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Rodgers Wants To "Keep Hold" Of Suarez

After another afternoon giving the opposition defence twisted blood, Luis Suarez remains vital to any hopes the club have of progression next season, something Brendan Rodgers is all too keenly aware of.

Clive Brunskill

For some, Brendan Rodgers is an overly verbose, smarm merchant who would have been more suited to hawking beaten-up old jalopies to hard pressed punters. For others, the Liverpool manager is the arch manipulator of the media, whose every word is measured and calculated in order to elicit the desired reaction. For most, however, he's somewhere in between these two tabloidesque extremes.

I have a degree of sympathy for Rodgers, who must fulfill endless press commitments and seems to shun the type of surly, monosyllabic responses favoured by certain Glaswegians. He should not be faulted for being articulate and earnest. He should, however, be careful of what he says. His comfort in front of a microphone is only a strength in certain situations and there have been too many examples of silly bluster and gasconade about second place finishes and such-like.

Harsh reality and the crushing disappointment of under-achievement seem to have curbed his enthusiasm for hyperbole to a degree and his latest thoughts, given during yesterday's post-match presser, on the future of Luis Suarez, are as measured and cautious as they are optimistic.

"It's very important we keep hold of Luis. He is a wonderful player. He came back late on Thursday, was in training on Friday and I saw how tired he was. He looked totally shattered from all the travel and the exertions of the games. But you look at him at [Aston] Villa, his energy and willingness to work for the team and just his sheer quality."

Nobody who's seen the Uruguayan attacker in action for Liverpool could see an ounce of exaggeration in Rodgers' words and it is right and proper that Suarez is acknowledged for the tremendous dedication he has shown in Liverpool red. It is yet another quality which marks him out as a player all fans wish to see remain at the club. To that end, Rodgers was as unequivocal as one can be, given the vagaries of modern football.

"We don't have to sell Luis. There is nothing like that. He is very happy and we don't need to sell him for the money or anything like that. Our job is trying to build the group here and add to it. We've bought front and midfield players and we want to keep striving forward and there is no need to sell."

All very encouraging and yet, given the manager's track record for waffle, it remains just talk. I remain convinced that the mistakes of manager and players are the inevitable errors one might expect from a nascent group and as such I urge restraint in the rush to be the first to condemn and whinge. I say this, of course, as one who has had to replace more than one TV remote. Like Kafka, "I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy."

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