Whilst this piece may seem a little poorly timed following Luis Suarez’s goal against Aston Villa, I can’t help but wonder exactly how great his influence has been on Liverpool’s season. He’s often heralded as one of the shining lights of what has been otherwise a drab, dour season but I think it’s fair to say that he’s faced some difficult moments this year. The fact is, he’s been extremely wasteful and his goal return really isn’t good enough for a club like Liverpool.
Yes, Andy Carroll is a worse culprit in this regard, but the former Newcastle star is widely ridiculed and criticised whilst Liverpool fan’s love-in with Suarez continues at full force – what gives?
Luis Suarez has scored 12 goals in 32 appearances this season (only 8 goals in the Premier League!) but this tells you nothing of the chances he’s missed. I’ve already lost track of the number of times that he’s hit the post this season with the goal at his mercy. Contrast his stats this year with his 81 goals in 110 appearances for Ajax and 26 goals in 51 appearances for Uruguay.
Then there’s his diving – which has become a major bone of contention thanks to its frequency. Take his recent attempt during the Red’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa – it was so blatant that even he didn’t really have the heart to appeal. The frustration lies not only in the fact that he’s cheating, but also because he clearly could have stayed on his feet and got a shot off.
You’d think Kenny Dalglish would have put an arm around him by now and asked him to stay on his feet until there’s contact from an opposition player, but it may be that this is something fans will have to put up with for some time to come.
I won’t go into any great detail regarding the racism incident or handshake-gate, suffice to say these weren’t exactly Liverpool football club’s greatest moments. Luis Suarez will have forever tarnished his reputation and whatever your thoughts regarding the racism debacle it’s clear that the Uruguayan’s 8 game ban hurt Liverpool. Being forced to rely on Andy Carroll upfront is always going to put your side in an awkward position.
Whilst Luis has plenty of good qualities (predominantly his technical ability) they don’t really play into Liverpool’s philosophy under Dalglish. Like it or loathe it, it’s all about getting the ball out wide and then firing a cross into the box and Suarez just isn’t a target man.
All of which makes me wonder if he’s really the man Liverpool need. Yes he’s talented but he’s not effective and he’s also got temperament issues. If Liverpool aren’t going to switch up their game plan, they may need to bring in Suarez’s antithesis – a goal-scoring centre-forward.
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