Craig Bellamy…

Bellamy…what a signing.

I had my doubts but he is proving everyone wrong. The guy just doesn’t give up. He’s like Dirk Kuyt but with far more aggression. At 32 he is making a mockery of the idea that the 30th birthday is the beginning of the end.

He hand a hand in both the goals against Aston Villa, scoring one from close range and providing the assist for the other. He doesn’t accept anything less than full commitment and is honest. He must be a complete pain in the arse to play against and really put people’s backs up with his combative and argumentative personality! If you’re a Liverpool FC fan, he’s turning into a first choice player; if you’re on the other side, he’s viewed as a bit of a idiot.

Either way, i’m really enjoying watching him play and especially his corner kicks, which are pacy, accurate and consistent, unlike the ones taken by Captain Liverpool, Gerrard, who adds meaning to the word ‘ineffective’.

In other LFC news, how can any football fan have missed the Suarez racism saga? He should absolutely have known better than to use this word in this country and he should know the general ‘rules’ about which words to use, after playing in Holland with Ajax. It’s not like he just stepped off the plane from South America.

You can’t just carry on using the customs which you may have grown up with in your home country because this could be offensive to others in the new country. It’s pretty well-known that this sort of language would be considered racist. Its usage in Uruguay and other South American countries may be more common and have a different meaning, but still not acceptable.

The best summary i’ve read comes from paul Elliott, from his well written article in the Guardian.

‘It may be that Suárez was guilty of a lack of understanding rather than a lack of respect, but that does not mean he bears no guilt at all. It may be that the term he used is not considered offensive in Uruguay, but its use must be considered in context. Patrice Evra is not as I understand it a personal friend, and this incident took place during a heated, competitive match between two clubs who share a fierce rivalry that he must have been aware of. While I have respect for Suárez, and can understand his mitigation to some degree, the use of such industrial language in that context, in that environment, is utterly unacceptable.’

His use of the word ‘Negro’, directed towards Evra of United, has led to a huge 8 game ban, something which i’ve personally never seen before. I would question the length of the ban, especially considering other cases of insulting language. The famous one involved Wayne Rooney. The FA charged Rooney with “use of offensive, insulting and/or abusive language” after he celebrated the penalty that completed his hat-trick at Upton Park by swearing directly into a television camera. For this foul-mouthed rant, he received a 2 match ban. This was watched by more than 2 million people live on Sky Sports.

As a logical way forward, I would suggest this as the best approach, from Steven Friel (complex disputes lawyer). ‘A final point: when I advise clients on whether to commence legal action, the legal merits of their case are only one of a number of factors that I take into account. In a case such as this, Suárez and Liverpool should think long and hard about whether they want this case dragged out. A sensible option may be a contrite statement from Suárez making clear that he is not a racist and that he is gravely sorry for any offence he has caused and that, notwithstanding that he does not agree with the decision, he wants to put the whole episode behind him. The risk for Suárez of taking this further is that he goes down in history as the case that got to grips with racism in high-level football.’

Looking on the bright side, this is a big opportunity for Bellemy and Carroll + Maxi to fill his boots. Suarez is not the only goal scoring option and also not for creativity. This is no different to when Gerrard has been out injured in the past (and present) or recently during the post-Lucas injury. This is an opportunity for a few players to show their true class. Henderson has filled in very well in central midfield, Jon Jo is back and waiting for his chance and the combination of Maxi, Bellemy and Kuyt has already proven to be very effective.

Our defence is now the best in the Premier League (only 13 goals conceeded), with all the back 4 contributing and Skrtel and Agger forming a solid partnership in the centre.



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