Brendan Rodgers’s criticism of Luis Suarez’s diving admission is hypocritical

When Luis Suarez celebrated his goal in the Merseyside derby back in October 2012 with a ‘diving’ celebration, everyone – including David Moyes – had a good laugh over what was by consensus a cheeky self-acknowledgement of the Uruguayan’s notoriety for simulation. Notably silent at the time was Suarez’s own manager, Brendan Rodgers, who up until now had neither recognized nor condemned his star player’s penchant for going down too easily. On the contrary, after Tony Pulis called Suarez ‘an embarrassment’ after the Stoke match earlier in the same month over which the current furore has arisen, Rodgers not only completely overlooked what was the most blatant dive seen for some time in the Premier League, he chose to go on the offensive and defended Suarez against ‘vilification’. So for Rodgers to now suddenly decide that it was ‘unacceptable’ for Suarez to dive is little short of hypocrisy. Is he telling us that he wasn’t aware of what the players, referees, other teams’ managers and fans all over the country and across the world had known for the past two seasons? Rodgers could have censured Suarez last October, when his dive against Stoke was laid bare for all to see. Instead, by condemning Suarez now, the Liverpool manager is seemingly reacting to the admission rather than the act, effectively saying that it’s OK to dive, but wrong to own up to it. If a player can ever be said, in this day and age, to embarrass his club by diving, then Suarez has been doing that for quite some time, and this admission certainly isn’t going to suddenly plunge Liverpool into a moral void like Rodgers is implying. Notwithstanding Robin Van Persie’s excellence this season, Suarez arguably has been the best player in the Premier League so far. The racial abuse case against Patrice Evra and now the dive-gate have not affected his form, but for the second season in a row Liverpool have been put on a spot where they would rather not be, thanks to their star player.

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