Football Burp columnist and Liverpool fan Umarah Naz looks back on the Luis Suarez bite that’s been sweeping the nation…
Just a few weeks ago I was writing about how Luis Suarez should be player of the year and generally just singing his praises. Well, that didn’t last long, did it?
I remember mentioning what a pain in the arse he is at times and, oh boy, are our rectums aching! We might need some of those doughnut cushions used by haemorrhoid sufferers to ease the pain. Just when you thought he was on the path to redemption, he does something completely inexplicable. It wasn’t a dirty foul, or a deliberate handball, or even a punch; this time he tries to eat a player.
No matter what words you use to describe the incident, it leaves you dumbfounded and slightly numb. I was watching the replay with my jaw on the floor and it has to be said, as a staunch Liverpool supporter, a deep pain within my very soul. Why on Earth, or any other planet, would he behave like that!? I’d love to sit down with him and ask him but I don’t think even he would be able to tell me why.
We know he has a history of such behaviour and that he served a lengthy ban when playing for Ajax. Amidst his pure genius on the football pitch he has these moments of complete and utter madness, and the most frustrating thing is that these off-the-ball moments completely overshadow months and months of brilliance. He has consistently been the best player in the Premier League this season and now, with just a few games to go, he is public enemy number one. Again. It’s anyone’s guess as to when this one will be put to bed!
Before I continue, I am in no way defending Luis’ behaviour, merely trying to find an explanation for it. My personal opinion is that this is Suarez’s personal character defect. We all have them, however most of us manage to keep them under control. Some, like Suarez, flip from time to time with a punch, unruly kick, misplaced comment or chomp. By all accounts he seems like an affable family guy with a lovely wife and daughter (who’ve come to no harm as far as I know…)
He is popular amongst his peers who say he’s a great person to work with, which make his antics all the more infuriating.
Suggestions have been made that he is irrevocably damaging the great name of Liverpool Football Club and should be shipped off on the next boat out. Personally I don’t think that the conduct of a single player can ruin an illustrious reputation built over 100 years of footballing history. The way the club deals with the issue is what matters. There were serious questions raised over the handling of the Evra affair, rightly so, but Kenny Dalglish suffered as a direct result of that more so than the club did.
So what do the management at LFC do with Suarez now? Do they ban or fine him? Do they sell him in the summer or do they sack him now? Less than 24 hours after the incident, the club have fined him (money which Luis has asked to be donated to the Hillsborough Family Support Group) and have promised to work on his discipline and character. I think this is the best outcome to an awful situation. Even criminals are given a chance to reform their behaviour – maybe he just needs a spot of rehab.
The FA have charged him with violent conduct and have suggested that a three match ban would be insufficient, effectively ending his fantastic season. Along with that goes any chance of winning PFA Player Of The Year or ending the season as the Premier League’s top scorer. The FA have said that, because the incident originally went unpunished, their post-match involvement warrants the harshest of penalties – this explains why no retrospective action was taken against Tottenham’s Jermaine Defoe for a similar incident on Javier Mascherano, as the referee had booked him at the time.
However, I’m certain that the Defoe bite didn’t get as much media coverage – even David Cameron has put his penny’s worth in! Suarez wasn’t punished by the referee primarily because the latter didn’t see it, but does that mean the FA should be unnecessarily heavy-handed? It was a highly stupid and incomprehensible thing to do. He seemed simply frustrated..or .maybe he had the munchies, take your pick! The FA will take an altogether different viewpoint and make an example of him, so Luis and Liverpool Football Club will have to accept it and move on. One thing is sure: he will have to show that he is willing to change, because he is fast running out of chances.