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Swansea defender wanted to ‘knock out’ Suarez

Ashley Williams accused Liverpool’s Uruguayan striker of being serial cheat

Gulf News

London: Swansea defender Ashley Williams has launched an extraordinary attack on Luis Suarez, accusing the Liverpool forward of being a serial cheat and admitting he was so riled by him in one game last season that he wanted to “knock him out”.

Writing in his book My Premier League Diary, published yesterday, Williams claims that Suarez dives more than any other player he has faced and slams his “superior” manner on the pitch.

The comments were revealed on the eve of Liverpool’s must-win Europa League match at home to Young Boys of Berne tonight. Swansea host Liverpool on Sunday, a fixture that marks Brendan Rodgers’ first competitive return to the Liberty Stadium since leaving for Anfield in the summer.

Referring to Swansea’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool at Anfield last November, Williams writes: “Suarez has that aura about him that says, ‘I’m untouchable’, and his manner and behaviour made me want to knock him out.

“The manner in which he approached the game, with utter contempt for us all, means that he’s streets ahead of any player I’ve truly disliked since we’ve been in the Premier League.

“He dived more than any other player I’ve played against — it was so bad I was genuinely shocked.

“Throughout the game, he just dived down and screamed at any given moment. A couple of times I’d hear the scream, see him writhing on the floor and for the life of me couldn’t see where the contact could have been.”

Although the book was sanctioned by Rodgers during his reign at Swansea, the Liverpool boss expressed surprise at the tone of what Williams had to say: “When I saw the comments I was very surprised. I know Ash and he certainly wouldn’t have meant it the way it came out. Everyone who comes up against Suarez will feel that his unpredictability and ability are incredible.”

Rodgers also hailed the patience of Liverpool’s owners following Roberto Di Matteo’s sacking at Chelsea, as he described football management as now being a “no-win business”.

“I really respect that people have been lenient with me because this is a club that demands so much,” said Rodgers, who was told by principal owner John W Henry in July that he did not have to deliver a top-four spot this season. “I have also been respectful of how realistic people have been. Is it no-win being a manager? At some clubs. But this is a different club.”