Boos rang out when a certain Uruguayan’s name was read out during last night’s PFA Player Awards, once when the Team of the Year was read out and once again when it was revealed that he finished second behind Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale for the top prize.
Not the climax to Luis Suarez’s season that he, the club or its supporters could have ever expected.
The Reds top scorer, who did not attend the event at London’s Grosvenor Hotel, began his suspension at the weekend when his side recorded a remarkable 6-0 victory at Newcastle United.
The result kept Liverpool in seventh place; most probably where they will finish up, so it could be argued that Suarez’s absence from the final four games of this campaign is largely irrelevant.
However, the fact that he won’t be involved until late September that provides the real blow.
Six games into this season (including the League Cup win at West Brom) Liverpool were in the relegation zone with just two points from five league games, and it that slow start that hampered their ability to maintain a realistic challenge for the top four.
It is hard, having read the report to deny the punishment for Suarez’s actions is unjustified. The simply player brought the game into disrepute by mindlessly targeting an opponent in an unprovoked manner, letting himself and the club down.
The length of the ban is tough to take, but the club eased fears that their inability to field their star player will stop them competing with Saturday’s result.
The main concern for the club going forward is surely making certain that Suarez doesn’t move to pastures new, and that he will be pulling on a Liverpool shirt when he is able to play again.