Will Suarez stay at Pool?


(Delaney 79, Gayle 81, 88)


(Allen 18, Sturridge 53, Suarez 55)

Luis Suarez sat forlornly on the Selhurst Park turf, scarcely able to believe what had happened.

As the tears came, he hauled his shirt up and refused to pull it back down again until he had reached the sanctuary of the dressing room.

He was led, like a blind man, from the pitch by Kolo Toure, the jeers and taunts of the Crystal Palace supporters ringing in his ears.

Even for a man who has had so many personal lows, this was new nadir.

A chance of a Premier League winner medal all but spurned because of a hideous "Inverse Istanbul" that saw three goals conceded in just nine minutes yesterday morning (Singapore time).

It will take time for Suarez to recover from this. It will take time for everyone connected with Liverpool to recover.


Even though a 3-0 win would still have left them relying on the slim possiblity of a City slip, even though they were unlikely to put eight or nine goals past Newcastle on the final day of the season, this will still be long remembered as the night that Liverpool blew the title.

What matters now, is how they react.

There is little reason to doubt Brendan Rodgers.

The man holds within himself a deep well of positivity and, although he acknowledged that an outside chance of success still remains, he has already turned his attention to next season and the Champions League.

He will see this for what it probably is; a near miss and a learning experience.

For Steven Gerrard, it might be too late. Clearly in physical decline, his extraordinary mental strength and his unexpected conversion to a deep-lying midfielder have kept him relevant during this campaign.

But, will he still be able to perform at that level next year, or the year after that? It's going to be very hard.

But what of Suarez? In the background of this incredible season, you can still hear the rumour mill turning.

There is still talk of that £70-million ($148m) move to Real Madrid, even though there doesn't appear to be a natural gap in the team for another forward.

Though things like that have never stopped the Galactico policy in the past, admittedly.

Quite understandably, Suarez sees himself as one of the world's best players and he should be at one of the world's best clubs.

But for all the disappointment of yesterday morning, he can do that with Liverpool.

Suarez would be better served by staying at Anfield and coming back stronger next year.

Liverpool, after all, are a club that have given him everything.

When Europe's other elite clubs felt that Suarez's achievements in Holland were diminished by the strength of the league, Liverpool took the plunge.

When Suarez was charged with racially abusing Patrice Evra, Liverpool stood by him.

When Suarez avoided Evra's handshake and reignited the controversy all over again. Liverpool stood by him.

When Suarez went at the exposed flesh of Branislav Ivanovic like an extra from "World War Z", Liverpool stood by him.

Now it's time for Suarez to stand by Liverpool.

He can go to the World Cup with Uruguay, take his frustrations out on England, take a holiday and then return to take up the challenge once again. He owes his club that.

Suarez is an incredible footballer but, so far, he has won only a League Cup.

If he wants to be regarded as one of the greats, he needs to win more. And he can win more.

If Real Madrid make a bid, he should be wise enough to say "no".

This article was published on May 7 in The New Paper.

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