Thursday, 3 February 2011

Suarez sweeps in new Liverpool era

A massive PR exercise has been taking place at Liverpool in recent days.

Make no mistake the departure of Fernando Torres was a hammer blow to the club’s morale.

He, alongside Steven Gerrard, was a talisman and the two players they could truly call World-class.

The signing of Luis Suarez was meant to persuade the sulky Spaniard to stay at the club, a sign of their ambition, and fans were drooling at the prospect of the pair playing together.

But Torres’ insistence that he wanted to leave left Kenny Dalglish and Liverpool board with a problem – not least what to do with the giant Torres mural outside the club shop.

The £35million last-ditch signing of Andy Carroll was their answer.

With the Torres money burning a hold in their back pocket I don’t think they cared how much they paid, in fact the bigger the better, anything to detract attention from the sight of Torres in a blue shirt.

Ex-Liverpool players-turned-pundits filled the sports pages and sports news channels, telling us all what a good deal it was, how Torres wasn’t that much of a loss and they are better off now anyway. All of a sudden a desperate situation had apprently been turned round.

Whether that is true or not is open to debate and will only ever be proven a few months down the line. But for the here and now Liverpool don’t care, they needed to give the fans a boost and bring back that air of anticipation back to Anfield rather than the Hodgson-era feeling of dread.

Complete things by giving Suarez the number seven shirt and Carroll the number nine and the supporters entered the ground misty eyed, remembering glory days gone by and believing a new chapter was about to begin.

It worked. Stoke did their best to batter and bruise the men in Red, holding on for 47 minutes before the deadlock was finally broken. Then, as if written in the script, Suarez came off the bench and scored to the delight of the home crowd.

The plan has worked perfectly so far. But with the window now shut, this is where the real work begins.

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