Written by @ArsenalFCView
There’s been awful lot of nonsense written and tweeted about the Luis Suarez transfer in the last few weeks. The bad feeling between Arsenal and Liverpool fans is increasing by the day. Who is the bigger club, who’s got the best history, the best stadium, the best fans, blah blah blah. And there doesn’t seem to me much light at the end of the tunnel in terms of relations thawing.
I don’t like it. I spent five years on Merseyside when I was a teenager. Moving up from the south as an Arsenal fan, I was surrounded by Liverpool fans. At the time Liverpool were the best team in Europe pretty much, and the fans weren’t shy in coming forward about it. I grew to really dislike Liverpool, reaching a nadir in 1989 when we won the league at Anfield. Sweet indeed.
My dislike of them outweighs that I have for Spurs. I know this sounds odd, but its fueled by personal experience. But the problem is, I now don’t appear to be alone. It’s like when you liked Coldplay before everyone did. It’s horrible.
The main problem seems to be the quotes coming out of Anfield, on an almost daily basis. The management openly criticising Arsenals pursuit of their star man, as if no club has ever tried to sign a player from another club. Ever.
It started with their owner who asked on twitter
“What are they smoking at the Emirates”
It was never actually confirmed what this related to, but we can all assume it was in relation to our low opening bid for Suarez. As if it wasn’t entirely normal business (and personal) practice to always offer below the asking price for something you wish to purchase.
Outrage from Anfield. Outrage from a club that spent £35m on Andy Carroll and god knows how much more on Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing.
The response from classless Arsenal was deafening in its silence. They didn’t take the bait, not publicly at least. And so a constant stream of diatribe and astonishment begun to flow from the Merseyside club.
Initially shocked at the low bid of what we think was £30m, the club then proceeded to announce to everyone that Arsenal had made a bid. Odd really, it is usually the bidding club that show their hand in the press. See Moyes rather sad and desperate pursuit of Cesc.
Again, not a word from classless Arsenal. Ignoring the press speculation and baiting from Liverpool. The media questions had started. Encouraged by Arsenal fans on twitter who were becoming increasingly desperate for a signing, the press turned every Wenger conference into a Q&A session about the bid for Suarez. Wenger, classless as ever, made no comment, totally disrespecting the players incumbent club.
In fact the first quote I can find from Wenger on the transfer is this from 12th July
“As you know the transfer period demands secrets and confidentiality, so I can’t answer the question”
Again, completely disrespecting Liverpool.
Towards the end of July, the quotes from Rodgers start to flow. Firstly he talks about not wanting Suarez to leave, and the fact he isn’t for sale. This quote from the 13th July
“He has got three years left on his contract, we don’t want to sell him, and we hope everything will be fine for the summer”
Not for sale. Fair enough.
Ian Ayre, the Liverpool Chief Executive then announced to the press that Arsenal had bid for the player. The Arsenal fans loved this, ok we are actually pursuing players, good news. And yet again, classless Arsenal say nothing. Not a peep.
During the latter part of July, Liverpools attitude changed. From
“He’s definitely not for sale”
on the 13th July to this on the 22nd.
“Unless there’s any sort of offer that comes in which is anywhere near his value then there’s nothing to consider and we haven’t had that”
No mention of Arsenal at this point, but the implication was very much there. It has to be remembered that at this point Arsenal were in the Far East and were making no comment about any transfer speculation.
A couple of days later, Rodgers claimed that as compatriot Cavani had gone for £55m, then Suarez was worth at least that. So now he does have a price, interesting. But still nothing from Arsenal.
Then on the 25th July. This
“If Arsenal want the player they have to produce the value for the player”
Outright naming Arsenal and seemingly inviting them to make a bid for the player. Which they did. A bid of £40,000,001 was made by Arsenal, believing that was the amount to activate a release clause in Suarez contract. There has been much talk of the contract, but in all honestly nobody really knows, though Arsenal did apparently understand that was the bid required. This angered Liverpool. Classless again they said. I didn’t get this. Why was it? Why would you pay over what you need to for something? What was wrong with the bid. Liverpool made it public, it wasn’t like Arsenal went laughing to the press boasting of how they’d bid £1 over the release clause. Again, pretty classless stuff from Wenger. No wonder Liverpool were getting increasingly frustrated.
