Manchester United Message Board
- Robert M Robert M May 1, 2013 22:49 Flag
Dave, you were a bit pre-emptory but apology not needed, blame it on the threading.
There's probably more we agree with here than disagree. At the end of it all the ban is rather arbitrary. I think a case can be made for anything from three to ten matches.
I'm not surprised the FA didn't give top priority to Suarez's list of "similar" cases. I have a little feeling they didn't include his previous biting incident!
The "kicking the ball boy" incident was certainly extraordinary in the sense of being unusual. However they may have decided that Hazzard had no bad intent and didn't in fact kick the ball boy and so do not see that as extraordinary in the sense of needing extraordinary punishment. I think the shoving and tripping of referees to be interesting parallels. They plainly don't rate as violent and yet we see bans of ten or eleven matches. So there is a class of disparate actions which are seen as meriting extraordinary punishment even though no-one is physically hurt. We have touching the ref, biting now, and increasingly, racial abuse.
When you appeal for a similar case to compare it to the elephant in the room is the previous Suarez biting incident. No matter what they say, I don't believe that that incident pand the subsequent ban, and Suarez's more recent bans and warnings, didn't enter their heads or influence the decision. You might say it shouldn't have. I think everyone outside Liverpool thinks it should.
Gotta go now - just drank a glass of beetroot juice and I think I'm going to throw up.
- Robert M Robert M Apr 30, 2013 13:50 Flag
All this "suspended sentence" and "needs help" so lighter sentence stuff really doesn't wash. First off, no-one from Liverpool management, players or fans were saying before the bite "oh look, poor old Luis, he's slightly lost it, we need to give him a break, and get some rehabilitation in" so it's no good suddenly coming out with it afterwards as if a lighter sentence is a coincidence you hadn't thought of.
Second, if anyone deserves a suspended sentence for a bite, it ain't ******* Suarez! He's been convicted of it before, just a couple of seasons ago. Suspended sentences are appropriate when you have a first-time offender who has done something out of character, not when the biggest **** in the game has done yet another appalling thing.
If you really truly honestly genuinely think that Suarez needs help, and if Liverpool want to provide it, then instead of whingeing about the length of the sentence, you should welcome a long ban as giving him the space away from the limelight that he can use to concentrate on fixing his head.
But it just looks like a diversion tactic, blaming the FA.
- Robert M Robert M Apr 30, 2013 13:35 Flag
My impression is that the ten match decision was somewhat arbitrary, but if you accept the argument leading up to it, it had to be.
A lot of the report was about justifying that this was an exceptional incident. It was, of course. Apart from the Defoe incident which we have to put aside because he wasn't punished (when everyone in retrospect thinks he should have been) and the dutch Suarez incident, there is no history of it in consideration. The commission then went on to say that they thought an exemplary punishment (my words, not theirs) was appropriate, to express disapproval in the strongest way and discourage any other offenders. If you then believe they didn't take Suarez's history into consideration, they then plucked a figure from the air. If they did take Suarez's history into consideration then ten matches seems very plausible - both from an increase on the Dutch ban and also him having done eight matches for something else last year and being warned about his future conduct. So really, ten matches covers both bases.
The question is what will happen if there is another biting incident. Having claimed this wasn't about Suarez, it would seem that they have now set a tarriff for the offence. If a new offence gets less than that then it will be fair to question Suarez's punishment. If not, then not.
Mind you, the person most likely to be up on a biting charge in the future is ............
- Reply to
Is Ten Enough..........? Why not 50......? Its Liverpool , ............not a London club that gets a clean slate.by oscar Apr 26, 2013 23:56Robert M Robert M Apr 27, 2013 11:36 Flag
Dear oh dear.
It's interesting reading the comments on, say, the Guardian or BBC websites and then reading the comments on the Liverpool website. If LFC and its fans wanted the slur "always the victim, it's never your fault" thrown at them they couldn't go about things any better.
- Robert M Robert M Apr 26, 2013 17:02 Flag
Yes, he's accepted the ban which is good for LFC's PR. It would have dragged on forever generating bad headlines for LFC if he had appealed, like last time.
"it would not take very long to make a list of plenty of other players just as nasty if not worse who have not just been tolerated but are considered hero's by their fans."
Go on then - what have you got? :)
- Robert M Robert M Apr 26, 2013 07:47 Flag
Dave, sorry about the threading. I can't make any sense of it.
I'd make two points which I think might have a bearing on the sentence. Both are in the realm of speculation. We'll hopefully know soon.
The first is that the football authorities might want to penalise in an exemplary way a behaviour which is exceptional and which they don't wish to see become part of football. They would recognise it as not being as violent as, say, Sturridge's kick on Bertrand but wish to penalise it more firmly anyway. There are already two precedents for this. One is the racial abuse. That is given four, eight, ten matches by authorities. The other, which has seemingly passed by this debate, is shoving of referees. Referees don't get injured when shoved by players but we regard it as an attack on the game and it has been punished by ten and eleven match bans. In this light I think it is plausible for the authorities to regard a new form of bad behaviour as something to be, er, stamped on rather firmly.
