How do you solve a problem like Suarez?

It reads like some sort of Shakespearean/Greek tragedy really.

The protagonist, Luis Alberto Sanchez Diaz, the man with the gifted, golden feet.  A man who has seemingly been handed his footballing gifts straight from the gods up on Mount Olympus.  Mercurial dribbling ability, footballing intelligence, and the seeming ability to hit the net from anywhere and at any angle.   Mix these in with an amazing workrate, tenacity, courage and strength and it’s not hard to see why he won all the awards he did at the close of last season, as well as winning the hearts of all of those who frequent Anfiled.  Make no mistake about it, Suarez is a wonderfully gifted talent, and, for that alone, we are blessed to have him in England.

Unfortunately, like those tragic heroes of literary origin, Suarez has a fatal flaw.  Much like Gaius Martius Coriolanus, despite the battling qualities which made him a hero to many, it was only these virtues which made him so beloved.  When not at war, his ‘lack of education [made him] so choleric and impatient that he would yield to no living creature, which made him churlish [and] uncivil…’ This unfortunate lack of control over his temper would eventually be manipulated against him in order to force his exile from Rome.  The similarities are uncanny aren’t they?  Suarez’s apparent lack of control over his temper could overshadow his undoubted ability on the pitch and should at least lead to his ‘exile’ from this most spectacular of World Cups.  It could also lead to his ‘exile’ from the Premier League and even England.

As I’ve said before, Suarez is a fantastic footballer and our league will be a lot poorer without him from that standpoint.   The very least you could say is that every incident Luis Suarez has been involved with has taken place on the pitch, against an opposing player, usually bigger than he is!  Whilst that does not excuse his beyond abhorrent racist or violent conduct on the pitch, there are players out there who have done considerably worse to others off the pitch and have seemingly been allowed to continue without anywhere near the scrutiny Suarez finds himself under currently. The very least that has to happen to Suarez is to kick him out for the remainder of the World Cup.  The tournament thus far has been a real feast of football and it would be a shame if the remainder was tainted by this controversy.  In an ideal world, I would also impose a season-long ban on him from playing any form of football anywhere in the world.  I would also compel him to seek psychiatric help for whatever issues he seems to have, cause after all, no sane human being bites their opponents three times throughout their career, and it’s not like any other Uruguayan players (or any other South American player for that matter) have done anything like this, at least not with the regularity Suarez has.

I do not intend this to be a hate post against the guy, I actually am quite a fan of Luis Suarez.  He really is a truly gifted and incredibly hardworking footballer, he also has a truly insatiable desire to help his team to victory, through fair means or foul (hence why I won’t criticise his handball against Ghana in 2010, cause I’m sure if it was your club side/England, you would want one of your players to do it.)  If Suarez is found guilty, he should seek psychological help throughout his ban, he should also show a considerable amount of humility and repentance.  I feel if he is prepared to make a concerted effort to reform his character, he can and should be given one absolute, final chance.   If however (should he banned of course) he refuses to make any effort at all, he or his camp bleat about perceived injustice or cry conspiracy and he remains completely unapologetic for his actions, he has to go.  English football can not afford the corrosive influence of Luis Suarez anymore, regardless of how talented the guy is.

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Scents to inspire the sense of Summer

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/seasonal-scents/ 

 

Cut grass, 

grazed knees,

hot sun,

gentle breeze.

 

Barbies grilling,

Shades on,

Beers chilling,

Cream scone

 

Playing soccer,

all out in the sun,

Some say we’re off our rocker,

But it’s damn good fun.

 

Chilling in the heat,

with some ice cold beers,

This simply can’t be beat,

Feel the feel of summer cheer. 

 

The cold and dark can get you down,

Winter can be a bummer, 

but when the sun shines bright in town,

I sense the sense of summer. 

(terrible I know but still, thought I’d shake things up with a poem)

 

 

 

 

Keeping the International dream alive

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/groundhog-week

It’s really been a magical World Cup thus far hasn’t it? Great football, some excellent, high-scoring games, some fantastic goals and even a refreshing lack of play-acting.  Even had some gutsy performances from some of the ‘lesser’ nations, I for one have enjoyed watching Australia and the USA give it a go somewhat, but also Iran, Costa Rica, Bosnia-Herzegovina have all put in (from what I’ve seen at least) good performances and troubled the ‘bigger’ teams.  It certainly has been one of the best WC’s in living memory… 

Unless of course, like me, you happen to be English.  

Whilst we all sat at home, pretending that our expectations were rock bottom, that we had never a hope in hell of getting out of our ‘group of death,’ that we were to use Brazil 2014 as a learning curve for our refreshingly young Lions to prepare them for France in 2016.  But as kick-off grew closer, the traditional patriotic roar began to stir in every Englishman’s belly.  The cries of ‘We can beat these lot’ began to become more commonplace.  Indeed, English hope does spring eternal.  Yet the hopes are never met, and we head into tonight’s game preparing to bow out of the World Cup.  Our only hope is to salvage some pride and inspire some hope for the future.  

If I was granted the power to go back and change anything from the previous week, I would go back to that evening in Sao Paulo, and I would reverse the small margins which can govern a nations fate in International football.  I would ensure that Wayne Rooneys free-kick fell just an inch lower, with a goal (and scenario) reminiscent of David Beckhams free kick which took us to Japan-South Korea in 2002.  I would ensure that his header was again just an inch lower, bulging the back of the Uruguayan net and breaking Uruguayan hearts.  Diego Godin would have received his so richly deserved second yellow card and been sent off for an early shower, and I would have pushed the English defence back just a yard or two around about the 85th minute, thus keeping the international dream alive! 

There is something special about International football, especially during the biggest tournament in the world.  They allow nations to come together, to put aside club rivalries and to bond together to form one voice.  Success and failure affects us all rather than an lucky/unfortunate few and it can allow for a sense of escapism from the drudgery of supporting your club side (except if you support someone like Newcastle, as I do).  But alas, the dream is over.  After tonight the St Georges cross will fly no more outside every pub, the Ant and Dec songs will be put back in the great musical attic for another 2 years, and the footballing behemoth that is the Premier League will return in August.  Of course I will still enjoy the rest of this fantastic World Cup first, and it will probably be more enjoyable without any vested interests in it! 

Lest we forget, thanks to Costa Rica’s superb performance thus far in the tournament, one of Italy and Uruguay can be eliminated tonight.  So hopefully, we’ll all get to enjoy Luis Suarez’s tears this evening, and providing the result goes the right way and with at most a three goal swing, we might not even finish bottom of the group! Every cloud and all that!