What is it about Liverpool manager and their tone deaf support for Luis Suarez? Kenny Dalglish failed the understand the public’s opinion of Suarez racially abusing Patrice Evra. Now it is Brendan Rodgers turn to fail to understand the public sentiment.
A day after Luis Suarez was given a 10-match suspension for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League match Sunday, the Liverpool boss said that the length of the ban had left the club “bitterly disappointed.”
“It is the severity of the ban that has hurt most,” said Rodgers. “That is something we are bitterly disappointed with — not so much the ban because everyone has seen it and Luis was very open and honest to know it was wrong.
“I felt it could have been 12 games but with a six-game ban and six games suspended, looking at his future behavior. I don’t think anyone would have disagreed with that.”
Asked if Suarez had let the club down Rodgers replied:
‘Luis has not let me down one bit. He is a player who fell well below the standards of this football club but that doesn’t mean he should be thrown to the garbage, which is what has happened from a lot of people these last few days.”
Rodgers went on to dig himself a deeper hole saying by saying that the ban might force Suarez to leave England:
‘This is a guy who I see on a daily basis trying very hard,’ said Rodgers. ‘His passions in life are his family and Liverpool Football Club. It is part of his make-up, you can’t change that. But he is trying to adapt the traits he has grown up with to the culture here.
‘Each time he makes a step forward we beat him with a stick and beat him down. I can understand if he felt like that in a moment of reflection.
‘Am I worried he will knock on my door? I am not thinking about that. I can guide him, like I’ve done this year, and will tell him when he’s done wrong. We will plan for the future with Luis. There is no other thought. Luis is very much a player I believe will be here.’
I cannot believe that Rodgers has misread this situation this bad. The pictures of Suarez biting Ivanovic have been broadcast around the world. All Liverpool had to do was accept the punishment and move on. Instead once again, one of the most storied teams in Europe fails at basic public relations.