THE VAST majority of the hacks who got Liverpool all wrong about Suárez have already taken their first steps towards finding new topics to sensationalise. They’re so busy dancing on Fabio Capello’s England grave and making Harry Redknapp sound like a collector of major silverware that they might actually forget about Luis Suárez.
That’s what happens. They’re the ones who aren’t usually employed to talk about Liverpool FC and only do so when a story gets big enough for them to stick their oars in. They’ll probably find a way of dropping Suárez into their stories if the word count is a bit short, but as long as he gets back to being a normal, if extremely talented, footballer they’ll hardly remember he exists.
That reporter who works for that free sheet in London might mention him now and again, in between jibes about football disasters he shows mock concern for, all in the name of a bit of point scoring. The Alan Partridge of the back pages, he’ll find something else to pick on if we ignore him.
As the circus leaves town it leaves behind a mess that needs to be cleaned up.
That mess includes one or two individuals who might have thought they’d be welcome to run away with it. They’re clowns all right, but their attempts to impress their ringleaders leave them looking stupid now. They felt part of something special, throwing stones at the locals, but forgot how much they rely on those locals when the circus is somewhere else.
One clown stood out a mile. He didn’t even realise the circus had left town, carrying on like he was still in the big top, protected from the critics he’s normally paid to play to, free to carry on with his act. Maybe it’s not an act, maybe he really feels that way, but we’ll see that pan out in the weeks and months to come. Maybe he’ll try and join in with that ‘political’ lot he shows such disdain for.
Whatever he chooses to do, it’s hard to ignore what he’s done. And if anyone was in any doubt a great big headline pointed it out:
“Suarez: I knew what I did – and Evra should not have blabbed”
Suárez said nothing of the sort. It was a headline over the top of an article based on a badly translated interview. Suárez had spoken to Uruguayan radio, someone translated it with a twist, the clown twisted it a bit more.
It wasn’t the first untrue headline over the top of one of his inaccurate articles. One of his articles had to be changed more than once online as his jumping the gun in the race to prove himself to the circus backfired big style. He didn’t learn.
The headline referred to a bit from the interview that had been twisted. What Suárez really said, when asked how he’d been during his suspension, was:
“I didn’t get down at any point because my conscience was clear as I knew how things were. As the law of footballers goes: what happens on the pitch stays on the pitch and ends there.”
David Maddock wrote the piece and between him and the uncredited translators they completely changed the emphasis of what Suárez had said.
Maddock launched it as an attack from the off, comparing his version of what Suárez said with “the discredited words of FIFA president Sepp Blatter.” He went on to say Suárez was, “claiming his abuse of Manchester United defender Patrice Evra Evra [sic] during a contentious exchange in a match at Anfield last year should ‘stayed on the pitch’ [sic].”
Then the altered quotes appeared:
“I knew what I did and there is a kind of football law that says, ‘What happens on the pitch, stays on the pitch and that’s the end of the story.’”
Maddock’s piece had removed the bit that led into that, about Suárez not being down because his conscience was clear, making it sound more like what he’d wanted it to sound like. Maddock’s piece began with a description of Suárez’s fairly laid-back radio interview as “a fresh outburst over his racism ban.”
Why would Maddock want to misrepresent a Liverpool player in this way? He’s covered Liverpool for years, has he got another grudge against the club?
It was a few paragraphs down before he mentioned the bit about Suárez’s state of mind during his ban. He still skipped the reasons Suárez had given for not being down – it would have messed up the false line he was taking – instead branding Suárez as “defiant”:
“When asked if he had been down during his ban – the biggest ever handed out by the FA for racial abuse – he remained defiant and said, ‘I was not depressed at all [during suspension].’”
Maddock then reckoned that, “Suarez offered what appeared a startling admission.” Even his version of the translation is lacking anything that looks close to a startling admission:
“I know things will be different now. On Monday, I saw something unique – I went to warm up and had three cameras around me. All the cameras pointed at me. You feel observed, but I must pay for all the issues of the suspension. Luckily I returned to play, that’s what I have been waiting for all this time.”
Our version of the translation doesn’t seem to have anything startling from that bit of the interview either:
“Something unusual happened to me yesterday: I went out to warm up and I had three cameras around me. I was on the bench and all the cameras were pointing at me. You feel watched but you have to pay for the whole matter of the punishment. Luckily, I got back to playing again, which was what I’d been waiting for all this time.”
Unstartled, we ploughed on. And there were more differences.
“I know against Manchester United it is going to be tense. But I’m used to having fans whistle at me. I hope nothing unusual happens. I’ll have to forget what happened for that moment. I do know United fans are going to try to make me feel uncomfortable. It’s not the first time I will have had cat-calls. But I have to tell them – they are going to spur me on if they whistle at me.”
