Luis Suarez, fresh from a disciplinary hearing at the FA where he was found guilty of racism and given an eight match suspension, has now been disciplined with another suspension. This time it is for only one match and supposing that there is no immediate appeal it will be served in Liverpool’s next match, at Anfield against Newcastle United.
Luis Suarez was this time suspended for a gesture he made on the pitch towards Fulham fans during Liverpool’s defeat at Craven Cottage earlier this season. Liverpool have been fined £20,000 for the incident. Luis Suarez was warned as to his future conduct, effectively meaning the FA do not expect him to appear before their disciplinary boards for quite a while to come and if he is to appear there for future indiscretions he should fear the worst. Liverpool fans have understandably reacted negatively to this news, believing their club to be the FA’s current scapegoat for all things bad. More objectively minded fans, however, will point out that the FA have merely done what was to be expected, at least in this case. Luis Suarez, perhaps Uruguay’s most famous, or infamous, current footballer, is not the first player to be penalised for an offensive gesture to another team’s fans. It is an expected penalty for an obvious indiscretion.
Liverpool will be fearful about their prospects without their star striker. Even with him in the team the club has struggled to score enough goals to defeat their opponents. In fact the team has played 9 fixtures at Anfield this season and have drawn 6 of them already, winning the other 3. Whilst a draw at home against the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City might be considered understandable, the fact that the team has consistently failed to beat far more mediocre sides has infuriated the Liverpool faithful. The team has been unable to defeat Sunderland, Swansea, Blackburn amongst others. The side simply do not have enough goal threat at the moment and until that changes this same trend will continue. The team will have to find a way to overcome this problem without Luis Suarez in the side for the fixture against Newcastle and it will also provide an opportunity for the Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish to prepare a system he will be able to use once Luis Suarez eventually begins his longer 8 match suspension – the result of the FA disciplinary board finding against him in the Patrice Evra / Luis Suarez race saga. Liverpool need to find a solution to their goalscoring woe’s and now is as good an opportunity as ever.