Arsenal is not a small club! Gerrard’s misplaced arrogance… not again! (A Rant kind of)
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard recently revealed that he had played a key part in keeping Suarez in Liverpool last season when Arsenal had tabled their bid. But then came the shocker from Gerrard, “With all due respect to them, I said to him that he was too good for Arsenal.” This has happened yet again, as he so nonchalantly makes a rude remark, the previous one being the “None of your business” reply to Geoff Shreeves after their emotional victory against Manchester City last season.
It is shocking in many aspects, especially as Arsenal have certainly been better and more consistent over the years despite being in the same financial level if not below. Moreover, Luis Suarez is no way a “simple” player in Liverpool, as he solely contributed to more than half of their goals directly with his goals, assists and chances created, meaning even if they want to claim that they weren’t a one man show, Liverpool were desperately dependent on Suarez to run the show for others around him.
Most definitely Gerrard knows that Suarez is growing bigger for Liverpool and most Premier League teams as well, but “with due respect to them” sounds even worse when Gerrard over-estimates Liverpool’s status in comparison to Arsenal. Yes, the Liverpool legend did follow up with valid explanation talking about how ambitious Luis Suarez is, and moving to a club like Arsenal won’t be a move to satisfy his hunger, which was always to play for Barcelona or Real Madrid.
“I said, ‘If you score 30 goals for us and win the PFA Player of the Year, the press Player of the Year, they (Barca and Madrid) will come back for you’.
This is how Gerrard convinced Suarez to stay it seems, but it is no justification of the remark that Arsenal is too small a club for his standards because playing for the current Liverpool team for even one season is as good as playing for Arsenal if not worst, because he has not even stepped foot in Champions League football with Liverpool. If he had gone to Arsenal, there is every chance that he would have scored as many goals both in the Premier League as well in the UCL and bagged those awards and a ticket to Catalonia. A move to Arsenal would have barely made a difference to the big Spanish Clubs who have huge influence in the transfer window, recent example being the transfer of Colombian star James Rodriguez to Real Madrid. James had joined Monaco only last year and this season he’s playing in Madrid.
We all saw how the team was built around Suarez. Remove Suarez and last season’s Liverpool squad is only as good as Arsenal if not worse. So his further comments though seem perfectly simple, do look like another clever remark to hide the club’s weaknesses, “I just thought for his own sake, and to get respect off the Liverpool fans, he had to give us at least one year.”
Luis Suarez, a world class striker, so hungry for victory that he won’t shy away from biting or saving a goal with his arm, would surely know exactly what he wanted or wants. Staying in Liverpool and missing Champions League football offered by Arsenal and also the chance to taste silverware(which Arsenal eventually won) does not all look like Suarez doing it for his own good, does it? Suarez was definitely coaxed and pleaded to, not only by Gerrard but probably manager Brendan Rodgers as well so that Liverpool is in decent shape to finish fourth or above, which they eventually succeeded in achieving. That seems valid, but saying the opposite in the media, that it was for his own good and for the respect from fans being the reason he was made to stay in the club, well, that is arrogant.
Suarez is known to be a very professional footballer in the club and a very good worker in training, which makes him endearing to Liverpool fans. But his reputation in the league and the country isn’t something he or anyone would be proud of. Racism, biting and diving, he has been involved in all and the media has also loved to target him time and again and the irony being that it was done despite him being a player of the media’s favourite club Liverpool.
So the respect of the fans argument is dicey here. Did Luis Suarez have anything to lose? Would he have cared if the Reds’ fans would have hated him if he moved to Arsenal? Wouldn’t he have got London’s biggest fan-base to support him in Arsenal?
But as we all know, Liverpool somehow managed to keep him and this was because Luis Suarez had the world at his feet, and had the power to choose whether to stay or not to. He was the master of his choice, and he did it for Liverpool, giving them one extra chance to witness his show. That only talks volume about the character of a tainted personality like Suarez.
With all that aggression and passion and winning mentality, he did stay for the club, which now looks like charity work! Whether you like it or not, Liverpool aren’t living in 1982 to have such a level of arrogance. They are no longer unconquerable especially when they talk about being the “biggest English club” or rich history or ‘love from fans’.
The Reds have had a scarcity of world class players and they surely didn’t want Suarez to play for another Premier League team, which is the truth and a very reasonable one. Gerrard’s comments are something of an irony to what he stands for, as they are shying away from the truth. Suarez’s staying in the club did great good for the club but he yet again endured a trophyless campaign despite winning individual honours.
And this is what Arsene Wenger had to say about Gerrard’s comments.