Luis Suarez leaves a bitter feeling, but hopes remain positive at Liverpool
When I first sat down to write this blog post today, my fingers bashed away furiously at the keyboard. I vented all my frustrations, anger and sheer disbelief at the way Luis Suarez has conducted himself this week.
August 7th, 2013
For those at the back in need of some catching up, Suarez spoke to two British newspapers on Tuesday night (yes, the same British media that earlier this summer he said he despises) to use them as a platform to force his way out from Anfield.
Of course, great news for the Guardian, and the Telegraph, who I’m sure shifted a lot of papers this morning, but yet another moment of shocking professionalism from the 26-year-old forward.
As I said, that was all covered the first time I started this blog post and some of the language in that post really isn’t suitable for daytime reading, so I’ve decided to go with a more positive theme instead.
With the season fast approaching (we’re now less than a week and a half away at the time of writing), hopes remain increasingly positive at Anfield for the new campaign, with or without Mr Suarez. The journey the squad has come on since Brendan Rodgers joined is quite remarkable, and signs in pre-season games show he’s doing all the right things.
The days of Kenny Dalgish at the helm and, as much as I adore and respect the man himself, his draconian tactics, seem long gone and Liverpool are playing with a positive outlook, with a focus on attack. Our football looks modern, inventive and at times a delight to watch. I’m expecting better things from Liverpool this season, and that’s all we can ask for as Liverpool supporters.
The club’s owners and Rodgers have made it abundantly clear that we are on a road back to the top, and that the road is long. So don’t expect miracles overnight, and many other footballing clichés.
This summer we’ve welcomed to the squad Belgian international goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. The 25-year-old has a tough act to follow in Pepe Reina, who has been shipped off to Napoli to reduce the club’s wage bill. But he is a keeper with a fine balance of experience at the top level and a cool head on his shoulders.
Kolo Toure comes in to replace the retiring Jamie Carragher, bringing with him his experience of winning Premier League titles at two different clubs and has looked lean and sharp in pre-season. Another central defensive signing may just help create some healthy competition in the heart of the Reds defence, presuming Daniel Agger stays as well.
Luis Alberto, a 20-year-old attacker with footballing days at Sevilla and Barcelona B behind him, is still out for the jury to decide upon, and one for the future anyway.
Iago Aspas, the at times eccentric 26-year-old Spanish forward/wide-forward from Celta Vigo gives Rodgers another option and dynamic in Liverpool’s attacking threat.
Add to them the magic of Philippe Coutinho, ready for his first full season at the club and showing us glimpses of a world-class footballer in the summer games. Daniel Sturridge should be fresh back from injury in time for the start of the season and ready to pick up where he left off in 2012/13 – goalscoring for fun. Martin Kelly, a long-term injury absentee has bulked up during his recovery and looks set to make hard work for the league’s defenders. Raheem Sterling has a big point to prove this year as he looks to impress Roy Hodgson and earn himself a place in England’s World Cup squad. Youngsters Jordan Ibe and Andre Wisdom similarly could turn out to play very important roles for Liverpool.
So the personnel look good, they look bright and they look like they want to be part of the rebuilding programme at Liverpool Football Club.
My prediction for the season doesn’t go all guns blazing towards Champions League football. I’ll leave that one for the naively confident as, whilst the Reds are improving, so are our rivals. All I ask from Rodgers is that we finish with a higher points total than last time out. A good Cup run would be nice too, but not essential.
As for Suarez, well he who betrays us will always walk alone.
Max Munton, This Is Anfield