A Footballer’s Essentials
Gerrard can’t leave the dressing room without his armband. Zizou hit the pitch in his iconic golden boots. With a minimalist approach, illustrator TheLimeBath captures the essentials that the world’s best footballers need to control the game.
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Find more of The Lime Bath’s work here. Posted by Eric.

A Footballer’s Essentials

Gerrard can’t leave the dressing room without his armband. Zizou hit the pitch in his iconic golden boots. With a minimalist approach, illustrator TheLimeBath captures the essentials that the world’s best footballers need to control the game.

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Luis Suarez: Newsmaker of the year 

By Anthony Lopopolo

A villain makes a story, and Luis Suarez made a lot of them this year. He bit a player on the field – not for the first time! – and months later he travelled to London to accept an award. He got suspended for 10 matches and he still scored more goals than any other player in the Premier League. He thought he could leave Liverpool, only to sign a new contract with them worth £200,000 a week. He is a paradox and he is flawed, and may Luis Suarez never change.

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Rebuilding the Liverpool mosaic: Brendan Rodgers on the brink

By Matthew Dunne-Miles

It’s early August and Brendan Rodgers stands outside the Anfield locker room. Nervously he grabs the door handle, takes a deep breath and opens it with trepidation, ready to dazzle the team with some Socrates in order to prepare them for a season without European football. 

As the door creaks open and he steps inside, a tumbleweed slowly rolls past his feet; there is deafening silence occasionally disrupted by the drip, drip, drip of a loose shower faucet somewhere in the distance. 

'Is…is anybody there?' Rodgers enquires, his accent, concocted from bits of Sean Connery, Gerry Adams and the Go Compare man, echoes off the changing room walls.

He makes his way over to Jamie Carragher’s empty locker through a sea of dry ice, whilst vibrato guitar begins to play in the background. Rodgers presses his hands and face against the cold steel door and closes his eyes. 

'Et tu Carra?' he whispers before looking down and spotting a note addressed to ‘The Gaffer’ on the bench below. He carefully unfolds it, reads the words he never wished to see and puts his head in his hands as the note drops into the mist below in slow motion. 

'To Brendan, we've left. Sincerely, all your talent'

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Chewy Suarez - AFR Voice Ep. 17

The Premier League title race may be all wrapped up, but AFR Voice is by no means finished with the season just yet. With plenty of football still to be played, we’ll be taking a look this week at the movers and shakers in England and abroad, as well as discussing the latest artificial playing surface controversy to hit Norway, managerial frat parties in Eastern Europe, and Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa playing Dr. Dolittle in one of the most bizarre TV commercials that we’ve ever seen for a Japanese broadband provider.

We’ve also got an exclusive interview with ex-Blackburn, Chelsea, Southampton and England left-back maestro Graeme Le Saux, who has been talking to Ben about all things Champions League as the famous trophy makes its way to Wembley for next month’s final.

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All hail to the game’s great anarchist

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By Cristian Nyari

Football is an institution, in more ways than one.  And there are few more anti-establishment players than Luis Suarez.  Not just because of his on-field theatrics and eccentric personality, but because he is the antithesis of the politically correct ideology that permeates football around the world.

Luis Suarez is perceived as a threat to that institution and is, rightly or wrongly, vilified as a result.  In a way, you can call Suarez the Che Guevera of football.  Although simplistic, it serves the purpose of this piece, namely to symbolize the relationship between Suarez and the institution as that of a ubiquitous rebellious figure against an inequitable structure.

Before we move on, It should be prefaced that the use of “Anarchism” here does denote the narrow and misunderstood semblance of left-wing political radicalism or pure anti-authoritarianism.  Instead, like Anarchy as a doctrine—a philosophy that cannot be strictly defined and is always in flux—it is generally speaking the opposition or resistance to an unjust organizational hierarchy. For our purposes, that is a football world seemingly unified against a single player.

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A new beginning for Liverpool?

Today Liverpool may have put in the most impressive performance we’ve seen this season. After being thrown aside at Anfield by West Brom, there were plenty of questions surrounding Brendan Rogers’ project. While we can’t speak to what Brendan may have said in the dressing room after the match on Monday, something clicked today, and it didn’t leave a trace of evidence that it was a fluke.

