by Gautam Viswanathan Aug 4, 2013 09:50 IST
Have any of you seen The Drew Carey show?
In one particular episode, Drew’s house is put up for sale and his friend (played by Ryan Stiles) tries to buy it back for a few grand and one dollar.
Cue a laugh track in response to his rather odd bid because you never do put forth an offer with a dollar attached.
It was, however, the same laughter echoing across the realm of social media when Arsenal made an audacious bid of £40 million and one Pound to formally open negotiations with Suarez.
There was nothing wrong with it from a legal or footballing perspective. It was just the audacity of the bid which shocked and surprised in equal measures because do this was unheard of.
Plus, it was Arsenal. That only added to the weirdness of the bid.
The same Arsenal who haven’t won a trophy since 2005 and have sold their best players since then and have been extremely careful in the transfer market since moving to the Emirates Stadium in 2006, mere months after Barcelona beat them at the Parc des Princes and Italy lifted the World Cup at the Olympiastadion.
With one change: Arsenal now have money to spend.
While they may not have spent any of it this summer, they’ve been linked to some of Europe’s most prolific players.
But while the world is now laughing at Arsenal, laughter is a good way of disguising fear: if and when Suarez does end up at the Emirates this season, it will surely signal the return of Arsenal to the competitive stage.
Suarez himself is rumoured to be pushing for a move to Arsenal and with good reason.
Given the signings that have been brought to Anfield this summer, it is clear that Brendan Rodgers has in mind a long-term rebuilding process to return Liverpool to the Champions League. The former Swansea boss has admitted that because of a lack of funds, they might not be able to attract top talent this season.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s move to Borussia Dortmund is a prime example of that.
Liverpool have recruited a raft of players this summer, but while Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto and company are very talented, they are not proven match winners at the highest level. It is clear now that Rodgers is not expecting success to come overnight. If bringing back the club’s halcyon days is going to take time, Suarez does not have age on his side if he plans to win trophies at Liverpool in the near future.
He is 26, and has maybe five or six years at the very top to add to the titles he won with Ajax, Liverpool and Nacional in his native Uruguay.
And that unavailability of funds means that the billing at Anfield does not have the same ring to it as the A-listers that formerly walked out onto one of England’s most hallowed pitches.
While the likes of Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso and Dirk Kuyt formerly entertained the Liverpool faithful, long-serving Kop heartbeat Steven Gerrard aside, few world-class players currently ply their trade in Red.
Liverpool fans have every reason to be angry with Suarez, should he decide to leave the club this summer. They have after all stood by him during some of his most troubled times in England and you cannot help but feel sorry for them.
The loyalty Liverpool fans have shown for their club through the years which drew praise from the legendary Johan Cruyff, who once said that no club in the world has such a strong connection with their fans, has stood the test of time, and given the recent punches they have taken a la the mismanagement of the club by Tom Hicks and George Gillett and the lack of Champions League football at Anfield, which was once the stuff of footballing excellence, the loss of a player of Suarez’s calibre is sure to be another body blow to them.
Unfortunately, a significant portion of football fans will remember Suarez for the reasons the British press has played up time and time again and that is only natural: it is the tendency of the human mind to remember what is negative because we tend to pick at and dwell on those memories more than positive ones — because processing them is longer.
And that could be another reason Suarez wishes to leave Anfield.
Maybe he is looking for a fresh start after all that he has endured from the press during his stay at Liverpool and there are few places better than Arsenal to go to, if he wishes to stay in England.
He will never move to Manchester United because of the rivalry between the two clubs and a move to Chelsea is a no-go because of the Branislav Ivanovic incident last season.
Apart from Arsenal therefore being the only option, though, he would surely look forward to playing under Arsene Wenger. The immensely respected Frenchman has been known to exorcise the demons of those who previously wore the Red and White, and if he can contribute to Tony Adams turning his life around, he will most definitely make Suarez a better person than the one who stepped on English shores in January 2011.
Wenger is known to rate Suarez highly, and that he is willing to spend so much money (the latest newspaper reports have said a £51 million bid is en route) shows how much he covets the Uruguayan.
Suarez has scored 190 goals in 327 club games and is already his country’s highest scorer. La Celeste have always been blessed with a wealth of strikers and that he is ahead of Diego Forlan, Edinson Cavani and Sebastian Abreu with several years in his country’s light-blue shirt ahead of him just shows how prolific a striker he is.
And Arsenal players have already begun playing up what he would bring to the side.
Olivier Giroud, whose place would surely be threatened by the arrival of Suarez, has gone on record to praise him: "Luis Suarez is someone with whom I could form a good understanding on the pitch," he said. "So I am in favour of him coming to Arsenal and I am not afraid of the competition for places his arrival would bring about.”
Arsenal only faced Liverpool twice last season, but the club’s defenders remember Suarez as the player it was toughest to play against. Arsene Wenger reportedly asked his players whether they would’ve preferred to play with Suarez or against him.
The answer was unanimously towards the former.
This is an attitude echoed by a host of Arsenal players this summer. Wojciech Szczesny, Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott, Bacary Sagna, Aaron Ramsey and several other players have spoken about how they all want to win a trophy this year.
Luis Suarez could be the man who helps them do just that and if and when he does move to Arsenal, it will be Gunners fans who will have the last laugh.
Just like Drew Carey, who in the end does celebrate getting his house back.
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