardly afford already…Enjoy that!! We’ll get someone else or get by with Giroud, Poldi, Walcott and Sanogo, which is a pretty mean combo IMHO. More pressing needs for Arsenal are a DM and a CB and keeping the best players for the first time in a few seasons…

    P.S. Titto – if Arsenal are a laughing stock hate to know what that makes Liverpool right now?! yuk!

    Reply
  • Ross Gidman
    8 months ago

    Gave up on this article after you started talking about us playing victims card’s. Basically your saying let r best player leave for below value to a rival and let them say and do what they want. Thank god your only a two bit blogger and not r manager. Rodgers and FSG should be commended for there handling of what has been a tiresome affair. Suarez has turned his back on the fans and the club who have supported him and pay his wages. It’s about standing up to rebel players who think they can do and say what they want. If Arsenal want to let their players go on the cheap they can we will no longer be seen as a soft touch in the transfer market.

    Reply
  • Bill
    8 months ago

    As you should know everything can be bought and sold as long as you have a willing buyer and seller. It is not sufficient that Wenger and Arsenal find it agreeable. The main reasons Liverpool correctly don’t want to sell:

    - don’t help Arsenal as they are competitors
    - secondly the price is probably to low compared to what other comparable players trade at

    So get over it.

    To me it seems as if players have to much power vs. the clubs. Some behave poorly when they don’t get what they want (Rooney, Suarez, Tevez, etc.) and some don’t honor their contracts. Suarez has a contract which he willingly signed.

    This is business mate, Suarez is good at kicking a ball but contracts in a foreign language is not his thing. If he needs to take his disappointment out on anyone he should look at his agent, why did he advise Suarez to sign something which appears to be at odds with what Suarez claims was his understanding?

    Reply
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