Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is the subject of growing complaints for his diving but Brendan Rodgers comes to his defence, Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole has apologized to the FA for sending out an abusive tweet, Arsenal have refused to break the bank to cater to Walcott’s contract demands.
Brendan Rodgers voices Suarez concern
On Sunday, Stoke City manager Tony Pulis was the latest to criticize Suarez’ diving antics. The Uruguayan went down fairly easily in the box during the second half in a futile attempt to earn a penalty from the referee. And although his plea reached deaf ears in a stadium filled with Liverpool fans throwing a momentary fit of rage, the chapter on the Liverpool striker’s act did not end there.
In his post-match interview Pulis was quick to express his disappointment at the dive and openly suggested that players involved in such incidents should face bans in order for them to learn that it is unacceptable to put in such performances in the Premier League.
Almost immediately, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers jumped to the defence of his striker, and, since they say attack is the best form of defense, the Irishman pointed out how Robert Huth’s stamp on, yes, you guessed right, Luis Suarez, although caught the referee’s eye, the defender walked away without even a yellow card.
“As manager of this football club I find it incredible that in nearly all the coverage about Luis Suarez this weekend, very little focus has been placed on the fact that he was actually the victim of a stamping incident within the first five minutes of the game”
“At this moment there seems to be one set of rules for Luis and another set for everyone else.” – Brendan Rodgers on Suarez
While it is debatable on whether or not a player should get carded for an act like stamping, it is clear that Rodgers is unhappy with the treatment Suarez has been receiving from referees and players alike. It is looking more like his reputation precedes him and clearly at the end of the day, Liverpool stand to lose too.
The Liverpool manager also made it a point to talk about another similar incident at St.James’ Park on the same weekend where Robin van Persie elbowed Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye which met Howard Webb’s eye but he decided to do nothing about it and the striker even escaped charges from the FA.
Ashley Cole apologizes to FA chairman
Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole has apologized to the entire FA by submitting a personal apology to the Football Association chairman David Bernstein on Monday. Cole was earlier charged by the footballing body for putting up an offensive tweet after his evidence in the John Terry case came under scrutiny.
While Cole is still set to face disciplinary action from Chelsea for his stunt in the social networking media, David Bernstein is confident the English international was serious and genuine in his apology and claimed that his inclusion in the England team for the upcoming games against San Marino and Poland is not in FA’s hands but back in the hands of manager Roy Hodgson.
Ashley Cole is close to clinching his 100th cap for country and the fan folklore was sure he was going to get the captaincy to make a fitting occasion out of this century but it is now unlikely that Cole will lead his country anytime soon. Bernstein, although played down talk on this topic, was quick to add that the FA expects high standards from anyone who is elected to take on England’s captaincy.
“I can’t answer that but to be honest I doubt it. We’ve expressed a view on what we need from a captain.”
“We’ve had issues and we’ve stated publicly many times that we have a very high level of behaviour expected from an England captain.” – Bernstein, when asked about Ashley’s chances of captaining England
Arsenal & Walcott don’t meet on contract demands
It seems that Theo Walcott’s days at Arsenal could, after all, be numbered. Wenger fought hard this summer to keep the player at the Emirates and consequently, as contract renewal talks began, it looks like club and player aren’t meeting in the middle.
“We have got our general overall wage structure and we are not prepared to break it for anybody. We have made an offer which he didn’t think was acceptable and that is the end of it. We think it is a very reasonable offer.”
“I hope that he will eventually come round and sign. It will be a pity if he does not, but the whole issue of pay for footballers has got totally out of hand and they don’t get terribly well advised a lot of the time.” – Arsenal chairman, Peter Hill-Wood
With the rise of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott has found himself down the ladder but asking for a pay rise at this stage is probably not the best move for the winger. It looks like we are going to see a lot of interest developing for the former Southampton player this winter.