JAMIE CARRAGHER insists Liverpool are right to stand by Luis Suarez following his bite on Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.
The experienced centre-back admits the Uruguayan striker let himself down with his conduct at Anfield last Sunday but says Suarez needs help rather than being hounded out of English football.
“It was said in the aftermath of Sunday’s game against Chelsea, firstly by Graeme Souness as he began his analysis on Sky, that nobody is bigger than the club and that Liverpool should make Luis pay the heaviest penalty by getting rid of him,” Carragher said.
“Now I am not for one moment trying to sugar-coat the incident in which Luis bit Branislav Ivanovic. It was wrong on all levels. You simply don’t expect to see a grown man bite another grown man — that is behaviour you would associate with nursery school.
“But the way things are now being pitched is that Liverpool have got to do something about the rotten apple in their midst. It is as if Luis is the only player to have represented Liverpool who has ever been embroiled in controversy. That simply isn’t the case.
“I was responsible for one incident in January 2002. I threw a coin into the crowd at Highbury during an FA Cup tie against Arsenal after one had initially been flung at me.
“Souness, who was captain of Liverpool at the time, broke the jaw of Dinamo Bucharest’s Lica Movila during a European Cup semi-final in 1984 when he punched him in an off-the-ball incident.
“Robbie Fowler had his scrapes, too, Jan Molby was sent to jail in October 1988, more recently, Steven Gerrard appeared in court charged with affray but was found not guilty.
“Every one of the players I mention regretted what happened and Luis is the same. More importantly, the club stood by every one of them.
“I don’t want to see another world-class player leave the Premier League, like Xabi Alonso, Cristiano Ronaldo and Cesc Fabregas have. We are talking about one of the top five players in world football here.”
In his column for the Daily Mail, Carragher revealed that Suarez is full of remorse for his attack on Ivanovic.
“Luis is normally a bubbly lad around the training ground,” he said.
“In my time at Liverpool, very few players have possessed an appetite to win the same as mine but Luis has got it.
“He trains well every day. When we get a day off, he will come in to do extra work and there is nothing arrog- ant or flash about him.
“Yesterday, however, it was clear that events had taken a toll. Luis knows he has done something seriously wrong, letting himself down.
“He has been told that a repeat of such behaviour will not be tolerated and the club’s stance has been differ- ent from how it was following his altercation with Patrice Evra.
“But, rather than hounding him out of the country, shouldn’t we be helping him?
“We have a top psychologist in Steve Peters who comes to the club once a week and he could have as big a role as our manager, Brendan Rodgers, for Luis.
Carragher has also questioned whether a bite is a more serious offence than a bone- breaking challenge.
He added: “The bite was shocking, no question, and everyone who has seen it was amazed. Yet was it worse than a challenge that could end someone’s career?
“I know what it is like to have your leg broken by a reckless tackle. Lucas Neill cost me six months of my career in September 2003 when he played for Blackburn. Would I have preferred to have been bitten? Absolutely.
“I suspect that Bran- islav Ivanovic, who has conducted himself with great credit in the after- math, would agree.”