PFA Player of the Year Awards: Boos for Luis Suarez show how far the Liverpool striker must travel for redemption
Suarez still makes team of the year but is beaten to top award by Gareth Bale
The boos would have hurt more than any ban. Luis Suarez can rail all he likes against the punishment meted out by the FA for biting Branislav Ivanovic. The condemnation of his peers that rang out at the PFA Awards dinner in London last night is the ultimate sanction and far more penal than that dispensed by the game’s governing body
There is no greater accolade than the respect of your fellow professionals. A ten-match ban can be served. How to end the purgatory of pariah status? Twice, at the mention of his name in the shortlist for the PFA Player of the Year award and in the Premier League team of the season, Suarez was heckled. It is a long walk back to happiness from that friendless state, even with the Kop behind you.
The PFA might have acted with greater foresight to spare him the embarrassment, withdrawing his candidature from the player of the year list, even though votes had already been cast, and the Premier League team. On the other hand perhaps his apologists would argue that his outstanding contribution to Liverpool’s season deserved recognition.
The conversation in the great football chat room raises the prospect of his exit from Anfield in the summer. If Suarez were to seek a posting elsewhere he would not be leaving as a victim, but as a football felon. Far better to serve his time and make good the wrong in the colours of Liverpool. It might take longer than ten matches, but he would be grateful in the end.
With his short back and sides and arms full of PFA booty Gareth Bale presented the wholesome side of football, a young lad you would be happy to see on the arm of your daughter. Bale’s twin accolades, only the third in the history of the game to scoop both player and young player awards after Andy Gray and Cristiano Ronaldo, reflected his growing status.
There is much speculation about Bale’s whereabouts, too, next year. The case for retaining his services at Tottenham begins against his old team Southampton on Saturday and then at Chelsea next week. Bale and Spurs want Champions League participation next season. It might take four wins from four to ensure it.
Latest in Sport
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal offloads fringe players as he looks to the long term
Loic Remy joins Chelsea: Striker adds artillery to Diego Costa's firepower
Leicester vs Arsenal player ratings: Who was the star man? Wes Morgan? Leonard Ulloa? Alexis Sanchez?
Tottenham to offer Andros Townsend to Southampton in £14m deadline day bid for Jay Rodriguez
Tottenham vs Liverpool player ratings: Who was the star man? Raheem Sterling? Alberto Moreno? Or new-boy Mario Balotelli?
- 1 Unseen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory chapter deemed 'too subversive' released
- 2 Ebola virus: It's ripped through towns – now the deadliest ever outbreak of the virus is heading for Africa's teeming cities
- 3 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward