Should Liverpool stick with their disgraced striker Luis Suarez? Photo: jikatu

Suarez suffers some biting criticism

Harry Davies: bitten off more than he can chew?

Liverpool have been left in an impossible position due to their striker’s ridiculous attack on Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.

As a Liverpool fan myself, I’m left with gnawing doubts over whether Suarez deserves a long-term future at the club.

It is difficult to see how Liverpool can continue to employ the controversial striker while maintaining the integrity and ethics which the club are so proud of.

Brendan Rodgers himself declared after the eventful 2-2 draw at Anfield that ‘no player is bigger than the club’ – an assertion which Suarez seems determined to contradict.

Suarez himself described his behaviour as ‘inexcusable’ in a Twitter apology and has since accepted the FA’s charge against him.

Last season he was banned for eight games for racially abusing Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra, and was also sent off in the 2010 World Cup quarter-final against Ghana for a scandalous handball denying them victory.

Defenders of Suarez may point to the fact that Jermain Defoe bit Javier Mascherano in 2006 and escaped without punishment.

However, unlike the Tottenham Hotspur forward, Suarez’s attack is far from an isolated incident: any comparison is somewhat redundant.

The incident would be deplorable enough if it was the first time he had bitten a fellow professional, but in fact the 26-year-old is an experienced nibbler of opponents.

He drew blood from PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal in 2010 whilst playing for Ajax in Holland, receiving a seven-game ban.

He was also recently caught on camera swinging a punch on international duty, striking defender Gonzalo Jara in the face during Uruguay’s 2-0 defeat against Chile.

Such misdemeanours could perhaps be justified by an inexperienced player, but Suarez has 62 international caps and has been the star player at club and country level for a good few years.

His irresponsibility is an insult to those who have idolised and worshipped him, and completely inexcusable for an elite sportsman in the public eye.

Ultimately, Liverpool have been made to look foolish by Suarez’s latest bout of ill-discipline.

The club have staunchly backed him in the past – memorably and ill-advisedly brandishing T-shirts of brazen support in the midst of the Evra scandal – but his latest offence is a step too far.

By continuing to support him, this proud and dignified club risks alienating those who believe only the best characters, as well as the best footballers, should wear the red shirt.

The club’s indignant reaction to Suarez’s ten-match ban suggests that whilst they made all the right noises in the immediate aftermath of the incident, they really just want their best player back in action.

Suarez will miss the final four league games of this campaign and the opening six matches of next season, potentially derailing their chances of qualifying for Europe.

It is time to terminate Suarez’s stint at Anfield and find a talisman who can behave responsibly.

Richard Brown: making a meal of it?

When Luis Suarez clenched his teeth around the arm of Branislav Ivanovic, you could practically hear the glee of the collected press as they began to think up the wittiest puns they could muster to adorn the back pages of their papers.

The Uruguayan was wrong to bite another player, that much is clear. He should be banned, fined and criticized for it. However, some of the hysteria distributed in the press has been nothing short of deranged, moronic and frankly, irresponsible.

It can be of little surprise to see the Daily Mail leading the way with its campaign of hatred. In his article, Jeff Powell suggests a yearlong ban or even a prison sentence as possible penance for Suarez’s misdemeanour and draws a parallel with Mike Tyson – a typically hysterical and unjustified comparison.

Tyson bit off part of the ear of Evander Holyfield, leaving lasting and irreparable damage. While I understand that it is the principle of biting that had led calls for a similar ban, the fact is that Branislav Ivanovic suffered no damage from the incident.

It would be disproportionate for an overly lengthy ban when two-footed challenges that end careers receive only a three match ban.

As a Manchester City fan, I will always remember Roy Keane snapping Alf-Inge Haaland in the Manchester derby of April 2001, before publicly admitting in his autobiography that he set out to hurt Haaland as best he could. At the time, Keane received a three-game ban for committing one of the most horrific injuries I can remember. 

Meanwhile, Wigan midfielder Callum McManaman put Newcastle left-back Massadio Haidara in hospital a few weeks ago – and received no sanction whatsoever.


Biting has sporadically plagued the sporting world. It is held, alongside spitting, as one of the most taboo acts that exist in sport today, and rightly so. It is unpleasant, childish and oddly cannibalistic.

Luis Suarez obviously has problems that need addressing with regards to his approach to the game and I fully expect them to be addressed by the relevant authorities.

However, numerous times a season we see players suffer broken bones and career-threatening injuries from mis-timed and malicious tackles.

While they are correctly criticized in the press, one senses that the backlash from Suarez’s bite will be considerably longer and more vitriolic than anything that has come before.

A long ban would be excessive and unnecessary in comparison with other offences. The one thing this whole saga could do without is the British media reinforcing the views of hysterical fans in an unhelpful and juvenile fashion.



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