Luis and Lionel – the contrasting fortunes of the Vampire and the Virtuoso

All Kay wanted to know was whether anything could be done to help Suarez stop chomping

Day 14 and it was all Luis and Lionel, their fortunes in the last 24 hours somewhat contrasting, the Vampire and the Virtuoso, kind of.

It was a toss-up, really, over who was most grateful to Luis for Chompgate III, Sky News or the English squad, the latter arriving back in Manchester with almost no one paying attention because they were all still busy OMGing over Luis.

"His alleged bite took a big chunk out of some of the headlines that might have been written about Roy Hodgson's men," as ITV's Gabriel Clarke noted, so they were able to quietly return home without 10,000 reporters howling: "HOW ASHAMED DO YOU FEEL?"

And Sky finally had some decent World Cup controversy to chat about, when they'd felt decidedly left out of it all until now, them having no rights to the shindig, although they were reduced yesterday to just showing photos of the chomp, them still having no rights to the shindig.


Instead, we got to hear the thoughts of Mike Fisher, director of The British Association of Anger Management, on the happening. "I've been doing a few interviews today," he told Kay Burley, and you could only imagine, Mike's services possibly never so in demand. (Although upon using the Google to check his name, you could only chuckle at a 2008 Guardian article about his feud with a rival anger management guru - "I was almost on fire with anger!")

Mike, then, has had his own red mist moments, although it’s unlikely he actually bit his rival anger management guru, which, he told Kay, was a quite unusual response to a moment of stress.

Silverback gorilla

“Suarez became like a Silverback gorilla,” he said, which was an advance on the more commonly cited ‘chimp brain’ theory, but all Kay wanted to know was whether anything could be done to help Suarez stop chomping.

“Instead of smacking someone over the head he wants to bite people! When someone is adrenalized to that extreme, how can he be helped,” asked Mike, which, you have to say, wasn’t the best of ads for The British Association of Anger Management.

Kay: “Are you saying he is beyond help?”

Mike: “It’s a difficult one, I don’t think anyone is beyond help, but . . .”.

And to be honest, ‘sports and business psychologist’ Steven Sylvester didn’t sound a whole lot more hopeful when he turned up on Channel 4 News later in the day, “it takes something special to self-correct that mechanism,” he said of the biting tendency, and his lowered bottom lip suggested: ‘Noooooo chance.’

If Brendan Rogers had been watching his telly yesterday, Mike and Steven would have left very little hope in his heart, to the point where you wonder will Luis be walking alone some time soon. Unlikely, really, when the boy's a footballing wonder, and if anything you'd guess an international ban would make the fella even more attractive to potential suitors. Rest and recuperation during international breaks, how perfect would that be?

Over on RTE and a combo you really thought you’d never see: Former Armagh footballer Didi Hamann and ex-German international Enda McNulty, who’s now a sports psychologist. (If that was back to front . . . look, these are dizzy days). “Why would an adult bite,” asked Tony O’Donoghue, but even Enda struggled for an answer, mentioning the chimp business again, which left Didi flummoxed. Schimpanse?

Character references

Tony then brought us news that


had until 9.0 to submit character references for Luis, when you sensed if they had until 2022 they’d struggle to find any. By the sounds of his lawyer Alejandro Balbi, though, the defence would be one alleging an Italian/English conspiracy against Luis, and that what happened was “absolutely casual play”.

John Gilesie and Liamo Brady didn’t really know where to start, Gilesie conceding that he had done some things in his career that he shoudn’t have, but “it never ever entered my head to bite someone”. All you could hope was that scores of 1970s footballers wouldn’t take to Twitter with photos of Gilesie’s teethmarks on their groins, but last we checked there was divil a one.

At least the Messi man reminded us that the game can, actually, be beautiful. Heavenly, even.

And heartbreaking, too. Frank Lampard

Gabriel Clarke: “If there was one thing you could change about English football, what would it be?”

Frank Lampard: “It’s a long conversation, but….. to win.”

That would help.