As soon as Robert Huth stamped on Luis Suarez in the opening minutes of the game on Sunday, Stoke manager Tony Pulis knew he needed to do something to focus the attention away from his big German centre back.
Foolishly by Suarez he gave Pulis a perfect opportunity with the embarrassing dive in the second half. That doesn’t require much comment, it was pathetic and somebody quickly needs to strongly suggest to Suarez that he cuts out the theatrics and would be much more productive staying on his feet.
It’s no validation for the dive, but Suarez – as is often the case – let his frustrations get the better of him. His frustrations stem from several factors: 1) his personal ability and lack of finishing, 2) the team as a whole’s lack of finishing when dominating games, and 3) the failure of the referee to protect the players, Suarez is particular.
People forget that the number one priority of a referee is to protect players. That’s the reason there are referees.
Huth tangles with Suarez early on and then clearly stamps – at the least ‘treads’ (purposefully) – on the Uruguayan. Nothing given. It set the tone for the treatment of Suarez, and others, throughout.
The first half was littered with Stoke players leaving their foot in on players. Stoke ended up with six players booked and it could easily have been more.
Of course, Pulis knew that by commenting on Suarez he was giving the good old British media reason to publish their best anti-Suarez headlines. The morning papers are littered with Suarez’s dive, hardly a mention of Huth’s actions. Quelle surprise.
If we had any faith in the governing body of this country we’d be the ones who end up laughing about this, because Huth should be retrospectively banned. Take that Pulis. But, then again, it is the FA so let’s not place too much faith in that happening.
Stoke are an absolutely pathetic excuse for a football team and I’m not sure I can actually sum up my hatred of them in one article. So I’ll let the image and stat below do the talking.
Stat: Stoke’s highest pass completion was between Begovic and Crouch. Their keeper and forward.