Following yesterday’s toxic encounter at Old Trafford, Luis Suarez has apologised for not shaking Patrice Evra’s hand, while Kenny Dalglish has admitted overreacting with his comments in the post match interview.
Liverpool’s Suarez caused a storm by not shaking Evra’s hand before kick off and then petulantly kicking the ball in the stands as the halftime whistle went.
Dalglish defended his striker, claiming he had “not seen what had happened” and calling Sky Sports’ Geoff Shreeves “severe and out of order” for his comments on Suarez.
Today the Uruguayan striker issued a statement saying that: “I have spoken with the manager since the game at Old Trafford and I realise I got things wrong.
“I’ve not only let him down, but also the club and what it stands for and I’m sorry. I made a mistake and I regret what happened.
“I would like to put this whole issue behind me and concentrate on playing football.”
Liverpool’s director Ian Ayre strongly condemned Suarez’s behaviour, expressing his disappointment at the Uruguayan’s choice of not following the line of conduct that had been previously decided by the club: “We are extremely disappointed Luis Suarez did not shake hands with Patrice Evra before yesterday’s game. The player had told us beforehand that he would, but then chose not to do so.
“He was wrong to mislead us and wrong not to offer his hand to Patrice Evra. He has not only let himself down, but also Kenny Dalglish, his team-mates and the Club. It has been made absolutely clear to Luis Suarez that his behaviour was not acceptable.
“Luis Suarez has now apologised for his actions which was the right thing to do. However, all of us have a duty to behave in a responsible manner and we hope that he now understands what is expected of anyone representing Liverpool Football Club.”
Even Dalglish offered an apology, cutting a much changed figure from the defiant one that had appeared in the Old Trafford tunnel yesterday: “Ian Ayre has made the club’s position absolutely clear and it is right that Luis Suarez has now apologised for what happened at Old Trafford.
“To be honest, I was shocked to hear that the player had not shaken hands having been told earlier in the week that he would do.
“But as Ian said earlier, all of us have a responsibility to represent this club in a fit and proper manner and that applies equally to me as Liverpool manager.
“When I went on TV after yesterday’s game I hadn’t seen what had happened, but I did not conduct myself in a way befitting of a Liverpool manager during that interview and I’d like to apologise for that.”
Manchester United have accepted the apologies and said they’re “happy to move on”, continuing on the line of conduct that had seen the club taking a step back to allow justice to run its course.
Only yesterday had Fergie allowed his real feelings to be felt, branding Suarez “a disgrace who should never play for Liverpool Football Club again”.
The excuses are, it must be said, impeccably timed.
Jamie Redknapp aside, who laid the blame on the FA for not scrapping the handshake ritual as they had done for Chelsea’s visit to QPR, the media and the whole football world were quick to condemn Liverpool’s stance on the matter – even Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen found no excuses to defend his former team-mate.
His legacy in tatters, Dalglish sought a PR stunt to try and salvage his and his striker’s reputation.
Exactly how Liverpool Football Club expect the public to believe the truthfulness of the statement is frankly beyond anyone’s guess.
The need to apologise comes from the awareness – conscious or otherwise – of having acted neglectfully, in spite or ethical or moral codes.
Suarez and Dalglish have always denied any wrongdoings, therefore the apology should not be read as “I apologise for racially abusing Patrice Evra” but purely as “I apologise for not shaking his hand”.
Dalglish’s paranoia and siege mentality have found fertile ground on the Anfield terraces with Stan Collymore – a former Anfield servant himself – being abused on twitter by Liverpool fans accusing him of having an “anti-Liverpool” agenda, after he had condemned Suarez conduct.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise though, much like Dalglish does with Suarez, he knows that Liverpool fans would forgive him everything.
To borrow a quote from yesterday’s interview, the only things “bang out of order” are Dalglish, Suarez and the mess they’ve dragged their club into.
The mighty have fallen, and how. Once a glorious and successful club, now nothing more than a mid-table side whose mediocrity on the pitch is mirrored by their manager’s behaviour.