We have some excellent thoughts on Arsenal's draw and Liverpool's woeful loss, plus praise for Villa, Diego Costa, Philippe Senderos and the 'final' word on hitting the post...
That's one shout in the mailbox, which typically includes a reference to the great man's cojones. Plus, more on Jack Wilshere and F365's free transfer David Bowers...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
Don't you just hate it when you get Italian stuck in your teeth?
Jokes aside, how many more times does Suarez need to bite an opponent before he's banned for life? And in the World Cup as well. If he isn't banned for the rest of the tournament at least, that would be a bigger disgrace than the act he's committed. Fair play my ar*e!
Luis Suarez...yhe barking dog that always bites.
Lorenzo Royle, MUFC
...Another bite?! That's three different people now, he's bitten more people than Jaws! 1,000 game ban and remove all his teeth.
...Wow. Just wow. Who ever thought he would do that again? I'm sure you'll get loads of these mails, possibly a record number, but Suarez has to be banned for a long, long time for this.
To bite someone once was totally unacceptable, and deserved a lengthy ban. To do it a second time was absolutely despicable, and to me deserved longer than the ban he got. To do it a third time not only shows that he has a nasty, childish violent streak with no regard for his fellow human, but also shows a complete lack of respect for the rules of the game and the authorities that enforce them. Even if you ignore the racism, deliberate handballs and diving, he doesn't deserve to be in the game.
Surely after a third time, not even the most idiotic Liverpool fan can defend this. His actions tonight will either be a bargaining tool for Real Madrid/Barcelona to knock a few quid off the price, or will lead to him missing a good chunk of next season. Way to repay the fans for their unwavering support.
And no doubt he'll carry on whining that the British media are picking on him as well.
If I read one comment from a Liverpool or a Uruguayan defending him, my head just might explode. I fully expect this to happen by tea-break time on Wednesday however.
Just please, ban him, arrest him, sack him, whatever. I don't care how good he is, he needs to be removed from the game. Sportsmen are a rarity in football at the top level nowadays, but Suarez is dragging it down to a new low.
Liverpool, sell him, please sell him, I didn't like him when Liverpool signed him, and he hasn't changed my mind yet, no matter how many goals he scores. He seems to be able to sink lower (not just with his teeth) as a person every year. No team can condone what he does, national or club, without being tarred with the same brush. So I say sell him, get as much as you can for him, thank him for his contributions and be rid of him and his petulant and unacceptable ways. 70 million plus, grab it before his bitey ways ruin any chance of him being shifted.
Tony (just a football fan) LFC
...Working in Canberra at the moment (GMT +9hrs), the midweek earlier kick-off games are hard to get up for but I've managed not to miss a game I really wanted to see until last night. So when I woke this morning for the later kick-off, I really wanted to see the highlights of the earlier game without knowing the score...which is hard to do. Blurry eyed I navigated to a website that I watch all the highlights on, which normally follows a similar format which means I can click on images rather than the link with the score line spelt out in it. However this morning instead of seeing an image of an Italy v Uruguay jersey, I saw a Suarez (jaws) meme... *sigh*.
I'm a big Liverpool supporter, and honestly I've wanted rid of Suarez since he refused to shake Evra's hand, the racism being terrible of course, but the failure to admit he was in the wrong, apologise and just move on was just painful. Now I am guilty of forgetting rather than forgiving his indiscretions while he has been banging the goals in for Liverpool and part of that is because I didn't think with the money we would get for him, we wouldn't get a player (or even three) who would come close to equaling his abilities, without Champions League football.
Now any reservation I've had of getting rid of him has entirely gone out the window, and I want him out full stop. This morning I felt so sorry Brendan Rodgers, and a lot of the top-class blokes who do play and have played Liverpool (not to mention the board and myself). The terrible thing is I don't buy the 'insane anger theory' that there is a switch that goes off in his head etc. I believe it's worse, that it's cynical. It's not revenge, it's cold and calculated. He's trying to wind up opposition (as he did with Evra) to a point where they turn around and hit him then he gets a penalty or the player sent as a result off it. That's why it's so much worse than you think...that and he just dropped the asking price by about £20m.
