Liverpool, hopefully, will show Luis Suarez the door over the coming weeks – if the club wishes to retain its dignity and credibility in the modern football world.
There is no excuse for biting a player, a regular occurance in Suarez’s career, no matter how intense the battle. Given his track record, and the way the Uruguayan has dragged Liverpool into the gutter once more, it is time for the club to show no mercy.
It’s especially important given the events of the past week. With one of the Hillsborough “voices” dying in the past few days, a club in perpetual mourning does not need such behavior to darken its door.
Liverpool’s handling of Suarez’s first misdemeanor was abysmal. It arguably cost Kenny Dalglish his job, and certainly damaged his reputation. This “head in the sand” approach has chipped away at a club that has all but forgotten how its own fans – themselves no strangers to racism, just ask Torres and Miereles of their experience at the 2012 FA Cup final – earned England a lengthy ban from European competition in the 1980s. Now is the time for Liverpool Football Club to show they will not tolerate another blow.
It’s not just Liverpool’s reputation that’s at stake. The game in England bleats on about “respect” campaigns, “community” programmes and insists on the charade of multi-player handshakes against a backdrop of gladiatorial music. Yet watch any Sunday morning kiddies’ game (as I did just a few hours before Liverpool met Chelsea) and take note of the behavior of some parents, urging their children to “get organized….show some commitment….keep your shape…get stuck in” while berating the referee (and standing behind a ‘respect’ tape that acts as a glorified technical area).
How many of those young players will have watched Suarez take a chunk out of Ivanovic’s arm at Anfield? How long till these kids, desperate to ape their elders, start biting the opposition? I’ve seen diminutive players, with the name and number of their favourite star on their back, using elbows to fend off a challenge. Why? Because they’ve seen it on TV. Liverpool – and the FA – need to act with ruthlessness.
Perhaps we should not be too shocked that a Uruguayan player is violent on the pitch. Let’s not forget how their national team played in past World Cups – thigh-high tackles, subtle rabbit punches and systematic brutality have all been the norm.
Suarez is an excellent player and Liverpool will find it impossible to replace him, but that should not cloud any judgement on an individual that continually brings the game down. Out him now.