Rodgers: No hard feelings over Suarez


Liverpool’s former talisman Luis Suarez may have ditched life in England’s north-east to enjoy sunnier climes with all-stars Barcelona, but former boss Brendan Rodgers has insisted there is no love lost and that he will maintain good relations with the player who achieved so much for the club.

Following weeks of transfer speculation linking him to Europe’s top sides along with much World Cup controversy, Liverpool’s hot-headed striker was poached in a jaw-dropping £75m swoop by to La Liga heavyweights Barcelona.

The Uruguayan completed a very successful three-and-a-half seasons at Anfield, the last one proving particularly prolific. Having been the key man to lead the Reds to a very close second-place Premier League finish, he emerged not only top goal-scorer for the club but also top scorer in the top flight by a country mile – with a spectacular 31 league goals racked up over 38 league fixtures.

During the last two seasons Suarez really fell into his stride under Rodgers. Since the northern Irish boss arrived in 2012 he devoted much time and care into the development of the rising superstar; not just in terms of his ability on the ball, but also in terms of his team work.

In last night’s press conference, which was held ahead of Liverpool’s pre-season friendly in the USA with Serie A side Roma, Rodgers was asked if he felt in any way disgruntled over his prized striker’s decision to move to the Catalan capitol.

He told reporters:  “No, not at all. Luis, in my two years at the club, has been sensational.

“Of course there have been issues which have been well documented, but it’s in the past really. He was a brilliant player for us. For me, I will always see him as a good man and a good friend.

“He gave everything to Liverpool, and he left Liverpool after his time as a world-class talent.

“It’s obviously a shame he’s not here, but Liverpool, as a club, is bigger than any individual and we will move forward.”

When questioned on how he feels the loss of Suarez might impact the team as they head into the coming season, Rodgers insisted nothing will change in terms of his principles and strategies.

He stated he has other forward players in mind, albeit different players, but ones he envisions will work well for the team and be fully capable of achieving impressive results over Liverpool’s upcoming domestic and European runs.

“Luis is gone. We can’t replace him like for like,” he explained.

“There are other players we can bring in that can maybe bring other things to us. The core principles of our game won’t change.

“Although the personnel might change, the philosophy does not. Our game principles stay very much the same.

“We’ve got to be defensively strong, good organisation, press the ball really hard, and then, when we have the ball, create chances and retain possession as long as we can.

“None of that will change now Luis is gone.”

Rodgers’ comments may go some way to reassuring the Reds supporters, however many are hoping their chief has plans to replace their former anchorman with a big-name signing this summer.

The addition of former Saint Rickie Lambert – as popular as the Liverpool born-and-bred man might be amongst the fans who share his roots – is very much doubted to prove prolific enough on the front-line to push the Merseysiders forward as realistic 2014/2015 title contenders.