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Striker's anger issues could take a year to resolve, claims expert as PFA offers help

AN anger management expert who has worked with David Beckham and Wayne Rooney said that Luis Suarez could need a year of treatment to fully address his behavioural problems.

Jeannie Horsfield, director of training at Steppingstones UK, who advised Rooney as a teenager following his move to Manchester United and was also said to have helped Beckham after his sending-off for England against Argentina in 1998, said it was clear Suarez had "unresolved issues" and needed help.

The Professional Footballers' Association has offered to arrange anger management sessions for Suarez, and Liverpool already employ sports psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters.

Horsfield said: "The signs are the kind of things that were demonstrated on the pitch on Sunday and the outburst in 2011 against Evra, the racist comments. Those are in-your-face signs that there's something at play.

"To have the level of outburst where somebody actually gets physically aggressive and bites somebody in that way, that would suggest there are some unresolved issues at play. When violence or aggressive behaviour comes out, it's often out of proportion with the event. Unless they've been physically attacked and need to defend themselves for real, it tends to be to do with what we call regressive anger."

Horsfield said it could take up to three months to fully identify and address the "triggers" which led to someone losing control, with mastery of the techniques involved often taking much longer.

PFA chairman Gordon Taylor said: "We've seen with players like Paul Gascoigne (above) with his problems – things have improved and then he's gone off track again and many people would say give up, but that's not the attitude I have or that of the PFA."

Irish Independent