The big Twitter accounts are onto something. Share a clip, no matter how trivial, unimportant or insignificant about Darwin Nunez, and include a caption about how awful he is, and watch the numbers fly in.
It was a social media technique born in the summer during Liverpool’s pre-season friendlies, and despite the fact that the Uruguayan has barely played competitively for us, mainly due to a three-match suspension, it hasn’t stopped the banter-lads searching for any rope they can to hang him with.
The latest, you will have seen, is an overhit cross for Uruguay. It got 11 millions views and genuinely thousands of publicly abusive comments, not just from rivals, but from idiotic Liverpool fans too; about how it defined Nunez’s ability.
So much interaction has this nothing topic received, big outlets like ESPN are now speaking about it as they know it gets attention. Jumping on the bandwagon. This is what’s caused so much commotion, by the way:
Honestly cannot wait for this lad to come good. Have never seen a player bullied like Nunez based on 3 second training clips in my life: it’s purely weird. https://t.co/2uqm86PnLs
— Jordan Chamberlain (@Jordan_AC90) September 21, 2022
Lots of footballers get abuse online, of course. It’s horrible. It’s normal, sadly. But it’s very rare someone is targeted before they’ve even played proper football. Nunez has racked up 176 minutes of Premier League football so far. That’s less than two full games.
Sadly, the lad reads it all. You can tell he does because he offers thinly-veiled replies, which also get jumped upon. If I were his advisor right now I’d hand over his social media to an external company and delete it from his phone. Not easy for a 23-year-old, of course. He’d say why should he? Maybe that’s a fair point.
Nunez was bought for a purpose. To score goals. And judging by the positions he’s got in for Liverpool so far, he’s going to score them. His finishing has been poor. He’s rushed things. He’s tried too hard. He wants it so much that he’s not been composed in big moments. How much this is to do with the online attention he’s receiving is impossible to judge, but put it this way; it’s not going to help, is it?
Luckily, fans in the ground have supported Nunez fully. And they’re the ones he should listen to. When we next play, versus Brighton at Anfield, hopefully the striker will get an opportunity to show what he’s learned so far.
And with this merciless, at times, downright nasty trolling, Nunez’s success will feel all the more incredible. Every goal will be celebrated more, by him and by us, and every win will make the moronic attempts to judge him based on a poor finish in training all the sillier.
It’ll happen. Nunez will be very good for Liverpool, once the team have adapted to him and he’s adapted to us. And once our world-class players start performing in the manner they’re capable of.
This long rest will do them all good, even though many are now away on international duty.
Ibrahima Konate is returning, Jordan Henderson is back, and Andy Robertson won’t be out long. Caoimhin Kelleher is training, as is new signing Calvin Ramsay and providing nothing goes terribly wrong on international duty, our early season injury crisis is nearing its end.
Let’s get behind Nunez, fully. Even if he plays horribly for the next ten games. Supporters need to support. Give the lad a chance. He’s good. Jurgen Klopp thinks so, anyway, which should be enough for any of us. It’ll come good. Be patient.