A Suarez has bit someone think piece.
There might as well be a billion of them; at the time of writing there is at least a million. But let’s make it a million and one. On the off chance it means or adds anything. Here’s the gist of my Suarez has bitten someone think piece:
It very much looks like Suarez has bit someone.
He should be banned for a while.
It is entirely uncomplicated. Shall we repeat it for those at the back?
Luis Suarez has bitten an opposing player.
He should be banned for a few games.
Is there more to say?
While the above should be the end of the matter across the board, there probably is. Firstly, I’m not embarrassed. Why would I be? Why would anybody who isn’t Luis Suarez be? And whether or not he is is his own decision. Secondly, I’m not defending him. Why would I? Why would anyone? Looks to me like he bit the lad. He should be banned for a few games. This isn’t a moral thing. Morality doesn’t come into it. He’s transgressed and there should be consequences. No more than a dreadful leg-breaking tackle. The proponent of a bite or a dreadful tackle should be banned. There are a set of rules. You transgress, you get punished. He should be banned.
Those games should be Uruguay games. They shouldn’t be Liverpool games. Just as when he last bit a lad playing for Liverpool he was banned for Liverpool games, not Uruguay games. There are a set of rules.
He could very much do with packing in biting people. Uncontroversial I know. I’d rather he broke people’s legs or jaws if he is going to get retrospective punishment. Biting people doesn’t have that “ending the opponent’s game” vibe. They just wonder, not unreasonable, what the fucking hell is going on. Still there’s going to be the lack of an element of surprise soon. Graeme Souness in 1984 as per Tony Evans’s terrific book on the season broke the jaw of the Dinamo Bucharest captain Lica Movila with a punch. That sort of thing should result in retrospective punishment. Souness didn’t even get a ban. He went to Bucharest and played, his socks torn to ribbons at half time.
However generally speaking Luis Suarez could do without doing anything at all that leads to retrospective punishment whether playing for Uruguay or Liverpool. Mostly because he’s far more dangerous to opposing players playing the football rather than watching it. Partially because I don’t like to see jaws broken or shoulders bitten.
There’s a conversation to be had about his intensity within the game. His desire to win. And what that can boil over into. I’d generally speaking rather let the professionals converse on mental health but as this is a think-piece…
Had Godin scored minutes earlier the bite doesn’t happen. You know it. I know it. So if we know this then what can we extrapolate from it?
Ultimately, I’ve not seen a player wear a football match as much as Suarez does in my life. Not one. But not only does he wear it, he appears, from the outside, as a man who has never met him nor knows much about him bar watching him, he appears to be worn by one. He needs them to go his way and if they don’t he gradually falls apart. Sometimes he falls apart and the ball ends up in the back of the net. Sometimes he falls apart and he tries to do everything on his own. His need to win is this profound. It is supernatural. It aches within him and therefore his inherent ability to make them single-handedly go his way is both a blessing and a curse. You name the game and Suarez knows he can win it. He knows he can, by virtue of his presence, ensure his team comes out on top. And he is right in this assessment. He’s one of the best three players on the planet. Watching him, watching this profound need is entralling. He may not be quite the best on the planet but there’s no one I’d rather watch. Everything you love about football is present here. He is us on our best day. He is us on our worst. We’ve discussed this before but Suarez is chaos, Suarez splinters everything into bits. On the pitch Suarez is football in its purest form. He is enthralling. He is spellbinding. He is compelling. He isn’t nice. He isn’t pleasant. He isn’t genteel. But then nor is football. Love him. Hate him. Think whatever you want. Write your own think-piece thinking it. But if football was primeval then Suarez is the essence of what was in the swamp. What would Bill Shankly think? I reckon it would be “I’ll have another ten of you.” As this is a Suarez think-piece I don’t need to support that but if I did I’d mention Ian St John getting himself sent off three times back when you had to work hard to get sent and there weren’t cameras everywhere for retrospective action. And no player was more Shankly than St John. If there was it might have been Keegan. And he had a fight with Billy Bremner in the Charity Shield. Football. It isn’t nice. It isn’t pleasant. It isn’t genteel. And there was no golden age when it was.
I’d much rather Luis Suarez wasn’t biting people. I’d much rather he wasn’t getting himself involved in anything that detracts/distracts from what he can do with the football. And for the last ten months at Liverpool, he hasn’t. He’s been astonishingly well behaved, focussed on his game and ours, not on anything else. He’s been an even better player for that. A far more productive footballer. None of his intensity has waned in the slightest. So this isn’t a “if you take that away from his game…” thing.
Take it away from his game if you can. Please do. Ban him for a few games for certain. Take it away and ban him.
He’ll still be enthralling. He’ll still be compelling. In this most remarkable of World Cups it has only been tonight I’ve craved watching Brendan Rodgers’s Tricky Reds. Craved seeing all those lads back together led by this crazed, glorious maniac. What does that say about me?
Regardless, let me refer you to the top of this Luis Suarez think-piece. I’m not embarrassed by Luis Suarez. Nor am I defending Luis Suarez. But I remain utterly spellbound by Luis Suarez. I want two months to pass and I want to see what he does next. I’m thirty three years old. I suspect I have one more year of watching him play for my team and I suspect I will never see his like again. I want it to be the best year of my life and suddenly, still up at midnight suddenly, not going to sleep any time soon suddenly, energised by the cant of opposing supporters suddenly, provoked by a bite of all things suddenly and considering rewatching the season review suddenly, I can’t wait for it to start.