It’s been interesting to watch the way Liverpool fans have framed the Luis Suarez transfer saga. In particular, I’m surprised at the the lack of understanding as to why a player like Luis Suarez would want to join a club like Arsenal. Can you really not see the reason why?
When it comes to Luis Suarez and Liverpool fans, opinion seems to change quickly. Whilst many stuck by him during the racism and cannibalism sagas, the way he has acted this summer seems to have alienated just about everybody.
His attitude (in particular, the lack of respect for the fans) may well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Yes, Brendan Rodgers and co. value Suarez as a footballer, but they also seem to realise that £40-50m would be more useful to the Reds than an unhappy, unmotivated individual.
Suffice to say, I think most Liverpool fans would be happy to see Suarez leave, should they get a fair price for him. Still, many fans just don’t seem to understand why Suarez wants to talk to a club like Arsenal.
This point of view, has perhaps best been summed up by Michael Owen (which in itself, is a little odd, given the way he’s burned up all his Liverpool credibility over the years):
“I’m struggling to understand why he would leave and stay in England, with Liverpool being the stature they are. Arsenal are a fabulous club and have got a great heritage, but Liverpool are as big – if not bigger.” (Source: The Mirror)
These comments are surprising coming from an ex-player. He’ll know as well as anybody what runs through player’s heads when they consider moving clubs. The first consideration is usually ‘How much are they willing to pay me?’ The second is often, ‘Am I likely to win silverware with this team?’, or ‘does this team play in the Champions League?’
They’ll then consider this: are there other clubs out there, who can offer more in these regards?
For modern footballers, it’s very unlikely that stature, or history (call it what you will) or the fans, will even figure into it. Michael Owen, a man who has left Liverpool before, must surely know better.
I’m sure if Real Madrid really were interested, that would be Suarez’s first choice. But, the fact that he wants to speak to Arsenal, suggests he views the club as a step up. It suggests that what Arsenal can offer (Champions League football, a better chance of silverware, etc) is more in line with his goals than what Liverpool can offer.
Liverpool have been bigger than Arsenal for many years. But as things currently stand, in the modern footballing landscape, that’s just not the case anymore. If Suarez moves, the proof will be in the pudding.
Interestingly enough, Owen answers his own question later in the interview: “From Suarez’s point of view, you can understand him if he wants to reach the absolute pinnacle of the game – that’s playing in the Champions League.”
Case closed? I’m looking forward to reading the comments on this one!
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