Monday 20 November 2017

Lennon: Suarez has been treated harshly

Damian Spellman

CELTIC manager Neil Lennon believes Liverpool striker Luis Suarez may have been harshly treated after being banned for 10 games.

The Uruguay international will miss the start of next season after landing the mammoth suspension for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

 

Suarez has since thrown his situation at Anfield into doubt by telling reporters in South America he wants to leave Anfield this summer.

 

It remains to be seen whether or not the former Ajax frontman remains on the books when the Reds travel to Dublin on August 10 to meet Lennon's Celtic in a pre-season friendly at the Aviva Stadium.

 

Asked how he would have handled Suarez, Lennon said: "He's a brilliant player. I was watching the British Lions last week and Owen Farrell got left-hooked by a Barbarian right on the jaw.

 

"He hooked him, but more is made of Suarez taking a nibble out of Ivanovic than this guy hooking Owen Farrell, so I think there has to be a certain perspective put on things when it comes to football.

 

"We know it's a worldwide sport and we know the players are role models and they have a responsibility, but in terms of Suarez, you take him to one side and say, 'Look, behave yourself'.

 

"Obviously, it wasn't the first time he had done it, but I think the ban was extensive to say the least."

 

Suarez may or may not grace the Barclays Premier League next season, but one man who will definitely be back is new Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, and Lennon is confident he will light up English football once again.

 

He said: "He is probably one of the greatest managers of all time and he certainly over the last decade has raised the bar in terms of worldwide management.

 

"I played against his Porto team in 2003 in the UEFA Cup final, and then he went on to win the Champions League the following year.

 

"He's won it with Inter Milan, he's won a treble with Inter Milan, he has won domestic championships in four different countries and he's got one special ingredient that all good managers have, he's got great charisma and he gets the best out of players.

 

"It's a real shot in the arm for the Premier League to have him back."

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