TV View: A striking issue for Sky – and all of us – to sink our teeth into
Redknapp has a nibble at humour as Souness finds it all a bit childish
Luis Suarez and Branislav Ivanovic have words at half-time of yesterday’s game – before the biting incident. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images.
It sounded like the phone was malfunctioning rather severely, a symphony of ding dongs as the texts flooded in. “If you’d have offered Luis Suarez a point before this game he'd have bitten your arm off,” was the gist, as was “without Suarez, the Liverpool attack has no bite” and “he’ll will definitely be sold off now to a Chompions League club”.
And on it unforgivably went, no relief.
And then: “To say it’s been a bad day for forwards is an understatement . . . Adebayor, Dzeko, Torres and Suarez. At least Suarez showed some appetite.”
Actually, that wasn’t a text, that was Jamie Redknapp on Sky Sports after the game, although it didn’t seem like he was being puntastic, he was just being Jamie.
Morally, of course, it was a difficult day for those who have invested £11 million of their Fantasy Football budget in the fella, and it will be on our conscience for some time that we high-fived the remote control when the referee didn’t spot the nibble – a red card, after all, would have resulted in three points deducted, and we’d have lost those four points for his equaliser.
Smith: “It looks like he’s sunk his gnashers in there!”
Hawthorne: “That. Is. Astonishing!”
Mercifully, Sky didn’t go down the ‘that’s foreigners for ya’ route, Rob Hawthorne, back in the studio, kindly reminding any one who would listen that Jermain ‘three lions on his chest’ Defoe munched on Javier Mascherano a few years back, the FA opting not to punish him because the refereed had booked him.
When Rob asked Graeme Souness for his thoughts, he was very nearly lost for words at first, never ideal for a pundit. “I’m not sure what to make of it – embarrassing,” he said when he located the words, “that’s what children do when they’re in the pram, they bite things when they’re not happy.”
“What message does that send out?” asked Jamie, fearing footballing kids up and down Britain would be arm-biting by Monday morning, “he obviously has a real problem, it was an incredible act of brutality, it’s madness!”
And nobody could disagree really, even the outraged football supporters who wondered if Suarez would now be available for a knock-down price and dreamt of their clubs snapping him up because he might be mad in the head, but the boy’s a genius.
Brendan Rodgers, sensibly enough, kept his whist when he had a word with Sky, apart from being a little silly in comparing an alleged elbowing incident with an arm-chew, saying he’d review the footage first, but you got the feeling his players wouldn’t be warming up in Suarez t-shirts before their next game. (Ding, another text: “Kenny Dalglish says that ‘biting’ means something different in Uruguay.”)
“Eh, I’d rather talk about his performance second half and his performances from day one this season, he’s been by far the best player in the league. Eh, when you’re playing against Chelsea in these big Premier League games they’re going to get spicy.” Spicy. See what he did there?
Some time later, we were reminded that Liverpool only just appointed a new director of communications last week, Susan Black.
“It is a real honour for me to lead the communications function for Liverpool,” she said. “I am looking forward to my new role with an immense sense of pride and with it the opportunity to ensure we . . . live by the values that have made this great club what it is today."
A quiet start to the job, then.
Ding, another text: “He cheats, he dives, he'll eat your team alive.”
Ah now people, stop.