Alan, Irish in Oz (In the grand scheme of things if that c**t JT deserves to have a Champions League medal, then what's a little nibble between friends?).
F365. You asked for the defence so here it is.
- It's a nasty thing to do
- Its really weird
- He's done it three times
- He probably lied about it afterwards
- The damage caused and potential damage caused is much less than that caused by deliberate bad challenges, punches or kung fu kicks. It's the weirdness of biting that makes us react to it so much more.
- There was clearly no premedicated intent unlike with Keane vs Alf Inge Haaland and various others.
- Suarez clearly has some mental problems that cause him to do things like this. Biting is an animal instant surpressed in most people but not so with Suarez when he is stressed.
- In the heat of the moment people are sometimes legally and morally not accountable for their actions. Oscar Pistorius may or may not be found guilty of murder but the judge is currently investigating whether a mental disorder makes him unaccountable for his actions at that time.
- He's obviously upset about what he's done unlike people like Keane (again) who brag about taking revenge on other players.
Before all the sanctimonious calls for lifetime bans and million-pound fines, can I just say how lucky we are to live during the playing career of Luis Suarez? He is bigger than football in a way Messi or Ronaldo never will be. Forget boring adverts for every product under the sun or model girlfriends who all seem to look the same or posing at the latest nightclub or grocery chain opening, this man is truly eccentric and we should thank him for making our boring lives just a little bit more interesting if just for a short, wonderful moment. Now you may proceed with the shock and horror.
...Did anyone else find the Suarez bite funny? Yes, he is a massive bell, and has some serious issues but he is also fabulously entertaining. Let me reiterate this, he is a colossal d***head, I am in no way defending what he's done, but it is hilarious. A grown man bit another man on a football field. During the World Cup. For the third time in his career. It is so bats**t mental it is actually wonderful. He'll get a long ban, and rightly so. Maybe we should remove his teeth, or make him wear a hannibal mask?
I'm going to enjoy the outrage even more. Papers calling for him to be removed from the country, ludicrous attempts to defend the indefensible. It's pageantry, pure and simple. While the very loud few are fearing for the state of humanity and screaming about the forthcoming Armageddon this surely signifies, the rest of us can be fairly certain that a d***head doing something weird and d***heady on a field full of d***heads will have little actual bearing on anything else. And a d***head is what he so clearly is. So thank you Luis Suarez, you have managed to make me laugh on the day England pathetically exited this World Cup. Never change, you massive d***head.
...When I heard the news that he'd done it again, I couldn't help but smile. Luis, you mad b**tard.
Just like John Nicholson's desire to see Things That Others Don't Want To See, watching Luis Suarez do acts of malevolence to win games is close to my heart.
If you had a player as downright insane and brilliant as him, then you'd never want him to leave. I'm delighted that he's guaranteed himself another year of silencing critics with Liverpool. I don't care if he bites orphans, he's going to score 40 goals. He's gonna dive in the box. He may do a racism again. He may scam my Granny out of her life savings.
He's going to score 40 goals.That's all that matters to me.
I love you Luis Suarez.
Surely, if the powers that be are going to keep on letting that bitey, Suarez thing onto a football pitch, then he should be muzzled. My Jack Russell would have been put down by now.
It's now obvious that suspensions, fines or any other recognised forms of punishment won't rehabilitate or alter Luis Suarez' behaviour.
As a solution, I propose that the next time he bites somebody, he must receive a solid kick into the mouth.
Why not extend similar punishment across the board? If a player is found to be faking injury then they should receive a kick to the body-part they were pretending was sore.
