If there’s one thing that unites all football fans, that’s hypocrisy. Every single football fan is a hypocrite. Many might not want to admit but we all know the truth. Football keeps giving you opportunities to confirm and validate this claim. There was one last month. The ‘Suarez to Chelsea/Arsenal’ was doing its rounds. And it’s still alive.
Interestingly many Chelsea and Arsenal fans just simply detested the sight of Suarez and didn’t want him in their club. Yet, these fans have been very patient and even supportive of players in their club that had dubious behaviour.
I think we all can agree on one thing. Suarez is a phenomenal player. For me, he was the player of the season in the last premier league. His goal scoring ability and his mentality on the pitch are simply unmatched in the premier league. Even if you don’t rate him this way, I’m sure you’d agree that he’s a phenomenal player.
Suarez clearly has a terrible reputation. He found controversies at Ajax, for Uruguay and at Liverpool. There are two perspectives that come out – (a) He’s too much trouble (b) He’s the kind of player you don’t want in your club.
There’s no doubt he’s a trouble maker. I’m only seeing if he’s worth the trouble. I think it’s naive to expect we’d see Suarez sans the troubles. He is what he is. He’s the sum total of all the goods and the bads. His personality and mentality that makes an incredible player, does include those trouble making qualities too. No way he can totally drop that side of him. It’s like a controversy-free Maradona. No way, that’s what completes the legend of Maradona.
Suarez is in many ways not as bad as he’s made out to be. I may be in a minority but I don’t see malice in him. Stupidity, yes but no malice. That handball against Ghana in World Cup, I have no problem with that. If the Italians had done it, we’d have called it cheeky. When Suarez did it, that became ‘cheaty’. His calling Evra ‘negrito’ is so wrong in Britain but this still goes on in South America and no one considers that an offence there. The biting incidents are momentary madness that he’s known far. I’d be more concerned about the career-breaking two-footed tackles than a mad bite in the heat of the moment. I’m not saying it’s okay to do all these things. He’s stupid but not malicious. And for the talent he has, he’s worth this trouble.
And I don’t understand this ‘I don’t want him in my club’ stance. Who are we kidding here? At Chelsea, we have tolerated far more inappropriate behaviour than what Suarez has managed so far. John Terry alone has been a never-ending soap opera (incl the ban for use of racist language). If you say a club legend like John Terry is allowed some misdemeanours, then this is not a question of values after all. It’s what I started this article with: hypocrisy.
Jose Mourinho, from the sidelines at Camp Nou, poked Vilanova’s eyes. Yet we are comfortably blind or even have conveniently forgotten that episode and made a song and dance when The Special One returned. Again, if he’s allowed such behaviour because he’s a club legend, then we’re certainly not talking values or principles. Ashley Cole being a gun to the training ground and accidentally shoots too. Calls the FA a ‘bunch of twats’ and he’s still our hero. My hero too.
So this whole ‘I don’t want him at my club’ is something I don’t get. What one can say is, we are already in the media for all wrong reasons and we don’t want to make ourselves more vulnerable. That’s understandable. It’s the moral high ground that I can’t stand. Half the people that don’t want Suarez because he’s ‘classless’, will pounce on him if he’s available now as a free agent. That’s the price of class.
My stance is clear. I’d love to see a top player like Suarez in a Chelsea shirt. If we’re gonna get him, I’d celebrate his arrival and support him through his time here. By the way, by supporting I don’t mean the crappy idea of wearing T-shirts like Liverpool did. I’d support him like any fan supporting his club’s player, with all the hypocrisy he could muster.
Finally, I’d leave you with a classic quote from our own Jose Mourinho.
I am Jose Mourinho and I don’t change. I arrive with all my qualities and my defects.