The other is whether Suarez compounded the issue at the time by lying to the referee. Remember when Hazard was sent off for tickling the ball boy. Before he went Chris Foy had a discussion with him and Lampard. It appeared that before the discussion Foy wasn't reaching for the red card but after some words were said he brought it out. My impression is he asked Hazzard what happened and Hazzard said he kicked the ball when the ball boy was on it and that was that. In this case the ref ought to have asked Suarez about Ivanovic's complaint and Suarez, being Suarez, would have given the JT response so the ref didn't penalise him. Then in the ref's report he tells the FA he let Suarez stay on because Suarez had lied to him, thus resulting in Liverpool getting a point and denying Chelsea two that they almost certainly would have got, the FA might consider this needs a bigger ban. You might remember the FA initially said that A three match ban for Hazzard was plainly not enough too.
I admit that is highly speculative. It in fact looks like the ref didn't ask Suarez anything and Suarez doesn't seem to be denying anything. Instead the ref just appears to be telling both Ivanovic and Suarez to calm it down and Suarez looks rather relieved. I hope that whatever happened here is detailed in the report.
- Robert M Robert M Apr 25, 2013 16:56 Flag
Dave, I don't know why I can't reply to your post. This system is *****!
I don't know what the FA rules are or why they have decided on the ten match ban. But I don't see why they shouldn't take the view "Suarez again. This guy comes before us rather too much. He seems to have anger issues or takes winning too far. Even his club says so. We need to set a deterrent penalty for him. What would a deterrent be? Well, seven matches in Holland clearly wasn't enough deterrent."
Or perhaps they simply observed Holland's seven match ban for a first offence, took that as a precedent, and increased it as it's a second offence over his career.
I don't know. You may be technically correct but I suspect most non-Liverpool fans will see a bigger picture than simply the FA can't penalise him for something done in Holland.
- Robert M Robert M Apr 25, 2013 16:45 Flag
I think the goalline handball was pure reaction. There was no time to think at all. Either way, it's a similar offence to a player hauling back a striker who has got past him.
The bite, if not pre-meditated, was done knowingly. If not, it's not a question of needing help, it's more a question of needing restraint.
It's not a job for the FA to control him? The FA might be observing that the last time he was in big trouble, he lied about it repeatedly in many ways, before the enquiry, during the enquiry and after the enquiry. And his employers did too, as is clear from the FA report. His employers backed him up as fully as they were able, even to the extent of slandering Evra, and didn't accept the FA report. So why should the FA believe that LFC and Suarez between them will fix his behaviour now?
In fact, we now have Rodgers coming out and saying, before hearing the FA's reasons, that he is "shocked and bitterly disappointed" with the ban. That's rather stronger than his reaction to the offence. And the mood music from LFC is "we're backing our player".
- Robert M Robert M Apr 25, 2013 16:26 Flag
Specifically the biting. The fact that the earlier one was in Holland is irrelevant to me. He was given a seven match ban. It didn't cure him. That suggests to me a longer ban is appropriate.
And generally, everything. He has had a poor disciplinary record everywhere he has been, including Liverpool. I have just discovered he was red carded at fifteen for head-butting a referee. You couldn't make it up!
- Robert M Robert M Apr 25, 2013 12:29 Flag
I didn't notice these dives or elbow. I don't know if the Sky commentary talked about them as I wasn't listening. They didn't replay the incidents to point them out as far as I noticed. MotD also didn't highlight them, or the Sky pundits afterwards (Souness and Rednapp), when I eventually listened to them. Maybe they were all too excited about the bite.
Yes, I'd be more upset to be Bertrand than Ivanovic. If I was Ivanovic I'd just regret not being in a situation where I could have introduced my fist to his nose. But since when were punishments about actual damage done? The racial abuse incidents can't easily be argued to have caused the "victims" any actual hurt. Offence, yes, maybe. But they are given longer penalties than the worst tackles.
But another aspect is that you can argue Sturridge's foul was accidental. Perhaps reckless, but accidental. The bite (or the abuse) can't be argued that way and so it makes a longer penalty easier to justify.
- Robert M Robert M Apr 25, 2013 12:06 Flag
Thanks. I have to say I've generally been avoiding the boards since the format changed to this disaster, and it took Suarez to drag me back in.
I agree with all you say. Defoe plainly got lucky and that decision looks daft. It highlights - yet again - that when the FA say they can't overturn a referee's decision there are times when they should make exceptions. The previous week Aguerro stamped on a Chelsea player and the FA said they wouldn't review it because the referee claimed to see something of the incident, but not presumably the stamping. It's plainly wrong. Obviously the reason they have the policy is because they don't want a hundred cases to look at every Monday morning.
(I'm not going to mention Michael Essien.)
