Transfer news: Former Liverpool player John Barnes claims Luis Suarez thinks he's superior to the rest of the squad

Barnes feels that fans have empowered players with their adoration which leads to star players blaming their team-mates for failures

Former Liverpool winger John Barnes has added his input to the Luis Suarez debate by claiming the striker thinks he is superior to his team-mates when he should actually accept the responsibility of the club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League.

Suarez accused Liverpool of reneging on a verbal agreement that allowed him to leave this summer, and manager Brendan Rodgers has sent the Uruguayan international to train with the reserve squad as punishment for his outburst until he learns to respect the club and his fellow players.

Barnes feels having an inflated opinion of themselves is a common problem with modern-day footballers, identifying the fans’ adoration as the reason for this.

Suarez was cheered by Reds’ fans during Steven Gerrard’s testimonial and also an open-training session last week, but that feeling is unlikely to be repeated following his comments earlier this week.

"Why are you so surprised? This situation has been going on for years," said Barnes, after he was voted seventh in the club’s website’s ‘100 players who shook the Kop’ poll – coincidentally two places behind the 26-year-old.

"This is the future of modern football we have created. The media and especially the fans have empowered players too much to make them feel that a) they are better than their team-mates and b) they're better than their clubs.

"We've seen it at Arsenal where so many players have left because Arsenal cannot match their ambitions, and the fans are the ones who have created this superstar culture whereby you've separated the team and the superstars to feel more important than the club.

"What has empowered him (Suarez) and the likes of (Fernando) Torres is they feel the team is losing not because of them but because of their team-mates.

"Suarez is saying he needs to go because they've not qualified for the Champions League, but he was part of the team that failed to do that.

"He has to take responsibility for that. He's saying, 'I've done my job, I'm good enough, but the players I'm playing with aren't'.

"Our superstar players feel they are untouchable. We've gone too far and there's no way back."

Barnes clearly felt that this is a growing problem within the game, but he offered advice to fans over how they could prevent the matter arising each time a player wanted to leave their club.

"Don't fall in love with players because they will leave given the right circumstances," he told talkSPORT.

"Support the club, support the group and then, if any player wants to step out of line, we won't support him.

"Maybe then they won't get over-inflated egos and behave the way they do."

Rodgers was incensed with his striker’s comments, and promptly spoke out of his anger.

"There were no promises made - categorically none - and no promises broken," Rodgers said after Liverpool’s 4-1 friendly win over Valerenga in Norway last night.

"The club and his representatives had several conversations and he knew exactly where he was at.

"I will take strong, decisive action. There has been total disrespect of the club - this is a club that is historically one of the biggest in the world and has given him everything; absolutely everything.

"I don't believe there is a clause in his contract that says he can leave for any sort of price."

The dispute seems to have pushed Suarez closer to the Anfield exit, with the club’s players, officials and fans unlikely to forgive the forward, who scored 23 league goals last term, in a hurry.

Rodgers seemed to suggest that it would be difficult for Suarez to be reintegrated into the squad after what he said, claiming a complete disrespect of the club as his reasoning.

"We first of all need to assess where (the situation) is,” added the Northern Irishman.

"Things have been said that are derogatory against the football club, his team-mates and the supporters.

"There's a few bridges to cross before that (playing for Liverpool) can happen again.

"It's about respect - that's the only thing we look for. This is one of the most iconic football clubs in the world. You can't disrespect it."

And on the prospect that Suarez could apologise for his behaviour, he said: "That's something I will ensure before anything happens in the future."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

Secrets of comedy couples

What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

The best swimwear for men

From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

Mark Hix goes summer foraging

 A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

Aaron Ramsey interview

Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men
The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life

Unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth’s elevation to football’s top tier is one of the most improbable of recent times. But it’s illustrative of deeper and wider changes in English life
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms