While the controversy surrounding Luis Suarez is justified, the attitudes of people around the Uruguayan seems even more baffling than the player’s behaviour writes Kehlan Kirwan.
There is an iconic cinematic scene of brilliance from the movie Cool Hand Luke. The authoritative ‘Captain’ stands over Paul Newmans character and declares ‘…Some men you just can’t reach’. Suarez and his behaviour on the football field have long being controversial. Banned for biting three times now, banned for the racist abuse of Manchester United’s Patrice Evra, the theatrical diving and list goes on. Always playing the pity card. Everyone is out to get me he exclaims as TV replays prove the conspiracy theories void.
But the most disappointing thing about his behaviour is the behaviour of others around him. Team-mates and managers alike who rush to the unconfined defence of their talisman. But do the people behind him do so because there is a genuine belief that he is innocent or because he gets goals? Kenny Dalglish found out the hard way that faith has it’s price. After the racial abuse of Evra, Dalglish was quick to defend his man. Then somebody from the club or the players themselves wore t-shirts defending Suarez. A move many within the game saw as crass and which also brought the entirety of a proud club in to a racism row. The word ‘Negro’ is offensive in any language, it does not mean different things in different countries, it is designed to demean.
Skip forward to what happened here at this world cup. The incident has been covered in full. Thousands of replays around the world. Then the reaction of his team-mates and manager. It’s all a witch hunt they declared. Nothing but a European, and in particular British media, obsession to bring the player down. Blind ignorance, bordering on stupidity, is a trait which seems to quickly follow the Uruguayan everywhere he plays. It seems scoring goals is more important than doing the right thing.
But there is a pattern forming one that Barcelona should take heed of should he find himself at the Camp Nou next season. Stand behind this man at your peril. He is the ultimate conman. The world sees him for what he is yet those around him do not. When the dust settles all that is left is embarrassment. People back a man who clearly lies, cheats and degrades the shirts he puts on. All the goals in the world can’t save a reputation. He should know.
I’m not a Liverpool fan, in fact I support a team who is the natural enemy of them. But I know that it is a proud club steeped in history and iconic players. Brendan Rodgers took over a basket case and proved to be exactly what the club needed. He has embarrassed them too many times. Now he’s embarrassed his country. Both are a laughing stock. They supported a player for all the wrong reasons. If there are reasons why he shouldn’t be banned.
The people around him are just as to blame as he is. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, fool me three times shame on everyone. They have held his hand too often. It won’t happen again they’ve said, never again. Only to be dragged down into the mud. Now you look stupid, conned again.
Liverpool fans deserve more, Uruguay deserves more. So before Barcelona open the purse strings they should remember that this is a man who you won’t change. Some men you just can’t reach.
Kehlan Kirwin, Pundit Arena.