The ongoing drama and media frenzy surrounding the future of Luis Suarez is something which has become all too familiar to Liverpool fans in recent times – in fact, it is a trend which has begun to spread its (ugly) wings throughout the beautiful game and the Uruguayan is just another face for it.
The lure of playing in the Premier League attracts some of the top names in world football. It is also a prospect that some of the average-good names would never be able to turn down – which is to be expected as it is human nature to strive for better. For some, they make the most of the opportunity and take their game (and thus their name) to new heights.
A player who now has a name surely deserves to be paid higher than what he is or to be playing in European competitions with a BIG team which often means the club he is at is no longer good enough. Such is the logic of the average modern day footballer.
As a Liverpool fan I have seen this unfold with two of my biggest footballing heroes (whom I still love) – first with Michael Owen to Madrid and then with Fernando Torres to Chelsea. Arsenal fans will know how I feel just as well having lost club legends like Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona and the likes of Nasri and van Persie to their rivals from Manchester. Tottenham face the exact same problem as they try to keep their superstar Gareth Bale out of Real Madrid’s grasp.
For many the prospect of actually winning titles or getting paid a small fortune is too good a deal to pass up, and they promptly pack up and leave – forgetting the faith showed in them by the clubs that made them. In fact, every single one of the players mentioned above owe their reputations to the clubs they left – and there are many more.
To be fair, it works out for some. Robin van Persie picked up and improved on his form he showed the season before at Arsenal and good for him – as with all of them though, it came at a cost of being the face of betrayal amongst the fans who had loved and supported him before. A name that gets associated with more than half of these players, and quite possibly the most infamous name of all time is Judas (For those of little faith, Judas sold Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver) – a quite fitting name.
The sad reality (depending on which side you look at it) that often happens though is that these players never really reach those ambitious heights they were aiming for, or even the form they had showed before for that matter – a scenario which applies to the Owens, Torres’ and Nasri’s of the current footballing world – and it becomes a depressing question of ‘what could have been’.
So is it ambition or is it greed?
In my honest opinion it’s greed. Out and out greed. When a player leaves a small club (in a lower division or freshly relegated) for a big club that’s ambition, but no person can honestly claim that Arsenal and Liverpool etc. are small clubs. Ambition would be staying at the club and striving to take them forward with you and reach the ambitions you have. Ambition would be Steven Gerrard or Francesco Totti turning down offer after offer despite the hard times their clubs faced.
It is not ambition, no, it is greed. It’s a greed for money and fame which in the end inevitably leads them down a road of shame – no matter how much success they achieve.
(Please note that this is not an attack on any of the players I mentioned. I respect 90% of them as brilliant athletes. I don’t respect the common decision they made however, and it is that idea of ‘self-over -others’ that I am attacking)
Liam Bekker – @Bekkers_Blog