Brendan Rodgers has reacted furiously to the way Luis Suarez has behaved this week and he’s well within his rights to do so.
As things stand, Suarez has made it seemingly impossible for himself to have any future at Anfield, creating a situation through the press where Liverpool will inevitably sell him to Arsenal as soon as a bid near their valuation comes in.
Brendan Rodgers has reacted angrily to Suarez’s accusations that he broke a personal promise to the forward, suggesting that the striker would be allowed to leave last summer if the club didn’t qualify for the Champions League.
“There were no promises made – categorically none – and no promises broken. The club and his representatives had several conversations and he knew exactly where he was at - I will take strong, decisive action, absolutely. There has been total disrespect of the club,” said the Liverpool boss.
Rodgers is now in a situation where he’s reportedly ordered Suarez to train alone, away from his Liverpool teammates and he’s more than likely facing a season of reserve team football if he doesn’t get a move away from the club.
Some may suggest that Rodgers may be better off trying to build a bridge with Suarez, offering him a way back into the first team because he’s that important to Liverpool’s chances of success.
However, that idea is fundamentally flawed for several basic reasons which have knock on effects to the rest of the squad.
Suarez is unhappy and in his situation, it’s naturally to vent bitterness towards the people blocking that happiness as he’ll see it.
“There's a few bridges to cross before that can happen [Suarez playing again]. It's about the respect – that's the only thing we look for. This is one of the most iconic football clubs in the world, you can't disrespect it,” added Rodgers.
Liverpool absolutely cannot afford for Suarez to have a disruptive influence in the dressing room because the seeds of doubt in relation to the boss and the club would be planted.
Any Liverpool player who has been linked with a huge side could listen to Suarez and think ‘hmm, maybe I can force my dream move away from the club too’ which is something Rodgers can certainly do without.
It’s also important that Rodgers sends a message to Suarez because if his accusations aren’t based on any elements of truth as Rodgers suggests, he can’t be allowed to get away with that lack of respect towards the club.
For Rodgers the aim is to now keep Suarez at the club if possible, creating a situation where he’ll have to apologise publicly to get back into Liverpool’s good books. However, it’s looking untenable at the moment and if the right offer comes in, Liverpool may well take it and not look back.
How would you handle the Suarez situation?
image: © Bernard Chan