1 Nov 2011

RAY HOUGHTON: "Referees might start picking on Luis Suarez..."

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson recently contended that Luis Suarez 'dives all over the place', and this was followed up by Paul Scharner hinting that Suarez dived to win a penalty in Liverpool's game with West Brom. With increased media attention on Suarez as a result of these accusations, Liverpool legend Ray Houghton worries that it might start to affect the judgment of referees.

Houghton, who was part of Kenny Dalglish's all-conquering late 1980s Liverpool team, argued:

"The slight concern might be the diving that's levelled against him [Suarez]. What could happen is that referees might start picking on him.

"There might come a stage - and we've seen it in English football, particularly with foreign players - where the referee starts thinking 'has he dived there', and they don't give him the benefit of the doubt, and go the other way and don't give him the decision.

"In the West Brom game, referee Lee Mason was in a great position to see it [Thomas's challenge on Suarez]...and have to question why referees don't give decisions like that.

"Why didn't he see that as a penalty, when his assistant, who is probably further away and doesn't have as good a view, did see it?

"I'm just worried with all the negative press, and all the nonsense that goes with it, referees start taking it out on him [Suarez], which is wrong".

I think we're already seeing referees taking a harsh line with Suarez, and the fact that Lee Mason completely ignored a cast-iron penalty on Saturday is (IMO) persuasive evidence of this.

Having said that, I think we need to acknowledge that Suarez has sometimes gone down too easily, and he's not totally blameless here.

A couple of weeks ago, Mark Lawrenson suggested that Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher needed to 'have a word' with Suarez over his diving; perhaps that actually happened because lately, Suarez seems to be making an extra effort to stay on his feet when it would be easier to go down.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. the refs get paid to to ref and be dignified on how they call things, the ref from england that did the finals in the world cup, other refs should take notice on how great he is, and don't just look at a name cuz luis will pack and go...if the refs talk to one another about luis then they should be suspended...
    call the game with pride and dignity.

  2. I am getting really sick and tired if people jumping on the bandwagon with regards to this subject. He'll get a reputation because all the so called experts keep accusing him of it. He can't do right for doing wrong, last week he was fouled in the box, stayed on his feet and because he was off balance, shot wide. Yet if he'd have gone down, people would be accusing him of diving!
    Because he is one of the finest players in the world IMO, there is a slur against him.
    Not having a go at you Jamie by the way!

  3. Refs are treating him differently already. Norwich they were jumping all over him and he didnt get one call his way that day. Many other occasions and the back pass that was ignored. Its bullshit.

  4. I dont know what the hype is all about with Sir Fergy throwing his penny into the pond regarding Suarez. When Ronaldo did it & brought Man U trophys nobody complained. Suarez is a briliant player & they are jealous that they dont have a player of his stature anymore, HAHAHA, & i think that Man Untds luck is finally starting to run out after that thrashing LOL

  5. It's things like this article that aren't helping Suarez's case. Look at the headline for example: "Ray Houghton reveals diving concerns over Luis Suarez..." It's so misleading that it will affect people's opinions who don't finish reading the article. Houghton isn't concerned about Suarez' diving, he's concerned about the increased media attention which may sway referees' opinions and decisions. Suarez dives sometimes, as do a lot of players. But for some reason (let's be honest, because Ferguson opened his big mouth) the media has been talking about Suarez diving and not anyone else. Maybe the discussion should be about ways to take diving out of the game once and for all instead of highlighting an individual who is only doing what has become normal in the game of football. If the FA can review a game and fine a player for throwing a punch, why can't they review for diving? If it's obviously a dive and the player is trying to cheat we can't expect the refs to catch it. But if that player ends up with a one match ban and a fine then he'll think twice before diving next time.

  6. "Plum Nose" has a conveyor belt full of divers over the years,Van Nistlerooy,Ronaldo,Nani,Ashley Young yet he criticises suarez and Dalglish or any other manager or pundit will never directly criticise a Man Utd player.Only Rafa and Wenger are the only two managers to ever come out and say it as it is as these 2 managers never hid their views and always play the game the right way.I actually think Dalglish is petrified of Ferguson as firstly Ferguson accuses Suarez of being racist and secondly of diving all over the place,and Dalglish never accuses Evra of being a liar or of any man utd player cheating.Fergie  also accused Torres of diving against Man Utd when Hodgson was in charge yet Hodgson wouldnt criticise any man utd players until the backlash off the fans was too much and he had to,yet Dalglish gets no backlash so now Suarez is a marked man by the referees and he wont get a quarter of the decisions he should get now,yet Nani and Young will carry on cheating all the time and because nobody speaks out against manutd players since Rafa went,Man Utd will carry on winning titles by cheating.

  7. people pay good money to watch star players am sure it all turn out to luis advantage no matter who the refs are, after all the player is the one that makes the difference..zuzu is going back home we are playing chile for the qualifiers next week.

