Luiz looking good, Luis ban right

Friday 26th April 2013 16:28

David Luiz: Bagged two vital goals for Blues

David Luiz: Bagged two vital goals for Blues

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Chelsea's FanZone blogger Dylan Clive waxes lyrical about David Luiz - and gives his views on Luis Suarez's 10-game ban following 'bitegate'.

'Do you want the good news or the bad news?' It has to be up there with the most difficult questions to answer, alongside, 'Ketchup or Burger Sauce?' or 'Is Luis Suarez a werewolf?' However, considering the turbulent week that Chelsea fans have endured, it does seem an appropriate question to ask. Let's start on a high with the good news - David Luiz.

What a goal; in fact, two great goals - and both hugely important. The first came against Fulham and if you blinked you would have missed it. Hit from all of 35 yards and never going anywhere but the top corner, Luiz's stunning right-foot screamer is up there for a Chelsea goal-of-the-season contender. It also provided the inspiration for an excellent 3-0 derby win at Craven Cottage, where we have struggled in the past.

The second was less spectacular but given that his skidding free-kick sealed a crucial away win in the fourth minute of extra-time in the Europa League semi-final first leg, it is unquestionably the more significant of the two.

FC Basle will now travel to Stamford Bridge knowing that they must win and score at least two goals in the process or else the Blues, who are the only British team left in Europe for a second year running, will also be contending their second European final in succession.

The eccentric Luiz, lovingly referred to as 'Sideshow' due to the striking similarities with Simpson's character Sideshow Bob, has been a crowd favourite at the Bridge ever since his January 2011 deadline-day transfer from Benfica. This season he has established himself as one of club's top performers and I have even heard one life-long Blue dub him 'the Leboeuf reincarnate'.

There is still the feeling, though, that while he is a good defender he is far more suited to life in the centre of the park.

Luiz is a flair player, able to spread passes with either foot and if allowed more freedom to express himself then he could well dictate proceedings in the Chelsea midfield for years to come.

You have to take the brilliant with the absurd and while there is always the danger of a Luiz moment of madness, there is also the constant threat of him producing a match-winning flash of Brazilian genius.

However, for the real Jekyll and Hyde footballer, would the real Luis Suarez please stand up?

It was always going to happen but here comes the bad news part of the blog.

We'll get the bitterness out the way early shall we: other than the fact that Suarez should have been escorted off the pitch in a straightjacket following his Hannibal impersonation, Dean Sturridge should have been sent off for a reckless challenge on Ryan Bertrand and no-one knows where the mammoth six minutes of added time came from, for which the referee decided to add an extra 30 seconds of his own; a draw was absolutely a fair result against Liverpool.

Although it is far more preferable to focus on the football rather than dwell too long on any slight moments of controversy, bite-gate is an obvious exception. Some people have tried to brush the incident off and compare it to the antics of an excitable puppy that chews everything in sight; I would challenge those people to imagine that your puppy looked like Suarez and then honestly tell me you wouldn't have it put down.

He is far from being a sweet and innocent creature but likewise I can't take the Uruguayan seriously enough to see him as a cruel and monstrous individual. Instead, Suarez bares closer resemblance to a zombie from Shaun of The Dead; the bite on Ivanovic was a grim incident but his continued acts of controversial stupidity make him a laughing stock as opposed to an evil villain.

The uncomfortable reaction of Graeme Souness in the post-match analysis made for intriguing viewing and it left me thinking that perhaps we are debating the wrong thing.

Will Suarez stay? Is the 10-game ban fair? Forget that, I want to know how many teeth Suarez would have left had he decided to end his hunger strike on someone like a Graeme Souness or a Roy Keane or a Gennaro Gattuso?!

If it was a reaction he was after, then any one of them would have happily obliged and would now probably be facing a similar length ban.

Whether Suarez stays at Liverpool or not is irrelevant; he is an exceptional talent but they still won't win anything. And of course he deserves a 10-game ban. This is a repeat offence for which he originally served a seven-game suspension when teething in the Dutch League so naturally it's a more severe punishment this time around, even though the independent insist they did not take any former offences into account when setting the ban.

There is an argument to say that Jermain Defoe only received a yellow card for biting Mascherano in 2006 so why should Suarez be treated differently? FA rules state that if the referee saw the incident and took what he deemed appropriate action then no further punishment can be taken. Essentially, Defoe got lucky and Suarez is being dealt with properly.

A better line of investigation would be to understand how the FA can be so decisive in giving Suarez such a lengthy punishment, yet Sergio Aguero's two-footed lunge in the FA Cup semi-final and Callum McManaman's horror tackle against Newcastle received no further action after the referees failed to spot them. They are of varying severity and should have received suitable suspensions.

Anyway, that's the rant over so let's get on with the football. Apparently there's a pretty tasty relegation battle being played out at the foot of the table and towards the summit some Champions League places are up for grabs? I'm going to stick my neck out and say Chelsea will beat Tottenham at home on May 8 and finish third in the league.

Bite me.

You can follow me on Twitter @DylClive.

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