Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 26 May 2016

Biting back: Suarez is Barca's pain now

By Steven Beacom

Published 12/07/2014

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers thanked Barcelona-bound Luis Suarez and wished him well yesterday as the most talked about transfer of the summer became official.

The Ulsterman knew this day was coming. Suarez could have moved on 12 months ago but for Rodgers and Liverpool standing firm.

In the time in between, the striker's brilliance almost took the Reds to a stunning title success with Rodgers making Suarez a better player and curbing his devilish instincts to fall foul of football's laws.

On World Cup duty, missing the Carnlough native's guiding hand, Suarez fell back into bad old ways, biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini.

Suarez is Barca's pain now. He is also their joy in a mouthwatering attack alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar.

Expect tennis scores at the Nou Camp...6-2, 6-3, 6-4.

As for Liverpool, they now face a mighty test without one of Anfield's greatest-ever players.

In his statement saying farewell to Suarez, Brendan pointed out: "If there is one thing the history of this great club teaches us, it is that Liverpool is bigger than any individual."

True, and Liverpool have recruited shrewdly in an attempt to keep the momentum going that Rodgers has built up, but without Suarez's magic touch, the bid for glory has become a whole lot harder.

The coaching expertise, tactics and man management skills of Rodgers are now even more important.

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