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  • Robert M Robert M Apr 24, 2013 16:55 Flag


    ...does it again! He gets into trouble more than JT, Barton, Rooney and Balotelli put together.

    Each time I watch the video of the bite I try to imagine what he is thinking at the time. I find it almost impossible to work out what his motivation is and I am driven to one of two conclusions:

    - he doesn't know what he is doing. That is, he is reacting in the moment with no thought.
    - he is doing it for a reason.

    The first is troubling. It implies he has never grown up and that he has never acquired any self-awareness, or awareness of how his actions affect others. It suggests he is a sociopath, like an utterly selfish child. As others have said, biting is what three year olds do, and it's not tolerated in them.

    The two biting incidents support this idea, I think. Also, the refusal to shake Evra's hand after promising LFC he would. And I think the lying supports it too – the lying all around the racism incident (I didn't do it, it's all a United conspiracy, keeping changing his story in the enquiry).

    But I'm forced to the second conclusion. He does know what he is doing and he's doing it for a reason. All of his actions on the pitch are supportive of a player who wants to win (which is good) but who wants to win at any price (which is not good). Yes, we all know that players push at the boundaries, whether it is claiming throw-ins, delaying goal kicks when leading 1-0, appealing penalties at one end and denying them at the other, but we still expect them to adopt a set of boundaries they don't cross. We deplore spitting, diving, stamping, and other things. And biting. We have a secondary set of rules, an unwritten code, which define how the game should be played, around the edges of the real rulebook.

    Suarez more than other players tries to make trouble in the penalty area. He pushes and shoves defenders around, to make space and to get them wound up. Yes, it goes the other way too. But I think his abuse of Evra was trying to make Evra boil over and I can only think biting Ivanovic was trying to do the same. Wouldn't he have loved it if Ivanovic had taken a swing at him and been sent off. Unfortunately for Suarez his bite was too blatant and Ivanovic didn't react. (Unfortunately for Chelsea the ref didn't see it and ignored Ivanovic's complaint. I'd prefer Suarez to have got Defoe's booking, gone off for two yellows and Chelsea won the game, to the ten match ban.)

    Look at his reaction after being sent off for the handball in the world cup. When the penalty is missed he reacts as if he has just scored the winning goal. To react like that indicates no second thoughts at what he had done, that the cheating is of no consequence if it means the team wins, and no cares about how his reaction might be viewed.

    This all suggests to me that Suarez is indeed different and at the leading edge of bad behaviour in the English game. It's the second biting incident, there was the racism and then the repeated denials, the handshake. There's a reputation (fully deserved in my view) for serial diving. There have been quite a few stamps and studs in calfs, generally not noticed by referees.

    So should he get three matches or ten? Yes, you can argue for three. Of course, it's no more violent or dangerous than a bad stamp. But if you think that Suarez is indeed cheating violently, knowingly, repeatedly for the sole purpose of trying to gain footballing advantage then surely the penalty has to try to firmly discourage the behaviour. An exemplary penalty is merited. LFC fining him doesn't do that. A three match ban wouldn't. He had a seven match ban for biting before and he's done it again. In this light, ten matches seems no more than appropriate.

    Eric Cantona would say he got off lightly.

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    • Hi Robert

      I have no problem with the idea of banning him for 10 games if this was a precedent to discouraging bad behaviour in football full stop. I suspect though, that it will be just this incident that is treated this way.

      As an example, and in no way taking away from what Suarez did, in the same game I saw what looked to me like two dives and an elbow. There seems to be no reaction at all to those incidents.

      I suspect you're right in your view that Suarez has a win at all costs mentality which is clearly wrong. It should be equally wrong to cheat in other ways in professional football in my opinion.

      • 3 Replies to Paddy
      • There's an interesting parallel with boxing here. The purpose of boxing is to try to cause brain damage to your opponent (which is what every knockout does) and you are applauded by the boxing world if you do this. However, bite your opponent and you become a complete pariah. That's regarded as completely below the belt. Even more so than hitting someone below the belt.