Eoin (tongue in my cheek but with my boot firmly rooted in Suarez') Ireland
Ban Him For Life
No doubt there is going to be much discussion over the next few days and weeks regarding Luis Suarez's future, and what punishment he should receive because of his unbelievable stupidity/insanity. It's been widely reported that the maximum ban he could potentially receive is 24 matches/two-year international ban. Many pundits have deemed this unrealistic, and most seem to be against it because it's seen as too harsh, and is potentially a 'career-ruining' ban. My question is, why should Luis Suarez still get the chance to have a career?
Hypothetical situation; you're getting some long-term work done on your house. While having a few friends over, a specific builder bites three of them, and racially abuses another. Do you A) recommend that this builder take some time, maybe nine days, off work and then return to normal with full pay, or B) call the police immediately. I'm pretty sure everybody would opt for B. In fact, I can't think of any other setting other than football where you can be caught behaving like this and avoid getting arrested and psychologically assessed, never mind holding on to your incredibly well paid job.
Why should footballers have different rules to everybody else? There needs to be SOME element of professionalism and responsibility within football, and I feel that if Luis Suarez is able to continue plying his trade as a footballer in any capacity (which of course he will be), then the lunacy of football has completely taken over (which it unfortunately has).
...For once I'm glad the ref missed the thing and not produce a card. Because if he did, even a RED would not serve the justice. And possibly after seeing the ref already took action, there would be no extra punishment by FIFA, and this would not be right.
Well you see, I'm a football fan like any of you, weekly we have been feed with dosage of diving, time wasting, last-man tackles and deliberate handballs.
You hate all these action with all your might and gut, but somehow somewhere inside your head you hear a kid whispers, it's all part of the game, and you moved on after the clock hits full time.
But sinking your teeth to another human being? For the third time? This was a deliberate attempt to injure another person.
I'd rage if my son was bitten at school, as I would myself rage if I was bitten by my colleague at the office, thus why the hell does it is any different in a football field?
Suarez should be banned for life for any involvement in international football, and for domestic too.
If you find this unacceptable, just think about the stray dogs in your neighbourhood which goes around and bite people. Hell you'd call for their head at the first case of biting, these are the third time for God's sake.
Just ban him. Being brilliant is not a license for stupid actions.
Syfq Amr, Malaysia
Why Benzema > Suarez
I was roundly set upon by Liverpool fans a few weeks ago for daring to say that Suarez can't be considered on the same level as Messi or Ronaldo. Mentality is an important part of any footballer's make-up, and Suarez has yet again proven himself to be a petulant toddler. I was laughed at for comparing him unfavourably to Benzema, I wonder which player Carlo Ancelotti would rather trust in a heated Madrid derby or El Clasico. Players so often waste their talents through injuries/money/drink or gambling priblems, Suarez will never reach the pinnacle of the game because he bites grown men in broad daylight and has mist likey blown his shot at the big time.
It will be interesting to see how many of the Suarez apologists try and defend his actions today.
World class indeed.
He's Not Redeemed, Is He?
I'd just like to congratulate Football365, every time in Mediawatch when some journalist would talk about Suarez 'Looking like a reformed character now' and how 'he has redeemed himself', the writers would gently be reminded that goals do not excuse bites and racism. Even if you aren't sure on the racism there is no defence for the chomping.
I would just like to ask how much the biting would take off his potential transfer value, I know it's speculative but after a third bite I don't know if £70 million is still going to be thrown around (I may be wrong).
Andrew, Northern Ireland
He's A Picky Cannibal
What is most distressing about Suarez's behaviour is that all three players he bit were white. Do we need any more proof that he is racist?
Igor (The man was playing against Balotelli, FFS!) NYC
Why Are You Brits So Bothered About Biting?
What are you doing Mrs. Winterburn? (Mrs? That's my mother - Sarah) What are you doing F365? I really respect your writing Sarah and the editorial choices F365 makes but have you stop one second to think what you are actually saying? Nobody ever defended him for biting Ivanovic and nobody will defend him now. Suarez is nuts, crazy, mentally ill. Pick the one you want or make up your own. Biting someone on a football pitch is absolutely mental and he will get whatever is coming is way. This time around though, it doesn't hurt Liverpool one bit(e).
What I find really amazing is the outrage about this by football fans in England. Everybody who is not British were laughing when he did it before and lo and behold are doing so again. You have to ask yourselves what it is about your culture that makes you so mad about a guy biting someone. It's absolutely ridiculous but that's the end of it. We have seen so many players deliberately trying to injure another yet all your lot seem to utter is "he's that type of player". You know there's a convicted felon assisting LVG with the Netherlands? Where is your moral compass pointing if you don't utter a word about it yet get so wound up about Suarez?
Ask yourself, would you prefer getting bitten, have your leg broken or get severely knocked out? Everyone would rather not have any of these happen to them but if you think biting someone is the pinnacle of bad behavior you are clearly loss in your red mist. A bit like Suarez when he bites someone, you're not thinking clearly.
Oh and while I'm on this article's case but if you don't understand why it makes sense for Liverpool fans to think Suarez can be more valuable to their team than Messi could potentially be than you don't understand the concept of a team. Yes, Messi and Ronaldo are much better individual footballers. I would also class Aguero as a better striker but Suarez (and all he brings, even the biting) is the epitome of a team player. He works harder than anyone while also being the best player in his team and thus gives nobody an excuse not to give 100% all the time. His sole presence makes the team better even if he is having a bad game and that's why he is practically invaluable to Liverpool. Remember, better the devil you know.
Nick, LFC, Berlin
Is It Because It Is Weird?
So Suarez has bitten another player. Further evidence, if it was needed that the various commitments and promises he has made are hollow and that he is simply incapable of controlling his actions. The media reaction has been one of shock and dismay, but why? That Suarez would reoffend was clearly not a case of if, but when. There can be little doubt as to what happened, and he must now be punished.
What confuses me are the calls for a draconian ban, such as two years from all football. Why does the offence in question, biting, require to be dealt with differently to other assaults on the field of play? It may have been slightly painful and annoying for Giorgio Chiellini, but he will not miss a single minute of football, he was not scarred nor was any injury ever likely to follow from such an attack. Compare this to punching, elbowing, kicking, and other attempts to deliberately injure players on the pitch. All of these are much more likely to injure an opponent but we never hear calls for such punishments, even where repeat offenders are involved.
So what is the difference? I can only surmise that because biting is so unusual, primitive even, it triggers a disgust, a repulsion in us that leads us to the overreaction we see today.
By all means punish him; but let the punishment fit the crime.
Neil, LFC, Mayo
England Are Villa; Live With It
I heard Roy Hodgson on the radio talking about the FA's target of 'winning the World Cup by 2022'. Roy while admitting that it's 'good to give yourself big aims in life' tried to point out that England, apart from The Wembley Games '66, have never truly competed to win another trophy. Roy noted some quarter-finals and semi-finals but he asked for consideration tha no actual final has been contested.
This review then made me wonder. 'Where exactly does this big English sense of expectation come from?'
My club side, Celtic won the European Cup once upon a time long ago but we don't go blasting the club every year we fail to win it again. We know our place in the days of modern football.
Maybe like for like isn't a perfect comparison but the skewed glasses worn by the English media/madia seems to give England fans a totally unrealistic perception of the sides true chances. I accept that there was an attempt by a lot of fans to generate an air of "We're being realistic, honest guv" this year but that soon evaporated into "Oh here we go again!...right who is to blame?".
If I may, I suggest The Champions League comparison may be also extended.
The big cup has became a four-month borefest to a lot of people due to the big guns protecting each other with seedings and easy qualifying tasks. The same applies in international football these days, England play for two years against nearby journeymen (at best), This means no real top-level competition. It is too easy and these self-deluding qualifiers mean that when you come to play a real decent side or a technical well managed and inspired outfit, cue failure, media outrage and a cry of "What a minute, I thought we were good?".
So I say, England fans, reject the church of Denial. Recognise your place in the football world and accept it. After that, you really can live in hope.