“[There will be a] very particular morbid curiosity, but I’m fairly used to being whistled at/booed in every stadium. There, it may be a whistle or a shout more but nothing out of the ordinary. First of all, I have to see whether I’m playing from the start, and then I’ll try to forget everything and play the kind of game that I like to play. It’s not the first time that they’ll boo me and that they’ll want to make me feel uncomfortable. The more they boo, the better I’ll feel”.
Where did “I hope nothing unusual happens” come from?
He might be able to blame the translators for this cock-up:
The Mirror’s translation: “I was happy to be back on the pitch, but I want to do something more for the team.”
Our translation: “I didn’t enjoy coming back to play and be on the pitch, but instead I thought more about wanting to do something for the team.”
As if to prove his disdain for Liverpool, Maddock seems to try and goad The FA into believing his twisted take on Suárez’s interview is grounds for further punishment:
“Suarez may find his latest comments on the situation will arouse the interest of the FA, who have been desperately trying to play down the affair in the lead up to Saturday’s explosive showdown.”
Maddock will find his latest comments on the situation will arouse the laughter of Liverpool supporters, who have seen him for what he is and are struggling to find any reason to respect him or his work.
We’ve had our fill of the circus.
Rather than read David Maddock playing to the wrong audience have a read of a piece from ‘Ovacion’, from the Uruguayan press, reporting on the radio interview. A huge thanks to Rachael Singh for translating all this for us.
“I tried to forget everything and help the team”
A day after returning to the football pitch, Luis Suárez said that “it was really hard” to spend “all that time without playing” and acknowledged that the anxiety of “wanting to do everything from the very first minute” against Tottenham Hotspur “played against” him.
In a conversation with Radio Sport 890, the Uruguayan said that “I didn’t enjoy coming back to play and be on the pitch, but instead I thought more about wanting to do something for the team. If I’d thought any more about what happened to me in the last few months, it would have been even more difficult; that’s why I tried to forget everything and help the team”.
Suárez said he was very “grateful” for people’s behaviour towards him “not only on the pitch but also in the street”. Suárez said that Liverpool supporters had shown him a unique “affection” and that yesterday’s game “continued to show the appreciation” that they have for him. “I feel very comfortable”, he said.
In conversation with the Sport, Suárez said that he knew that “they would look at/view me differently”.
“Something unique/unusual/extraordinary happened to me yesterday: I went out to warm up and I had three cameras around me. I was on the bench and all the cameras were pointing at me. One feels/You feel watched/observed but you have/one has to pay for the whole subject/matter of the punishment/ban. Luckily, I got back to playing/started playing again, which was what I’d been waiting for all this time”, he emphasised.
Suárez said that he had “always protested a lot and made a lot of gestures” but he said that from now on, feeling “watched so closely”, he will “try to improve on those aspects without losing the footballing ones”.
After the match, Suárez highlighted the positives of the suspension and first mentioned the support of his team-mates/friends. “My friends, many of them black, born in Surinam, all came out to defend me and told me not to worry. The same as another who was a team-mate/friend at Groningen, and I felt supported by them and by everyone around me. I didn’t get down at any point because my conscience was clear as I knew how things were. As the law of footballers goes: what happens on the pitch stays on the pitch and ends there”.
Yesterday, Anfield erupted in the 65th minute when the manager/coach, Kenny Dalglish, brought on Luis Suárez, who hadn’t played for Liverpool since 26th December.
[Suárez vivió intensamente] Suárez spent an intense 29 minutes on the pitch. The spectators chanted his name. The close-ups were on him, as a figure and a man able to break the deadlock.
One sign leapt out from the stands: “The Luis Suárez Show”, accompanied by an enormous number 7.
The forward/striker didn’t shine, but he was a dangerous presence on the wings and in the box. He needed more calmness and space to put the ball in the back of the net/between the goalposts.
Next Saturday, at 10:45am, Uruguayan [local] time, Luis Suárez and Liverpool will face Evra’s team, Manchester United. Talking to Radio Sport, the striker said that there will be “very particular morbid curiosity, but I’m fairly used to being whistled at/booed in every stadium. There, it may be a whistle or a shout more but nothing out of the ordinary/nothing strange. First of all, I have to see whether I’m playing from the start, and then I’ll try to forget everything and play the kind of game that I like to play. It’s not the first time that they’ll whistle at/boo me and that they’ll want to make me feel uncomfortable/unsettled. The more they whistle/boo, the better I’ll feel”.