- Robert M Robert M Apr 25, 2013 07:45 Flag
There's an interesting parallel with boxing here. The purpose of boxing is to try to cause brain damage to your opponent (which is what every knockout does) and you are applauded by the boxing world if you do this. However, bite your opponent and you become a complete pariah. That's regarded as completely below the belt. Even more so than hitting someone below the belt.
- Robert M Robert M Apr 25, 2013 07:38 Flag
On the third one, if you think it appropriate for a second offence to give a higher penalty than the first offence as the first penalty was insufficient to prevent it happening again (which you suggest and I agree) then the ban should be more than seven games. Against this it can be argued that the FA don't generally increase sanctions for a second offence, except for straight reds in the same season. but against that it can be argued that biting is exceptional and meriting an exemplary sentence, as it was given in Holland.
But yes, we need to see the FA's reasoning.
- Robert M Robert M Apr 25, 2013 07:26 Flag
I suspect another bite wouldn't get ten matches, just as JT got four where Suarez got eight. This is not because Suarez gets picked on but because it is a repeated offence. But we need to see the FA's reasoning later today.
I don't remember either dives or an elbow from the match. But then I was watching on Sky with the sound off and I didn't know anything about the bite until well after the match. I saw Carragher whingeing and whingeing and whingeing at the referee and get the impression that was about the alleged elbow.
The worst thing I saw in the match was Sturridge's foul on Bertrand. That could easily have been a red.
Where you and I differ is you talk about all cheating being equally wrong, where I think, as I said above, there is an unwritten code. In life, all bad behaviour is not equally wrong. I don't see why it should be on the football field.
- Robert M Robert M Apr 25, 2013 07:19 Flag
You don't see what banning him will achieve?
1. It's a punishment. What he did was wrong.
2. It's a message to him and everyone else that biting is considered unacceptable and will be punished.
It seems to me that those saying he needs help (from JC downwards) are suggesting he is mentally ill in some way. My view is that he is just a **** who never learned to balance reward against responsibility properly. Perhaps a sociopath, as I suggested earlier.
...does it again! He gets into trouble more than JT, Barton, Rooney and Balotelli put together.
Each time I watch the video of the bite I try to imagine what he is thinking at the time. I find it almost impossible to work out what his motivation is and I am driven to one of two conclusions:
- he doesn't know what he is doing. That is, he is reacting in the moment with no thought.
- he is doing it for a reason.
The first is troubling. It implies he has never grown up and that he has never acquired any self-awareness, or awareness of how his actions affect others. It suggests he is a sociopath, like an utterly selfish child. As others have said, biting is what three year olds do, and it's not tolerated in them.
The two biting incidents support this idea, I think. Also, the refusal to shake Evra's hand after promising LFC he would. And I think the lying supports it too – the lying all around the racism incident (I didn't do it, it's all a United conspiracy, keeping changing his story in the enquiry).
But I'm forced to the second conclusion. He does know what he is doing and he's doing it for a reason. All of his actions on the pitch are supportive of a player who wants to win (which is good) but who wants to win at any price (which is not good). Yes, we all know that players push at the boundaries, whether it is claiming throw-ins, delaying goal kicks when leading 1-0, appealing penalties at one end and denying them at the other, but we still expect them to adopt a set of boundaries they don't cross. We deplore spitting, diving, stamping, and other things. And biting. We have a secondary set of rules, an unwritten code, which define how the game should be played, around the edges of the real rulebook.
Suarez more than other players tries to make trouble in the penalty area. He pushes and shoves defenders around, to make space and to get them wound up. Yes, it goes the other way too. But I think his abuse of Evra was trying to make Evra boil over and I can only think biting Ivanovic was trying to do the same. Wouldn't he have loved it if Ivanovic had taken a swing at him and been sent off. Unfortunately for Suarez his bite was too blatant and Ivanovic didn't react. (Unfortunately for Chelsea the ref didn't see it and ignored Ivanovic's complaint. I'd prefer Suarez to have got Defoe's booking, gone off for two yellows and Chelsea won the game, to the ten match ban.)
Look at his reaction after being sent off for the handball in the world cup. When the penalty is missed he reacts as if he has just scored the winning goal. To react like that indicates no second thoughts at what he had done, that the cheating is of no consequence if it means the team wins, and no cares about how his reaction might be viewed.
This all suggests to me that Suarez is indeed different and at the leading edge of bad behaviour in the English game. It's the second biting incident, there was the racism and then the repeated denials, the handshake. There's a reputation (fully deserved in my view) for serial diving. There have been quite a few stamps and studs in calfs, generally not noticed by referees.
So should he get three matches or ten? Yes, you can argue for three. Of course, it's no more violent or dangerous than a bad stamp. But if you think that Suarez is indeed cheating violently, knowingly, repeatedly for the sole purpose of trying to gain footballing advantage then surely the penalty has to try to firmly discourage the behaviour. An exemplary penalty is merited. LFC fining him doesn't do that. A three match ban wouldn't. He had a seven match ban for biting before and he's done it again. In this light, ten matches seems no more than appropriate.
Eric Cantona would say he got off lightly.