There's a strange I hate you don't leave me thing that Luis Suarez has managed to create with Liverpool supporters, and it doesn't look like it's going away anytime soon even though the leaving's already occurred. He was at best a mildly controversial figure during his time on Merseyside, at worst a player who dragged the club and its long-standing values through some difficult moments™ (all of which were self-inflicted), and along the way someone who engendered a fervent loyalty from supporters.
Most of that loyalty was and is born out of the fact that he's a wildly talented footballer, one of the best Liverpool have had in a generation. He was an integral part of the club's greatest season in the Premier League era, and from the moment he stepped back on the pitch last season, he was unplayable. He combined with Daniel Sturridge to great effect and did okay for himself while operating as a lone striker, scoring goals for fun whether or not he had direct support.
"I appreciate all the work the team did but I missed six matches and scored all those goals in the Premier League without being the penalty-taker. The truth is that I left very happy because if I hadn't had the attitude and mentality to want to lead the team forward, I don't think Liverpool would have done as well as they did either. Getting back into the Champions League was another target I had in mind."
In fairness, the savior of Liverpool rhetoric was toned down during his acceptance speech on Wednesday night when he was presented with the Golden Shoe by Kenny Dalglish, when he credited his teammates for his accomplishments. Earlier in the week he also paid tribute to Brendan Rodgers, stating that he "left the club in good hands" with the third-year boss. But there's still the sense that everything is engineered, that there's always a next step in mind, and that the loyalty he's been--and largely still is--afforded by Liverpool supporters will never be repaid in full.
Which is fine, of course, as this is not a new song-and-dance in world football. But it's probably best that all involved start to move on. Awards and speeches and public pleasantries aside, it's clear that Luis Suarez has, and that he was more than happy to do so for at least twelve months prior to his move to Barcelona.
It's time for Liverpool supporters to do the same.
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