Until of course, I eventually would tire of the song, which always happened, because I was a 10 year old with the attention span of a newt. Time would pass – weeks, days, hours, depending on the song’s potency – and my interest would fade. A track’s power, usually tied to the circumstances under which I’d first fallen in love with it, would disappear, leaving something merely functional and repetitive, a husk of majesty diminished by familiarity.
If you’re a Liverpool fan, some of this should be starting to sound familiar (and no, I’m not giving voice to the tired Once-Mighty-Now-Fallen narrative flogged by some). The scenario I’m describing, better known as burn out, is fast-approaching for I dunno, someone like, hmmm…,oh, say, maybe… Luis Suarez? And without some reinforcements come the January transfer window, Luis Suarez may be doomed to the fate of a hit song; the footballing equivalent of ‘Call Me Maybe’.
In the case of Mr. Suarez, replace ‘attention’ with ‘production’ and the rest of the analogy makes a truckload of sense (if you’re as literal-minded as some anti-Livvie wags, spend some time with it- I promise you you’ll get it in the end). He’s singlehandedly keeping Liverpool out of the relegation zone. His goal against Newcastle was a masterpiece, and he’s regularly the only LFC player on the pitch worth watching for any length of time. He’s also the only one who tends to score. I don’t care how many crafty teenagers with fast haircuts are out on the field with him, make no mistake; Luis Suarez is doing the heavy lifting for Liverpool Football Club.
I don’t see how he can sustain it. Right or wrong, he’s not well liked in the league, the result being that he’s often rag-dolled all over Liverpool’s attacking third without support from officials, and in some cases his own teammates. Hell, I’d be taking cheeky dives all over the shop to try and make up for some of the more obvious calls that don’t go my way. There’s also the issue of the physical and emotional mileage that Suarez is poised to endure in his current role: the fatigue that sets in when you’re the sole offensive producer for a club with mountainous expectations for a wholesale turnaround in the next five to ten minutes.
Here’s hoping for some transfer activity in January. It will be expensive, but Liverpool supporters are prepared for that. My hope is that the board and management are as well. This is as much the price of success as it is the price of saving Luis Suarez. As Liverpool’s sole attacking option, Suarez’s long-term prospects at the club are simply untenable. Plus, I don’t want to get tired of his tune. My worry is that he may grow tired of the tune that Liverpool sing before too long.