  8. kenny will never say anything about evra the mu player is a rat and a lair the fa they are sure taking their bloody time with the non case.

  9. Howard Webb missed De Jong's chest high assault on Xabi Alonso

    Or he bottled it

    He's supposed to the "best" we have

  10. Suarez did n't dive for penalty he did n't have to! The player ran straight into him then backed into him and left Suarez no where to go and trips him as well the ball is going the other way and so was Suarez at the start of the foul you are suppose to be going for the ball not the man is n't that a foul Scharner the other thing is look at the reaction of the WBA player he his looking for the ref to see if he his going to blow great bit of assistant refereeing for once who don't get involved enough in the big decisions.
    Houghton is trying to give Suarez support from the bad mouthing and the comments by others who know we have a great player in Suarez and I reckon it frightened Fergie especially with the team he picked against us.
    Luis Suarez VS Ibrahim Affelay http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkNABuoslAo&feature=player_detailpage the Dutch taught him if there is a problem! 

  11. The stand out thing about Scharner's career is his varied hairstyles

    It was a ridiculous way to go a goal down, needless "forward's tackle" by Thomas, brave linesman gave it after Mason bottled it. It was stonewall. I think referees try their best to avoid awarding pens early in matches

    There is so much scrutiny of referees that it must be a horrendous job to do. It's impossible to get all the decisions right all of the time due to the size of playing surface with just 3/4 guys covering it. Blink for a fraction of a second and you'll miss something

    It's this scrutiny that deters referees from making decisions. Suarez honestly stayed on his feet against Stoke and then dragged his shot wide. He should have been awarded a spot kick anyway, it was ridiculous. Way to reward honesty.....

    Every manager will be showing that clip to their forwards to illustrate exactly why you have to go down under contact in the box

    I recently emailed the referee's association outlining reasons why they should go on strike due to unfair working conditions......... got no response :(

    Let's just hope that referees make their own decisions going forward and not listen to Fergie etc

  12. the dutch players were all over this great man take it from an Uruguayan, if i were the ref on that game i would have red carded one of those players but he kept his cool, yes he is the best you have and you all should be proud not like us with our ref england v germany the Uruguayan screwed that game up, am not saying england would have won the game but what a major f----up.

  13. Rafa did have ago but it was lost in translation and left him open to the press to ridicule him, Kenny is to clever for this and getting drawn into a war of words which Fergie loves to use Keegan,Wenger and Rafa have all lost trying to undermine Fergie, you need to be a bit more clever then that Fergie was mouthing off but did n't the F.A tell Fergie to shut up Round 1 to Kenny .
    An interview from Kenny.
    Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish says the club is “totally and utterly” behind Luis Suarez after Patrice Evra accused him of racism.The Manchester United defender claims Suarez verbally abused him during the 1-1 draw at Anfield on Saturday.Dalglish has also defended the Uruguay international against accusations from Sir Alex Ferguson that he is a diver.“Obviously the two things are emotive but we support the wee man on both things,” he said.“Everyone at the football club is totally and utterly fully behind Luis Suarez.”Kenny does not want to do a Villa Boas when Terry can be seen to be saying it. Also Kenny has said he will want to see Evra punished when it is proved that Suarez is innocent.
    The Manchester United defender claims Suarez verbally abused him during the 1-1 draw at Anfield on Saturday.
    Dalglish has also defended the Uruguay international against accusations from Sir Alex Ferguson that he is a diver.
    “Obviously the two things are emotive but we support the wee man on both things,” he said.
    “Everyone at the football club is totally and utterly fully behind Luis Suarez.”
    Kenny does not want to do a Villa Boas when Terry can be seen to be saying it. 
    Also Kenny has said he will want to see Evra punished when it is proved that Suarez is innocent.

  14. Couldn't give a stuff what Houghton, Scharner, & especially purple-nose says. I'm very happy to let the King decide how best to handle the supremely talented Suarez; & tbh, Houghton could be the one man who would do a worse job even than Hodgson!

  15. Referees endure too much pressure and are under resourced

    They are only allowed to give decisions if they are 100% sure, look at following clip, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-8dOjeVC80

    Pedro Mendez scores from halfway line but linesman can really only 100% give the goal if he is line with it, given that he was level with last defender he could not possibly have gotten into correct position. Even Usain Bolt would not have had a chance

    Therefore there are more officials needed, or just use video evidence. Simple

  16. Who is this Uruguayan kid who plays for Bologna? Any good?

  17. I think the Uruguayan refs name is larionda this guy should not be allowed to ref 10 year old never mind the world cup...about epl or other in the world except italy this people are trained to develop their best not to corrupt the system, if they call against a player dive or not they should be punished and if the player dives as for rooney they should be yellow carded... i trully love the epl is one league that you never know who will finish from 1st to 6th.and all the other clubs they fight for their lives.
    its a beautiful thing...