      • I suspect another bite wouldn't get ten matches, just as JT got four where Suarez got eight. This is not because Suarez gets picked on but because it is a repeated offence. But we need to see the FA's reasoning later today.

        I don't remember either dives or an elbow from the match. But then I was watching on Sky with the sound off and I didn't know anything about the bite until well after the match. I saw Carragher whingeing and whingeing and whingeing at the referee and get the impression that was about the alleged elbow.

        The worst thing I saw in the match was Sturridge's foul on Bertrand. That could easily have been a red.

        Where you and I differ is you talk about all cheating being equally wrong, where I think, as I said above, there is an unwritten code. In life, all bad behaviour is not equally wrong. I don't see why it should be on the football field.


      • I don't see what banning the guy will achieve.

        Dave Steer posted that he might need professional help, I agree.

        To ban him and let him come back without help would be cruelty on a par with bear baiting.

        This is beyond football, IMHo.

    • Hello Robert. Good to see you post again.

      In my view he has a screw loose. DSteer says the same I believe. The bite in my view was a reaction. However the Evra incident was different in that he was out to get a reaction and an advantage and then it ran away with itself.
      He obviously lacks self control which is evident in both incidents. The little stamps here and there also demonstrate that lack of self control and are simple reactions to being beaten in a particular situation i.e a defender gets to the ball first.

      It's competitive to the extreme but it's obviously too far. That's not the game we play and love.

      10 games is difficult to judge until we see what the FA says. I suspect it it'll be useless as I have little faith in them. BUT if we say that Suarez was banned for 8 games in Holland for the same offense then 10 sadly starts to look fair, bordering sensible. Of course when we consider that others such as Defoe have gotten away with it then it looks daft. Or one could say that the Defoe decision was the daft one

      • 2 Replies to Colyn
      • Thanks. I have to say I've generally been avoiding the boards since the format changed to this disaster, and it took Suarez to drag me back in.

        I agree with all you say. Defoe plainly got lucky and that decision looks daft. It highlights - yet again - that when the FA say they can't overturn a referee's decision there are times when they should make exceptions. The previous week Aguerro stamped on a Chelsea player and the FA said they wouldn't review it because the referee claimed to see something of the incident, but not presumably the stamping. It's plainly wrong. Obviously the reason they have the policy is because they don't want a hundred cases to look at every Monday morning.

        (I'm not going to mention Michael Essien.)


      • What really bothers me is immediately after the bite he staggers of like he has been injured and is looking for sympathy, like a little boy who was just been caught up to no good, If me, you of whoever bit someone then you would be arrested, if you did it at work you would be fired and arrested.
        If he played for Manchester United the Liverpool fans would say he should never play again, as you all go on about Ferdinand missing a drugs test that he returned to do the same day and passed.
        Stop comparing the Defoe incident to this, they are 2 different incidents, and yes Defoe got off light, but that does not mean every player from then on should get of light for such things, the Defoe judgement was the wrong one not this one in my opinion.

        The guy is a serial offender, in his short time at Liverpool he has stamped on players, said racist comments about a player, is a serial diver & done the worst dive we have ever seen & proudly admitted later that he dived, he has bitten a player and we all know he has done this before, I personally think he is a disgrace, skilful but disgraceful too.

    • Part of me thinks he knows exactly what he's doing and he 's doing it to test LFC and how much they'll tollerate. Besides he wants a move away.. so what better way than to #$%$ off your manager & owners.. Suarez won't be playing for LFC or any other english club next season.. he should get a lifetime ban from the sport for biting another player.. he did it once before. He's a very talented striker so he has no need to resort to things like this.

      So I wonder how much he'll go for.. my guess he'll go for around £35 - 40m.

    • Dave

      Yes, he's accepted the ban which is good for LFC's PR. It would have dragged on forever generating bad headlines for LFC if he had appealed, like last time.

      "it would not take very long to make a list of plenty of other players just as nasty if not worse who have not just been tolerated but are considered hero's by their fans."

      Go on then - what have you got? :)