Souness: Last chance for Suarez
Published 21/04/2013 | 20:06
Former Liverpool player and manager Graeme Souness labelled Luis Suarez's apparent bite on Branislav Ivanovic as "embarrassing" and believes the Uruguayan is now in the "last chance saloon" as a Reds player.
The controversial forward once more attracted the headlines for all the wrong reasons after appearing to bite Ivanovic midway through the second half of Liverpool's clash with Chelsea. That the 26-year-old scored a late leveller to ensure the Merseyside club escaped with a 2-2 draw against the Champions League chasers at Anfield is very much an afterthought.
Instead, much of the post-match reaction has centred on his aggression on Ivanovic, with Souness stunned by the incident, saying in his punditry role on Sky Sports 1: "I'm not sure what to make of it really, embarrassing."
He added: "A football club's board of directors' job is to attract and get the best football players and keep them at the football club. He is making it very difficult for himself to stay at Liverpool, I believe that puts him in the last chance saloon.
"More important than any of that is to safeguard the good name of the football club. This club is a world renowned football club. It is up there with any Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, it is up there with any of them."
Souness believes the incident came at a bad time for Liverpool, who this week marked the 24th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. The 59-year-old pointed to Suarez's chequered past that has seen him involved in several controversies in the Barclays Premier League.
"People will be talking about this for a long, long time and it's going to show Liverpool in a very bad light - especially in this week of all weeks, anniversary of Hillsborough," he added.
"If you look at Suarez's track record in the past, his incident with Patrice Evra, this is not the first time he has bitten someone in a football match. It can't happen again. I firmly believe this puts him in the last chance saloon as a Liverpool player - the board have to see it that way because they're risking everything this great football club stands for."
Professional Footballers' Association chief Gordon Taylor was disappointed Suarez's actions spoilt a good game of football, saying on Sky Sports News: "It was not good to see to say the least. It was unacceptable.
"His reputation for controversy continues to increase when he can be such a good player, one of the world's best, so it is a real dilemma now. It's uncalled for, it's not good, it's depressing, it's such a shame for a player who's a really good footballer but this is not the first time that such things have happened."