  18. John Wark's forehead11:28 pm, November 01, 2011

    We get it JK, we know you dislike Suarez as you called him a cheat and didn't want him at the club. We heard you.

  19. The people calling suarez a diver are stupid morons who should be quiet his style of play riles up the defenders because they look like fools when he is done with them and then the defenders foul him he falls obviously as you fat stupid clumsy players like scharner foolahan etc hurdling u down whats the poor guy supposed to do anyway suarez is a top top player regretting the day he leaves for barca

  20. zuzu is not going anywhere until he picks up some silverware with liverpool.
    as for what people are saying about zuzu they have to vent some how.

  21. gaston ramirez and today the team upgraded his contract i guess they want to keep him, this young man is a very good mid fielder strong and no nonsense, sorry for changing the subject but am watching replays of m unided games sense the luis incident and not one white player wants to be near evra, now this must be saying something.

  22. Most forward players go down given the opportunity.  He's better than most and creates the situation of contact far more than others, that's why he goes down so often.

    But looking at the West brom game, he's clearly had the club/players talk to him and he's already cut out the extra going down - and as you say, to his cost.  

    It's funny with West Brom and the Hodgepocalypse trying to imply he dived in a game where he specifically didn't go down easily.

    Well done to the club.

    He'll have to keep it up for a few games now even if it costs us, but I think he's good enough that refs will have to award free kicks to him - it'll be too obvious when defenders have been nutmegged.

    I'd really like to build a barbeque out of SAF and his brown nosing decidedly average English manager friends.

  23. The whole EPL setup and media is so biased and pro SAF it makes you sick.  He is a corrosive influence on the game.

    Notice Suarez has already stopped going down, which is very smart, West Brom and moron Hodgson sounded really dumb trying to pull the diving card.

    Suarez is good enough that refs will have to give him decisions or risk criticism, even if the fouls they don't award will cost us.

  24. SAF is a corrosive influence on the game.  He has the press and the useless English managers all brown nosing him.

  25. amazing clip.  
    He's done really well to deal with all this, and it's noticeable that he's already  going down far less, even when he has a right to given his trickery.

    Wouldn't surprise me if the English refs and media chase Luis out of the country.  If he's not playing for SAF, he won't get any protection.

    SAF's influence on the game is very corrosive.  I'll be very happy when he hangs up his boots.

  26. he is amazing.  He's already staying on his feet which is very cool.  It will cost us and him, but the media and english managers will look stupid accusing him of going down.

    SAF and Ferdinand are so arrogant with their power, they are a corrosive influence on the game which will be far better when they are gone.  

    And I hope they go unpleasantly.

  27. Most forwards go down far easier than Suarez.  But they're not as good as him so don't create that situation nearly as often.

    But he's already stopped going down so much, making West Brom's moaning as ridiculous as their manager.  Smart lad and smart club.

    SAF's influence on the game and the media is highly corrosive.  We'll all be better off when he's gone, and all we're left with are mediocre English managers who are not worth listening to.

    Want to know why the England team underachieve?  Look at English managers.  No where near the best.  

    In fact in any industry sector, the top few companies are always German, US, Japanese etc., never English.  

    Nation of shopkeepers.  It's a curse not a promise.

  28. Luis i call him zuzu he is a one man wrecking machine, lets see if and when kenny gets him a mid fielder or a top forward and we are gone to top 2 not top 4...am glad to see carrol doing so good...4-0 will be the score saturday...
    about these two black players one is wrong the other is not, but i tell you something black players can play tough but they have to change teir attitudes is getting tiring...

  29. am not an english lover heck we Uruguayans got rid of them in the early 19 hundreds but i can tell you that they are one smart bread look at Canada the us Australia and the office of the world is called London. have a nice day.

  30. I don't disagree, they (we!) know how to make money, we have a history of organisation (and beauracracy!) and innovation, led by private individuals.

    But our football for example, and I would say all industries, move forwards by the introduction of foreign blood and ideas (and of course technology).  

    It is very noticeable in our  football too.

    London expanded the way it did through deregulation, but particularly because the Americans came over and started buying up 'stuck in their ways'  English companies.  

    They wanted to be the biggest and the best and make the most money, whereas the brits had a nice thing going for a long time  and didn't particularly want to change anything.

  31. SAF is scottish! it is like calling you Chinese!

  32. I reckon thats why Evra has accussed him of racism to undermined him and
    his game SAF is scared now KK is back in charge must be having nightmares about his first 4 years at United when he won nothing.

  33. not about brown nosing now he has won a lot of trophies now, trying to ridicule a man who has won 12 league titles would take some doing, Fergie know this and he has got the press by the balls,only way to get rid of him is on the football pitch.
    At least the FA told him to shut up over Suarez and Evra business.