Sid Lowe and Luis Suarez: don’t shoot the messenger

Sid Lowe is one of Some Goals’ favourite writers. His Suarez interview should be viewed as misguided rather than malicious.

The Luis Suarez racism debacle rolls on. Respected journalist, and La Liga correspondent, Sid Lowe took to Twitter to engage and answer a deluge of damning criticism over his interview with Suarez published this morning by The Guardian. The controversy grew from a small section of the piece that sought to briefly reference the Uruguayan’s on-field abuse of Manchester United’s Patrice Evra. Unfortunately, the popular writer stumbled upon two contentious and rather misleading points that could be read as a doubting of the intent of the Liverpool player’s actions and his guilty verdict.

Lowe’s initial response was understandably reactive, challenging his challengers over their potential bias and the sad state of affairs in which important issues quickly become divided over club allegiances rather than reason and the matter of what’s right. These exchanges quickly grew far more insightful and engaging however and the ensuing debate was positive, productive and civilised – a refreshing change to the usual flame wars and abuse spewed over the social network. It was clear that the writer, whose work is regular featured in the very best football publications and sites around, had no intention to defend the actions of Suarez or question the verdict. Instead, he had sought, through his interview, to cover the player’s background, personality and hyper-competitive nature to explain rather than excuse the incident and its fall out. Continue reading


In defence of amoral footballers

Ivanovic saw red in the Charity Shield, sending the post-Olympic press into a bitter spiral of sensationalism as usual.

The football is back, but it seems many wish it wasn’t.

With London 2012 still ringing in the ears of millions, national opinion looks to have been set on a collision course with the overpaid, oversexed and overexposed players of the Premier League.

Do footballers have a case to answer? In short, yes but I’m not so sure the issue is as clean cut as many are seeking to make it out.

Of course, comparing Luis Suarez to Mo Farah, or a rowdy football crowd to a set of Olympic spectators, and the result will hardly be flattering. How often though do honest, hard working professional footballers get given the media platform to represent their sport?

Pundits and supporters alike often lament the lack of “characters” and “personalities” in the modern game, which makes the exclusion of intelligent and articulate players such as Vincent Kompany all the more frustrating. While the antics of Mario Balotelli and co generate headlines on the front and back pages of the tabloid press, more sober heads such as City’s Belgian captain struggle to muster column inches. Respectable spokesmen for the game shouldn’t have to let off fireworks in the en suite of their Cheshire mansion to be heard. Continue reading

Moralising the football: down with this sort of thing

Surely football itself is more important than the man-boy antics of its overpaid and at times idiotic players?

The 2011/12 season (or The Best Football Season EverTM as it will be known until May next year) ended with possibly the most dramatic closing day in English top flight history, a Champions League win for Chelsea that King Leonidas would have been proud of and an excellent Euro 2012 tournament won by Spain in Poland and Ukraine.

Off the pitch however, it’s also been a bumper year for controversy too.

Racism, sexism, greed and barbarism all combined for a near-perfect storm of disgrace that football’s critics were quick to exploit.

John Terry’s trial for allegedly racially abusing Anton Ferdinand feels like the final episode in a toxic series that even the producers of Dream Team may have thought better of. Continue reading