Who behaved worse - Suarez or Van Persie?

Van Persie Shirt

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has come out publicly to declare his desire to leave Anfield, citing their lack of Champions League football as his primary reason.

Arsenal are currently chasing the 26-year-old Uruguayan who has now made his position at the club almost untenable with his statement.

I am 26, I need to be playing in the Champions League. I feel I have done enough to be playing in the Champions League at this stage of my career. Now there is an option for me to do that and I want very much to take it,” he explained.

“I want to move to play in the Champions League and there is a club offering me that opportunity. I have told the manager that I want to leave the club.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal are no strangers themselves to this ugly situation – last summer their own star striker Robin van Persie posted a statement on his official website that he would not be signing a new contract and his desire was to move on from the Emirates.

"I personally have had a great season but my goal has been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days,” the Dutchman stated in July 2012.

"Out of my huge respect for Mr Wenger, the players and the fans I don't want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward. As soon as Mr Gazidis is back from his two-week holiday in America further meetings will follow."

"I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract,” he added effectively hammering the nail in the coffin of his Arsenal career.

Van Persie was at Arsenal for eight years – he didn’t have quite the controversial reputation Suarez has managed to amass in his two years at Anfield but he was involved in allegations of rape (which were proven unfounded), and he spent large potions of his time sidelined through injury while the club stood by him.

Suarez has (brace yourself) been involved in diving scandals, biting scandals, racist abuse and has spent large portions of the last two seasons banned or suspended by the FA for misconduct.

Both players scored goals in abundance – Van Persie was the Golden Boot winner in his last season at the Emirates and again this term with Manchester United. Suarez was a close second with his tally of 23 goals.

Van Persie cited the club’s lack of ambition and his desire to win trophies as his reason for defecting to a rival club and he won the title with United last term. Suarez wants to play in the Champions League and if he moves to Arsenal he could achieve that dream but engineering a move away is unforgivable from the perspective of the fans.

Van Persie was booed at the Emirates upon his return, despite his gesture of non-celebration (how gentlemanly) after stating the little boy in him was crying out to play for Manchester United.

Ultimately, Suarez has probably done the dirtiest dirty on Liverpool – he signed a contract that is supposed to keep him at Anfield until 2018. Van Persie was going into his final year on his and, for that reason, had a stronger hand force his way out.

Van Persie required a lot less maintenance at Arsenal than his Uruguayan counterpart – there was much less drama and turmoil over his eight years. Liverpool have stuck by Suarez through thick and thin and thinner.

He could argue he did everything within his power to help them challenge for the top four just the same as Van Persie could claim he did everything to help Arsenal in their quest for trophies but, alas, the fans are never going to be appeased by that rationale. The club pays your wages, the fans buy your shirt, they sing your name and when you turn your back on them, they never forget.

If Luis Suarez signs for Arsenal this summer, he better know better than to show his face around Merseyside for a while and, by the sounds of his statement, that would suit him down to the ground.

image: © cactusbeetroot

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