It would be fair to say that Luis Suarez has been at the brunt end of some fierce criticism over the past week, following his theatrical fall in Liverpool’s last game against Stoke. Even though pundits and fellow players have had a whole international break to try and get over the incident, it looks as though Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny is still struggling to do that after he branded the Uruguayan a cheat in a recent interview with the press.
Even the most protective of Liverpool fans would struggle to defend Suarez following the Stoke incident and if there ever was a poor attempt to win a penalty, this was certainly it. However, some will also point to the fact that Suarez does seem to struggle to get any sort of decisions from referees – even if they are blatantly obvious.
Nevertheless, the Suarez-bashing has continued as the build-up to the return to the domestic schedule continues. Gunners defender Koscielny claimed that he absolutely hates playing against Suarez, not because his ability, but because he cheats. The player said, “Who is the forward I hate to face? Suárez. He is tiresome to defend against. He cheats. He pulls your shirt, giving small blows. You always want to give him a kick but you have to be careful not to be red-carded. For example, on Sept 2 against Liverpool, it was the case with Luis Suárez. He is a player who likes to dive as soon as there is contact. During a challenge we jostled a bit with each other and he fell. He started to talk to me in English, to say it was a penalty.”
Following on from all of the controversy after the Stoke incident, it will certainly be interesting to see just how referees take to the 25-year-old. Many Reds fans are concerned that they are going to become even stricter with the player, which does sound quite implausible considering some of the poor decisions that have come his way through the course of the opening fixtures.