16 Nov 2011

GARY GILLESPIE warns: "We're in danger of getting carried way here..."

Idolatry is a sickness in modern football; nowadays, players are idolised and deified to such an extent that they assume godlike status in the minds of some fans, and that is never healthy. Luis Suarez is the latest Liverpool player to be put on a pedestal, and former Anfield defender Gary Gillespie has called for a sensible approach to the inevitable hype.

Luis Suarez himself recently admitted that he was 'embarrassed' by the over-the-top fawning over his ability, but Gillespie argues that fans should never lose sight of the fact that the team must always come first:

"We're in danger of getting carried away a little bit here. I think we've been through this to a certain extent with Steven Gerrard, and certainly when fernando Torres was here - we want to idolise people, and we want to build people up, but...Luis Suarez is part of a team, and he's got to be part of a team structure.

"That's the strength of Liverpool football club. You talk about Dalglish, but you still had Souness; Phil Neal; Alan Hansen; you had key players in other areas of the pitch, and it wasn't all just about Kenny.

"If Kenny Dalglish didn't perform then maybe David Johnson would perform, or the wingers would play. It's the modern media circus; we always want to build people up, and hopefully, not knock them down.

"We're lucky because I think Suarez realises he's part of a team framework, and that's been the same for all the great Liverpool players of the past".

I totally agree with Gillespie. For me, player idolatry is one of the biggest problems in modern football.

Where Liverpool is concerned, the sycophantic deification of players is symbiotically linked to the destruction of the 'Liverpool Way', and the erosion of traditional LFC values (such as 'no player is bigger than the club')

The fact is, certain players ARE bigger than the club, and the proof of this is fans willing to condone, accept and encourage anything that their favourite players do or say, even when it reflects badly on the club they profess to love.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. You are right Gary, football is a teamwork game. Idolising one single player will do no good.

  2. Nor will criticising ONE single player all the time!

  3. It's something related to the attitude and culture of modern new generation of football fans.
    Sometimes it seems that football is a "one man show" more than a team effort.
    Reading some fan comments (especially on web and blog site) after any game, I have the strong feeling that most fans think that We're a bunch of bollocks, a team made of selfish as Suarez, the New God, defines our results for his own.
    No one appears to be open minded enough to reward team's effort or other players' contribution to the cause.
    For Example, in Carling Cup victory at Britannia, Henderson had provided some brilliant pieces of play, but the majority of fans was pointing the fact of "one man victory".
    On the opposite front, You can't see the hell frozen until You will hear some form of critics versus Suarez or other Idols or Favourite Players of our fans.
    I think that's an important problem: Players need to see them as a part of a team, They need to fell the support of fans.
    If They (othr players) should see themselves only as shadow figures and useless players Who surrounds a One Man - Team, one God, They will feel uncomfortable

  4. Liverpool is a club that demands idols going back as far as King Billy, Albert Stubbins,Jimmy Payne,Alex Raisbeck..the grafters and grinders are important but fans need someone to quicken the heartbeat when they are on the ball. Other than Suarez do we have anyone that can do that ?

  5. Enrique when he is bombing forward, Bellamy, Maxi but i really feel for Maxi he  should be playing instead of Henderson, Bellamy should be playing instead of Downing and kuyt should play instead of Carrol