Liverpool: Luis Suarez fails to eat a Manchester United player and other views on his return
HOW did Liverpool’s Luis Suarez get on last night as he returned to the Liverpool team after serving a 10 match ban for biting?
Neil Ashton, Daily Mail:
High up in the top tier of the old Scoreboard End they sang the name of Luis Suarez as if he had never been away. All is forgiven, all is forgotten.
Suspension served he is free to start over, to light up English football again with those match-winning performances.
And how does the Mail show readers that Suarez is free to begin anew? Yep, by showing them a photo of the Uruguayan biting the arm of Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic. Liverpool fans may wonder why whenever a certain England player is reported on the Mail doesn’t equip the story with photo of what he termed his “mischievous” behaviour?
In October 2006, Spurs forward Jermain Defoe (England) bit West Ham’s Javier Mascherano (Argentina). Defoe was booked for “aggressive behaviour”. No more punishment came his way because the referee had dealt with the incident at the time – even though the FA knew the official had missed the bite.
The Sun quotes Suarez:
“It is important that I am back because I can help the team on the pitch — off the pitch I can’t. We will keep going.”
The Sun then opted for a few puns:
Mark Ogden in the Telegraph also looks at the loyal fans:
…football supporters, as hardline and unforgiving as they often claim to be, quickly forget their principles when it involves a star player such as Suárez or Rooney.
And just as Rooney has been serenaded by United’s fans since his return to action this season, Suárez emerged from his suspension at Old Trafford with 7,200 Liverpool supporters offering strong vocal proof of their affection for the lightning rod from Salto.
But Jeremy Cross tells Daily Star readers:
Footballing convictions for racist abuse and biting have stained his reputation forever.
The Express focuses on Suarez outside football:
In Uruguayan book Vamos Que Vamos, Suarez admits that his rebellious side began when he was just nine, after his parents split up.
“They were tough times,” Suarez said. “My parents had split up and there was all the problem of us being a family that never had the possibility of choosing anything. I was never able to tell my mother or father, ‘I want these trainers’, and have them buy me those trainers. It was the pure reality.”
“Up to the age of 12 I knew that I wanted to play football, but afterwards, from 12 to 14, I went through a phase in which the football wasn’t going well for me and I didn’t want to study. I didn’t like to train. I only liked playing the games and that way it was going to be very difficult for me to achieve something. I got really angry. I was a rebel and that worked against me.”
So his racially abusing Patrice Evra was a sign of rebellion rooted in a broken home?
David McDonnell in the Mirror:
He thudded the ball against the bar, hit the side netting and caused anxiety in the Manchester United defence with his guile and clever movement. All that was missing on Luiz Suarez’s comeback from a 10-match ban for biting was a goal and a fresh chapter of controversy to add to his compendium of misdemeanours.
In the Star those misdemeanours were convictions.
Ever since he was found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra and then refused to shake his hand in the pre-match ritual when the sides next faced each other, Suarez has been Public Enemy No.1 at United. Cast in his familiar role as pantomime villain of the piece for United fans, Suarez was booed and jeered every time he came into their proximity to take a corner, and was duly serenaded by Liverpool supporters, whose delight at having him back was tangible.
Racial abuse is a form of panto? He ends his piece with a predictable pun:
But there was enough creative instinct and attacking intent in his play to suggest it will not be long before he is back putting the bite on defences where it hurts most.
Suarez could hold his head high after a tireless display which emphatically answered the questions about his ongoing commitment to the cause. Some 157 days after he was banned for 10 games for sinking his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic, there was the welcome sight of Suarez back in a Liverpool shirt tormenting defenders.
We’ll know when Suarez is back when the puns about his biting end.