Paul Healy (You don't need eyes to see, you need vision!), Glasgow
On Hodgson's Gamble
I think Phillip Cornwall nailed it in his column on Hodgson. As a Liverpool fan I find it hard to defend the man but Hodgson's problem and what should also be his saving grace in this tournament is that he failed to offend anyone.
He did what was wanted and it didn't work. Before this tournament almost every column and pundit picked roughly the same squad, they appealed for Hodgson to be more pro-active, for the youngsters to get their game and claimed that England fans would accept losing as long as the team 'had a go' and 'did us proud'. These were the implicit criteria of 'success' laid down.
After the Italy defeat these points were hammered home again and again. The same things happened against Uruguay with the same result and that's what having a go with youngsters and playing with pride looks like when you forget tactical discipline and gameplanning for the opposition.
However my question is how much of this was a calculated gamble by Hodgson to hopefully escape criticism if it went pear shaped?
Let's face it he has gone against his type in this tournament. He acquiesced to their demands to play a brand of attacking football with promising youngsters that is simply alien to him and wasn't used in qualifying to a large extent. The basic reactive and defensive 4-4-2 with two deep lying midfielders and little movement between the lines of Euro 2012 was not brought on by necessity from just four months to prepare, it was the preferred system and style of a manager from 35 years of experience. The 4-2-3-1 (that switched back to 4-4-2 when Rooney played as the 10) pro-active attacking style is not a system he has regularly used in the past and it showed as he couldn't make it work...and Lineker is right in hindsight it should have been 4-3-3.
He effectively went against his better judgement to pick all of his star players (Rooney and Gerrard) in their generally preferred positions, his favourite players (Welbeck) and the promising youngsters demanded by the media and fans (Sterling, Sturridge) and he tried to shoehorn them into a team with an already shoddy defence.
The backlash after tournaments is always that England are too defensive, don't show enough passion, always rely on the old guard or the squad players of big clubs and don't 'have a go'. Well despite the Sun and the Mail's best efforts none of those can really be held against Hodgson.
However, if he has failed with his preferred style in Euro 2012 and he has failed in World Cup 2014 by being unable to implement the preferred style of the nation what does he have to offer other than a return to his already flawed approach?
Fine Margins, Innit
I want to say after reading Sarah Winterburn's excellent article on England's performance in Group D that it's refreshing someone in the media has some perspective. What disappoints me most about going home early is not the shame or embarrassment, though shameful and embarrassing it is. What disappoints me is that we have not at all played badly. It is not like in 2006 or 2010 when we were definitely crap and got through to knock-out stages. This year we matched Italy, who admittedly were not top form but still strong, and were beaten by a Uruguay team that have all the gods and FIFA supporting them.
There is no argument that Godin should have been sent off against England. With Godin, England were still the better side and we conceded two goals to Suarez really against the run of play. Without their captain and defensive star, I have little doubt England would have won. Now the dust has settled from that game, I think we can say that actually Suarez's involvement in that game was fairly limited, strange as it is to say. Yes, he scored the two chances that fell to him, but that is what quality strikers do (take note Welbeck). So I can't really see Uruguay winning that game with ten men. Furthermore, had Godin been sent off, he would then have been ineligible for the game against Italy, and I think Italy would only benefit from that: he definitely would not have scored the winner against them. Then of course Suarez was not sent off either, but of course Marchisio was (deservedly).
In 2010 I was bitter because Lampard's goal should have stood and England had the momentum at that time. But I accepted that England had not played well. In 2014, we came bottom of the group when we played well, and teams like Costa Rica, Uruguay and Greece have qualified and teams like Algeria and Nigeria look set to qualify. And while I concede England do not have enough quality to win, I can't help feel with decisions going our way and decent refereeing, at least we'd have a chance.
Sturridge: Comes Up Short
Tonight epitomised why Sturridge was never rated by the big teams like City and Chelsea...
...Is it just me or does Daniel Sturridge have a really bad first touch? There may be many examples of him having an immaculate one that I haven't seen, but last night it was terrible. We (rightly) have a go at Rooney when he goes through his phases of terrible touch, but no one said much about Sturridge last night.