By the end of July, Rodgers claimed that Suarez and Bale were of equal quality (possibly actually true) and that how could Bale be worth 100% more? A fair comment, but surely he meant that Bale was worth no where near £85m not that Suarez actually was. Who knows, but again more comment from the Liverpool hierarchy on the transfer.
The transfer appeared to be stalling, do Liverpool want to sell? Will Arsenal bid enough? Up until this weekend at the Emirates cup, Wenger had kept quiet, but there was really no avoiding comment this time.
So we heard this on the 2nd August
“We want to [sign Suarez] if it is feasible in an amicable way”
What an awful thing to say. After a month of disrespectfully saying nothing, the club fire a broadside at Liverpool aggressively claiming they will land their man.
Over the course of the Emirates Cup Wenger was repeatedly asked about the deal. Fair enough really, we the fans, need information about what they are doing. We are a terribly needy bunch and we need reassurance that the club our spending our money, and spending it big. Next we heard this on Saturday
“I had never said that we had made a bid to Liverpool. Now I can tell you that we have made one, so at least that’s [some] information. All the rest, I would like to keep to ourselves”
So finally they admit to a bid. And then this further yesterday after the game
“We try to do it properly, but a transfer is always an agreement between three parties and we have always done that until now”
Totally lacking in class, Arsenal continue their relentless public pursuit of Luis Suarez. The last quote from either manager on the whole sordid affair was this from Brendan Rodgers last night
“I was surprised. I’ve got to say I’ve always associated Arsenal as a club with class and so there was a wee bit of a game there”
Wow. Honestly, have you ever heard such nonsense in all your life. Through the entire process, all I can see is soundbites coming from Liverpool. As I’ve highlighted, Arsenal have barely said a word, except when there really has been no choice. And yet on confirmation of the deal, and a claim that they always respect all parties in transfer dealing, Rodgers accuses the club of lacking class.
I understand that Liverpool feel like a cornered rat right now and are coming out fighting. I get that. But some of these quotes are simply staggering. What is he trying to achieve? I’ve read a couple of articles where Wengers double standards have been questioned. How dare he try to sign a player from another team. The cheek. The same press that openly barracked Ferguson last year for his public courting of RvP. Oh.
The same press that roundly abuse the club for not actually making any signings.
As far as I can tell Arsenal have acted impeccably throughout the entire saga, not once making a comment unprovoked. Not once trying to publicly unsettle the player. Now we have no idea whats going on behind the scenes, maybe Arsenal have been underhand, who knows. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise really, I’m sure it happens all the time. But to my mind, the only club and manager lacking class in this whole affair are Rodgers and Liverpool. Don’t take out the fact your best player wants to join another club, on that club. It doesn’t make any sense.
They call for loyalty from the player, the same club who loaned out Pepe Reina against his wishes (apparently) after 6/7 years service. It all seems very odd to me. I hope that people aren’t buying the press line that Arsenal have acted incorrectly, as from what I can see, they haven’t. At all.
I still don’t even know if I want the club to sign Suarez. He’s undoubtedly a class player, but his on field antics are something else, and I’ve never been backward in coming forward in my hatred of him. Its the ultimate conundrum. Support the club, or hate the player. I don’t think any of us will really decide until it actually happens
For the record, I think it will happen. But it wont be easy, and I’m pretty sure nothing will happen until the 31st August, and it will be messy. Perhaps damaging the relationship between the two clubs and their fans for years to come
One request though. Can you guys go back to hating Spurs again? I like being different.
Have a good day.
[ED update – Don’t forget classy Rodgers breaking his agreement with Swansea over Joe Allen or this kind reminder from a Fulham fan:
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