Defiant Dalglish tarnishing reputation


When questioned about the return of Luis Suarez following his eight-match suspension, Kenny Dalglish naturally eulogised about the Uruguayan striker.

Suarez had not featured for the Liverpool since the Boxing Day draw with Blackburn, and was granted an Anfield homecoming against Tottenham on Monday night.

"It's fantastic to have [Suarez] back," Dalglish told the assembled press after the encounter, in typically forthright fashion. "He should never have been out in the first place.

"Luis Suarez doesn't have anything to prove to anyone at Liverpool FC."

Dalglish himself, though, does have something to prove. Not to Liverpool supporters and their hierarchy, but to the wider football community as a whole.

He needs to prove that he understands why Suarez was banned in the first place after, once again, showing complete disregard for the Football Association's ruling on the matter.

At Anfield, Dalglish has a status that cannot be tarnished, but the Liverpool boss is in danger of significantly damaging his reputation elsewhere after continuing to demonstrate a quite baffling arrogance and ignorance regarding the issue.

Dalglish must realise that, as the figurehead at Liverpool, it is his duty to uphold the principles of the great club he loves so dearly, which is making enormous strides to combat racism both at the ground at in the community.

Regardless of his feelings on the Suarez case, or his personal affection for the 25-year-old, Dalglish must urgently bite his tongue not only to avoid discipline from the FA, but to prevent himself sounding like an odious character with archaic views.

Dalglish seems intent on making Suarez a martyr; a symbol of Liverpool resistance who has seen his reputation enhanced rather than blemished in the eyes of some after the incident with Patrice Evra.

Dalglish is admired by many - myself included - but it is becoming increasingly difficult for him to hold the acclaim he has always richly deserved.

For his part, Suarez was full of beans during a 30 minute cameo in the goalless draw with Spurs, and had an opportunity to snatch a victory for Liverpool.

He did, however, attract controversy after a dangerous looking kick to the midriff of Scott Parker and was, perhaps, fortunate to escape a red card.

When considering Dalglish's current form, it would not be unfair to suggest the Scot might put Suarez's martial arts down to 'cultural differences'.

One can only hope Dalglish does, to excuse a cliche, let Liverpool's football do the talking from now on, to allow the Reds to earn the headlines their onfield exploits deserve.

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