ITV mentioned his poor touch in relation to the penalty shout (not a penalty), merely saying that he should have controlled it onto his right instead of his left, as if he had done it by choice. If it had happened once, then I would agree, but his control from the ricochet from Luke Shaw's shot in the first half was awful. I know it was spinning, but it was going slowly and he was under no pressure. He managed to kick the ball onto his standing leg, thus wasting what was the next best chance of the game. If Danny Welbeck had done that (he would've found a funnier way to mess up) we would all be slating him today.
I realise that this mail makes me sound like one of those people who's letting club loyalties skew his opinion, but I just thought Sturridge had a bit of a stinker yesterday. He also reverted to his old silly shot self when James Milner was in acres of space on the overlap and one other time where he half volleyed about three or four yards wide.
I guess I'm just disappointed. I like to see good players playing well, and he really hasn't reproduced his club form this summer (that would be a very long list...)
As a minor aside, does Cahill not get a shout from his keeper, does he not hear it, or does he ignore it? At least once in every game he has panicked a clearance when a simple shout would've resolved the situation.
Mark, Hong Kong (oh, and didn't Suarez do something in the other game?)
England Missing A Striker
Well that was a pretty disappointing end to our World Cup but, as Sarah Winterburn said, it was failure by fine margins. I rarely find myself agreeing with her opinions and that's the case here. Ms. Winterburn has stated that the nature of our failure teaches us nothing, but I would suggest that it shows we are missing one key piece...we don't have a clinical striker. There is no doubting that Sturridge had a great season for Liverpool, but he was far too wasteful and doesn't appear to be the answer to a problem that has hamstrung England at every tournament since Alan Shearer retired.
Ms. Winterburn's article states that England had 'the most shots (38), allowed the opposition the fewest attempts (25), dribbled past twice as many opposition players (41) as their rivals and had a pass completion rate of 85%.' All of that is very impressive but we only scored two goals. How many of those 38 shots were on target and how many tested the opposition keeper?
What this tells me is that the problem is at no.9. England are nearly a good team who could make a serious challenge in the near future, but will always be a 'nearly' team until they find someone who can regularly put the ball in the back of the net. Rooney should be the man for that job but his much-maligned goal-scoring record at World Cups suggests otherwise. Perhaps it would be worth trying him ahead of the young talent that's been so exciting to watch this tournament, instead of shoving him out wide or playing him at no.10?
People will no doubt reply that other teams are successful without a top striker, but those teams are getting goals from other positions and England's system doesn't seem to be built that way. England have got to either find a no.9 they can rely on (I can't think of any) or find a way to get more goals from the midfield (Walcott through the middle?).
England's play has been quite impressive in this tournament and very promising. The defense wasn't even as bad as people are making it out to be and should get better with time. Overall, I'm feeling quite positive about our future performances, but I won't feel positive about our future results until we find that one missing piece. Sturridge doesn't appear to be it (at least not yet).
Kirk, England fan in China (these midnight- 6am kickoffs are killing me)
Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Crazier
As if we needed any more proof that this is the most amazing and unpredictable World Cup in a generation, Greece have just been involved in an exciting and enjoyable game of football!
John (Gousgounis) Porter
Lu, Lu, Lu, Lu, Lu, Lu, Lu, Lu, Lu, Luis Suarez! The man is awesomely funny, and awesomely good at football, a shame people won't recognise him in the same league as Messi, Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo, etc due to the bitey stuff but awfully entertaining. Hope he stays at Liverpool to score the goals he'll get next season, City, Arsenal, United, Chelsea, Madrid, Bayern, Barca, PSG etc would all take him but I'd rather here pious noises from their fans about how he should have received a life ban when he takes to the field against them rather than fret about the destruction his twinkling toes and sharp teeth might do to our defence instead. Bring on another taste of the league and champions league! Hopefully he'll get a long international ban though to save his energy from sapping airplane trips half way around the world during the breaks if he does stay!- svennein