Suarez needs help and so do Italy
The headlines will rightly condemn him and FIFA will no doubt ban him for a few games but the latest Suarez biting incident surely raises the question about his psychological state. How can a player who one minute appears a happy family man and a superb goalscorer, suddenly turn into a vile thug?
Instead of inanely defending his inexcusable actions, Suarez’s team-mates and coaching staff would be better served getting him some psychological help. That’s not a cheap jibe by the way. He has an extraordinary talent that now risks being ruined by his strange and violent behavior. Somewhere there is a specialist who can deal with his problem. He needs help.
Italy have no-one to blame but themselves
Inevitably the Azzurri blamed the referee for their defeat against Uruguay which sent them out of the World Cup. Those who follow the fortunates of Italy will know this is something of a ritual.
“It was a match that was clearly conditioned by the refereeing,” said defender Giorgio Chiellini. “There are episodes in football that make the difference but today there was a disparity in the judgements that was incredible. The expulsion of Marchisio was ridiculous but even more ridiculous was the non-expulsion of Suarez,” he said.
Thankfully Gigi Buffon had the guts to offer a different view – noting Italy had not scored in their last two games and had created very little. “We can’t always blame someone else,” he said.
Buffon was part of Italy.s 2006 World Cup winning team with strong characters like Fabio Cannavaro and Gennaro Gattuso and players of quality throughout the team. It is incredible how far Italian football has fallen in eight years. Their club teams struggle in Europe, their league has fallen into decline and their national team has gone from world champions to mediocre.
Marchisio’s red card was deserved and the ref obviously didn’t see the Suarez incident. But Italy’s exit was about their mediocre and uninteresting performances and their lack of a genuine strike threat. The stars have delivered at this tournament so far but one major disappointment was Mario Balotelli.
It is sad to see the likable Cesare Prandelli leave but i don't envy the job of the next man in charge who must try to orchestrate a revival with one of the weakest generations of players Italy have had in years.
Greece are the new Italy
Expert defending, well organised midfield with a canny veteran and ability to be deadly on the break? Greece are rather like how Italy used to be.
They were lucky to get a dubious last minute penalty to beat Ivory Coast but they played the kind of smart football that can take you far in a World Cup. Costa Rica are buzzing from their surprise topping of Group D but they will need to get back down to earth quickly if they are to get past the Greeks.