Home » ARTICLES » Darwin Nunez; his Liverpool struggles and the road to redemption – A psychological study | TKT Opinion

Darwin Nunez; his Liverpool struggles and the road to redemption – A psychological study | TKT Opinion

Photo of author

By Siddharth Juyal

The recent interview with Darwin Nunez gives a good insight into his psyche and a conundrum for Liverpool

Liverpool forward Darwin Nunez delivered an interview that provided a good insight into his psyche and a conundrum to solve. Nunez has faced severe criticism from social media and football experts for being too wasteful in front of the goal.

After the 4-2 victory against Tottenham Hotspur, Darwin deleted many Liverpool-related pictures from his Instagram and banned several online accounts. On social media, several people offered constructive feedback for his improvement, but a lot of comments expressed hate.

A lot of Liverpool-related engagement accounts attempt to promote hate as controversies create engagements and a source of income. Many of these accounts pretend to be the Reds fans but their influence on the actual fanbase is pretty massive.

Liverpool attacker Darwin Nunez admitted that the negative feedback had an adverse effect on him.
Liverpool attacker Darwin Nunez admitted that the negative feedback harmed him.

Nevertheless, the true Liverpool fanbase has always backed the Uruguayan forward through thick and thin, keeping their faith in him. Nunez’s reactions throughout this ordeal have left a sour taste in many fans who want nothing but the best for him.

Despite the issues with his finishing, the Uruguay international has played a pivotal role under Jurgen Klopp throughout the season. Darwin will play under Arne Slot at Liverpool next season with faith in the new head coach to improve him.

The 24-year-old made 54 appearances in all competitions this season, contributing with 18 goals and 13 assists for Liverpool. The strong return in goals and assists shows the immense talent he possesses despite missing too many clear-cut chances.

Nunez’s recent interview and comparison to the psychological case study of Ronda Rousey

The language barrier has significantly contributed to Nunez’s struggle to establish himself here. His interview further emphasised his reliance on family and friends as a true moral support more than the club’s fanbase.

Speaking to Por la Jersey (Channel 10 of Uruguay via ESPN), Darwin made some interesting comments that provide insight. He said:

“I feel like my home is when I am in the National Team . That’s when you get together with your people, you can talk to everyone, and you feel comfortable in the National Team. My family is close too; Every time I go to the National Team I feel like I am at home. I also like Almería a lot, there I met the love of my life with whom we formed a very happy family, every time I go to Almería I am very happy too,”

Many fans have defended Darwin’s feelings about only finding comfort around his national team or in Spain. Plenty questioned the timing of him publicly conveying such opinions as a sign of disrespect towards the support he enjoyed.

One thing that is very clear about the Uruguayan is that he speaks honestly despite the questionable point of view. As a writer for the Kop Times and a certified psychologist, the interview provided a small glance into his psyche and reminded me of Ronda Rousey.

Of course, to understand the psyche of Nunez in-depth, a professional would require multiple interactions. However, it goes without saying that Darwin could handle the situation better for the sake of Liverpool fans who have only supported him.

Rousey enjoyed an extreme rise in reputation after signing for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and becoming their first-ever women’s champion. The Olympic bronze medallist in Jiu-jitsu seemed unbeatable and incredibly dominant, making six defences of her title.

She faced a boxer Holly Holmes, a specialist in boxing and decided not to fight according to her strength. Holmes knocked Rousey out and ended her undefeated streak and the once-great champion lost another fight later and retired.

Despite the immense qualities of Ronda, she had a problem that is similar to Darwin and that is emotional disarray. The MMA fighter had anger issues, was easy to impress with few positive words and was immediately resistant to constructive criticism.

Such personalities often rely heavily on their confidants, believing every word of their trusted advisors without giving a second thought. Ronda’s then-coach was a boxing coach and through his influence, she decided to fight as a boxer. Instead of fighting according to her strength in judo, she attempted to do boxing with a boxer, a fatal mistake.

Since her losses, Ronda blamed everyone in an emotional outburst apart from herself and her controversial career continued after shifting to professional wrestling with WWE. Liverpool fans would feel a similar situation brewing here, seeing their favourite’s emotions cloud his judgement.

Nunez has been unable to distinguish his supporters from his haters while giving more time to ones who want him to fail. What this case study of Rousey proves is that Liverpool needs to make sure Nunez has the right confidants surrounding him.

Psychology of Emotions and how many lethal forwards in football are more than just “confidence performers”

Emotions play a unique role for the forwards in football, they can dull the senses or provide a mental boost. Clinical forwards maintain calmness and focus in front of goal, remaining cold-blooded, selfish, and devoid of emotional flow. These aspects play a crucial role in creating composure which is a necessary aspect of becoming a regular goal scorer.

Prolific forwards like Robbie Fowler, Alan Shearer, Harry Kane, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski might have different personality but their emotions power their composure in front of goal instead of creating chaos. Many of these players have to build mental resilience to produce results consistently and finishing becomes second nature.

Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler earned a big reputation for his incredible composure and finishing. (Mandatory Credit: Alex Livesey /Allsport)
Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler earned a big reputation for his incredible composure and finishing. (Mandatory Credit: Alex Livesey /Allsport)

While confidence always plays a key role in the ups and downs, a player lacking confidence when the team is doing good is an entirely different problem. When every prolific forward struggled to score goals, the team also played a part in creating fewer chances and lacking conviction.

Darwin has immense natural athleticism and technique but right now he is more of a Marcus Rashford level of inconsistent. The only good thing is that he never stops working hard but he has to work on his mental challenges.

More Liverpool news

The 24-year-old needs mental coaching to evolve from being a forward who only performs when he feels good and confident. If Slot somehow manages to accomplish this task, helping Nunez channel his emotions then Liverpool have a prolific forward. After all, extraneous factors don’t affect a world-class player as easily as they affect a “confidence-needing-performer.”