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Liverpool, FA must act on Suarez

Watch Luis Suarez bite Ivanovic in the arm during Sunday's match.
Watch Luis Suarez bite Ivanovic in the arm during Sunday's match.
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Warren Barton

Warren Barton draws on 16 years of professional soccer experience as a studio analyst for FOX Soccer. With more than 350 Barclays Premier League appearances, Barton starred for Wimbledon before rising to prominence with Newcastle United and the England national team. Follow him on Twitter.


It’s a shame that on a weekend when we some really great football that we have to start with Luis Suarez.

This was a disgusting incident. What on earth is going through a player’s mind when they commit such an act on the field? I don’t know – and I don’t want to know. There is no excuse for going out and trying to deliberately hurt another player, and the very act of trying to bite a man is incomprehensible to me.

The club and the FA now have an obligation to go out, review this footage, and punish Suarez. And I will go further and say that once Liverpool see this footage, that they then will have a decision to make.

Liverpool Football Club has a proud tradition and heritage, but Suarez, with his actions, is doing that club harm. I think he has a lot of talent and it’s not open for debate that he scores goals. But I don’t think he has any business being in a Liverpool kit or for that matter playing in England after what we’ve seen today. The club’s going to have to make that decision, but I know what I would do.

And it is shame that this is what we have to talk about this weekend because there was some great football being played. We saw some of the power and the promise of Tottenham – and I think we also learned a lot about teams like Sunderland and Manchester City.


Relive the best action shots from the Barclays Premier League.

With Tottenham, you have to give credit today to Andre Villas-Boas. Gareth Bale is the player of the year for me, but today it wasn’t until the manager made the changes in the second half that his winger was allowed to really flourish. Give AVB credit: Tom Huddlestone and Jermain Defoe helped push Spurs out wide, and gave them the injection of pace and belief. Bale didn’t have the best game, but when he got Huddlestone behind him to support him, Bale was there to set up Clint Dempsey for the equalizer. His chip over Joe Hart was a perfect reward.

What I don’t understand is why Roberto Mancini just sat there and took it. He left £23 million of talent on the bench in Sergio Aguero – and his reaction was to put out Joleon Lescott as a forward. It’s bizarre. I don’t ask for a manager to get up and act like Paolo Di Canio, but I think the lack of emotion and desire Mancini showed us today has filtered throughout the team.

All through midfield, City players just stood about. They didn’t track back, they didn’t want to do the dirty work, and it cost them dearly. They didn’t have that desire to win the ball or the game. It smells a bit to me, and I just don’t like seeing that.

Now, I mentioned Di Canio: he’s a winner again this week. He’s got his players believing they can win games, simple as that. Is the squad good enough? No, and he knows that – right after the game, he tells the press that the job’s not done and his team has to focus. But the passion and the enthusiasm – that’s what this team really needed, and they got it from him. This is a minor thing, but I think Di Canio has to focus a bit as well – I didn’t like seeing him not shake David Moyes’ hand yesterday because he was so caught up in emotion.

Finally, it’s sad but we have to say that lights are out for Reading and QPR. If Villa win tomorrow – and I don’t think they will – then it’s official; if not, it’ll be soon enough. I think tomorrow we’ll see Manchester United clinch the title, and they will fully deserve it. And while I’m at it, Cardiff City also deserves a nod: they have won the Championship outright after gaining promotion. It’s a great time for Welsh football.

Tuesday and Wednesday we have two very big games as the Champions League semifinals are back. We’ve got two really good matchups as Bayern host Barcelona on Tuesday (2 PM ET, FOX Soccer) and then Borussia Dortmund take on Real Madrid on Wednesday (2 PM ET, FX). Those are can’t miss games as we count down towards Wembley.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @warrenbarton2, and ask a question anytime – use the #heywarren hashtag on @FOXSoccer. I love hearing from you guys. Thanks as always for watching and for reading. I’ll see you here next week!

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