Opinion: We’ve All Been Darwin Nunez

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When I was at school, there was a girl who found sheer joy in taking the mickey out of me. She would wind me up whenever she could, and she wouldn’t stop. I would always try to keep my cool, but one day, it went too far. I can’t remember exactly what it was she said, but I said something back. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but it wasn’t nice.

She went crying to the teacher and I was the one who had to sit inside at recess.

The real point is, we’ve ALL been Darwin Nunez at some point in time.

Joachim Andersen is a professional. He harassed, bothered and wound up Nunez for the better part of an hour. Darwin snapped, and was rightly sent to the showers. Of course, Andersen’s antics and comic over-reaction to Nunez’s headbutt (which was actually more with his chest than his head) have also rightly drawn criticism – but we should all resoundingly condemn the abuse and threats directed at him in the aftermath. He’s a man doing his job. Do we like it? No, but it wouldn’t have mattered if our boy had kept his cool.

Of course, it’s devastating for Darwin. Home debut red card? The only other instance I can recall of that was Joe Cole’s unceremonious dismissal against Arsenal in 2010. After a goal and an assist off the bench on the opening day, his full debut is perhaps his lowest moment in European football. It’s a moment he already regrets – he has taken to Twitter to own up to what he called an “ugly attitude” and vowed to learn from his mistakes.

Manager Jurgen Klopp backed him after the match to do just that, and I think all Liverpool supporters should do likewise. His talent is clear, and what he showed us Monday night is that he’s human – full of passion and drive. He’s also still young, and he’ll never be in a better place than Liverpool to learn how to channel that into unplayable performances for the Reds.

We’ve all been Darwin Nunez. Let’s back him.

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