Belfast Telegraph

Biting Back: Liverpool feeling the bite of no Suarez

By Graham Luney

In August, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers received a text from Luis Suarez wishing his former club well for a clash against Southampton.

Rodgers could now be forgiven for replying with a 'I want you back' message.

Life post-Suarez has not gone swimmingly for the Reds. The 3-1 loss at West Ham at the weekend made it three defeats in their first five games.

Mario Balotelli isn't the answer as his poor work-rate shows.

Rodgers now knows this is the season in which he is really going to have to earn his money.

Suarez scored 31 goals in 33 Premier League appearances for Liverpool last season. You can't see Balotelli or Rickie Lambert matching those stats.

But the Uruguayan, who left the club in the summer for £75million to move to Barcelona, not only produced match-winning heroics – he was an inspiration to those around him.

If you like, he was Liverpool's Eric Cantona after the Frenchman inspired David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Gary and Phil Neville to great deeds.

But Suarez is now gone and with Liverpool back in the Champions League for the first time since 2009, their depth of their squad will be exposed.

Former Northern Ireland boss Lawrie Sanchez was fortunate to enjoy memorable moments on the international stage when David Healy was at his devastating best.

A manager cannot succeed without quality players.

For Rodgers, the Suarez hangover refuses to go away.

Belfast Telegraph


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