Phillippe Coutinho’s first Liverpool start sparked new life into the squad, and while a spot in Europe may be a reach at this point in the season, can we expect Gerrard, Suarez, and company to continue to improve? Consistency has been a real issue, especially when you consider that this was Liverpool’s first Premier League win against an opponent in the top half of the table. Where do you think Liverpool will be sitting in mid-May?

For fans of common sense, take a deep breath…

By Azeem Banatwalla

The footballing world in its entirety knows what happened before and after the clash between Manchester United and Liverpool yesterday. YouTube is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? So there’s not much point repeating what happened, but in the aftermath of yesterday’s events, debates have sprung up, as they usually do, on Facebook status updates, newspaper websites, and pretty much every space of internet brave enough to host a comments section. United and Liverpool fans are at each other’s throats. United fans say Suarez should have shaken Evra’s hand. Liverpool fans say it’s just a handshake being blown out of proportion. But the essential point of the debate was lost a long time ago. Having had a weekend to sleep on it, let’s see if we can find our heads again.

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Flaws and Consequences: The Curious Case of Luis Suarez

By Stuart Gilhooly, the solicitor for the Professional Footballers Association of Ireland who was also recently named Journalist of the Year at the Irish Magazine Awards. 

It seems as though Liverpool and Luis Suarez have finally closed the door on an unsavoury episode in their history and that of the English FA. Not without slamming it shut, mind, and taking the hinges as they went.  With great reluctance, and no little chutzpah, both parties have conceded defeat but heavily indicated that they feel a huge injustice has been done.

While this case isn’t quite the Birmingham Six or the Guildford Four and it’s unlikely Daniel Day Lewis will be claiming he is an innocent man in Rioplatense Spanish anytime soon, there are flaws in the decision which would rendered them a reasonable chance of success on appeal.  Although it’s no longer of huge significance, this is a saga which is likely to rumble on and I thought it might be useful to examine the areas where the FA regulatory commission has erred so at least we have a flavour of from where Liverpool and Suarez’s grievances emanate.

Since New Year’s Eve, when a 115 page tome landed in our inboxes, many opinions have been expressed as to whether the FA Regulatory Commission has got it right or wrong. Most have jumped to the conclusion that since the report is well written, very long, detailed and presented in nicely worded legalese, that it must be correct.

The truth, like with many tribunal decisions and, indeed most likely the case itself, lies somewhere in-between. There is much to be admired in the manner in which the commission dissected very complex linguistic issues as well as the nuances of what was said and not said.  They have reported the facts in great detail and the result is that many of us are in a position to draw our conclusions.

That said, the report’s findings are somewhat flawed and, in particular, the sanction meted out is completely out of line with the evidence and even the commission’s own conclusions.

I should say, at this point, I am a Liverpool fan but also the solicitor for the PFAI, the League of Ireland’s players’ union. Although my allegiances are naturally with Luis Suarez, I’d like to think that I would take a similar view if a League of Ireland player asked me to represent them in similar circumstances. Indeed, I have defended an Irish player, Jason McGuinness, where allegations of insulting behaviour with racial overtones were made. He received a five match ban.

The Suarez case is unique in its complexity but in the end it comes down to some fairly basic questions.

1. What is the burden of proof?

2. Did Suarez use the word “negro” and, if so, how often?

3. If he did use this word, what should the punishment be?

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Can you hear the drums Fernando?

 By Ainsley Jacobs, writing from London

Torres’s transfer request turned down by the Reds but is this really the end of ‘El Nino’ at Anfield?

Liverpool supporters could be forgiven for wondering whether they were coming or going on Friday. After news broke of Chelsea’s bid of £35 million for Fernando Torres, the fans received the news that they have wanted to hear for the past month. After prolonged discussions, Luis Suarez was finally on his way to Anfield from Ajax for a fee of around £22.8 million.  However Luis’s big moment was about to be trumped by the bombshell that Torres wanted out of Anfield and had formally written a transfer request which was subsequently given short shrift by the club. So on a day when Liverpool and NESV have shown their ambition in the transfer market with the acquisition of Suarez; what has turned Torres’s head and can Liverpool cope without him?

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