Luis Suarez, star striker for Liverpool and one of the most incredible players to watch at work, is once again in trouble. More racism? No. Diving again? Nope. He bit someone. During a match.
And it’s not the first time he’s done so (though the first with Liverpool). A few years back when he was still with the Dutch club Ajax he served a seven game ban for the same kind of thing.
The team has already spoken to him and fined him for the incident. The FA is certainly likely to follow up with more (probably, they’ve been weird lately about retroactive punishments when the on-field officials miss it/ignore it). This means, if nothing else, that he’s probably a pretty poor choice for fantasy football owners for the next few weeks.
Of course, more importantly, it leaves the club’s fans wondering how to feel. Plenty are willing to stand up for him. Plenty of opponents are asking for a complete ban from the game. And loads and loads just aren’t sure how to take it. He is an incredible player. Not the best right now, or the best ever, but he’s got that kind of flamboyance that brings the sport to life. And yet, no matter how good he is he’s useless to the team if he can’t maintain a bit of impulse control now and then. Which, it seems, he can’t. It puts everyone involved in a nasty, nasty situation.
On the upside people are pretty positive that the club rushed to discipline him this time, rather than waiting several weeks like with the racism incident. That’s important, really, to show that they know they have a problem child on their hands. They also pointed out that the manager would start treating him as a special case and working with him on the impulse control / anger issues. And he’s already apologized repeatedly, they seem to think he’s actually regretful for his actions.
But the other side of that is that if they can’t work with him and this crap continues, he’s just lowering his value to the team. They bought him a couple years ago for $30 mil, which is a lot. These incidents make him worth a hell of a lot less. And equally importantly to the team, there’s nobody else on hand that can bring that same level of play to the forwards they have up there.
I hope he’s sincere. I don’t believe it, but I’ll hope anyway. If we’re lucky, in a year or so everyone will have forgotten about the bad times.