Carnage. Absolute carnage. Luiz Suarez produced yet another scintillating performance for Uruguay in World Cup qualifiers. Scoring in both halves against a struggling Chile, he helped Uruguay earn a convincing 4-0 victory and another 3 points thereby taking the tally to 7 from 3 games. Uruguay were without their injured striker Diego Forlan but Suarez and co. made sure that the Inter Milan striker was not sorely missed. The night was all about the little maestro. He turned and twisted, darted around, nutmegging helpless defenders around him, scored 4 goals- all in all a performance of highest quality.

Suarez has scored 4 times in a match before when playing for Ajax, but this was the first time he performed the feat with his national team. A question that has struck in my and probably many other Liverpool supportersai??i?? mind that why canai??i??t he find the back of the net more often for Liverpool? Is it the tactics that has put a bar on his free scoring ability or is it down to purely bad luck and co-incidence?

He normally dazzles for Liverpool, does all the hard work and at times single-handedly guides Liverpool to victory. He gelled quickly into the Liverpool set up and instantly became The KOP favourite with some virtuoso displays on pitch. The instant impact evaded all the glooms at Anfield after kop idol Fernando Torresai??i??s acrimonious departure to Chelsea; instead fans bounced back with slogans like ai??i??ai???Fernando, who?ai???

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Suarez - the KOP favourite

 

He is carrying on the good work of last season. Performance wise, he continues to impress week in week out. Only blithe unconcern remains that the former Ajax man has not scored more goals than he usually does. So far the story of Suarez has been that of a forlorn and frustrating figure. Petulant and disappointed with himself, often writhing on pitch seeking mercy from ref- itai??i??s been diabolical so far- bravado mixed with frustrating annoyance. At times he has scored from impossible range with an impeccable accuracy and precision. On the contrast, he has missed host of chances costing Liverpool dearly in recent matches.

Had he taken those chances Liverpool might have won against Manchester United (a game they dominated throughout), Norwich (hitting the woodwork thrice) and Swansea (by far the most lackluster performance at Anfield). It is increasingly frustrating for everyone to see such a mercurial talent squandering so many opportunities. Though it can be a smoke screen- Is Suarez feeling the heat of carrying the burden of Liverpool all by himself? Or is it just a ai???bad patchai??i?? that will wither away in no time?

The question that needs answering now is does he get enough support from his fellow team mates at Liverpool? Highly debatable. At one hand, youai??i??ve the stat wagon to show that Liverpool has created enormous chances this season, has hit the wood work more times than any other team and possession wise has improved miles under Kenny Dalglish. There is other side of the coin too. The much-anticipated partnership between Suarez and Gerrard has never materialized due to the skipperai??i??s long term injury.

Also support from the wings (Henderson and Downing) has been scanty and sporadic. The only time we found Henderson and Suarez clicking in partnerships was when the young prodigy had played more centrally rather than biding his time in the wings. In such a case, Maxi Rodriguez could be recalled, slotting Henderson at his natural central midfield position. The intelligent movement of Maxi or even Bellamy will only help Suarez in creating more chances for the team.

Much has been said about the ai???Andy Carroll and Suarez partnershipai??? in the media. So far the duo hasnai??i??t fired all cylinders, if at all any. One possible reason could be that Carroll has missed a lot of matches under Kenny due to thigh injury. Strikers gel in partnerships which takes time to develop. Suarez is also hopeful that with time their partnership will work fine. However, it doesnai??i??t seem like Carroll is the man who can be ensconced to the dynamics of pass and move. Rather, he fits the role of a battering ram. Secondly, for Uruguay, Suarez is not the focal point of opposition defense as he is at Liverpool.

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Suarez playing for Uruguay

 

His fellow national team mates, the likes of Cavani, Forlan et al with their intelligent movement and runs make life easier for him. If we analyze the goals Suarez scored against Chile in closer detail, the movement of Cavani on (the lay off for the 4th goal) & off the ball (taking the defender with him making space for Suarez for the opener), the width play involved in the 3rd goal proves the above claim that ai???flexibilityai??i?? is the buzzword for team Uruguay. Throughout the Copa, we have seen how Forlan and Suarez worked in tandem, almost to a telepathic level. Hence, each and every time Suarez looks a killer-bulldozer when he takes the field for Uruguay.

Carroll being more one-dimensional in approach doesnai??i??t make enough space for Suarez to exploit the opposition territory. In most of the games Liverpool have won, Suarez has to do all by himself- brilliant feet against Wolves, magic goal against Stoke; these are individual bravura that marks his genius identity but canai??i??t expect this to go on week in week out unless team mates co-ordinate in unison. Otherwise, you have to be a Diego Maradona.

Liverpool can use the service of Craig Bellamy efficiently to make the most out of Suarez. The strategy of switching wing play can also be tried, but certainly not with the pair of Henderson and Downing. Kenny Dalglish must reshuffle his troops in order to get the best out of his players. Suarez, being the cream of the crop needs special attention. If he can do wonders with Ajax and Uruguay, canai??i??t see why thatai??i??s not happening with Liverpool in near future.

– Saikat Mandal

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12 Responses to “Liverpool FC Conundrum: Why Can’t Luis Suarez Replicate His Uruguay Scoring Form With The Reds?”

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  1. Lion Heart says:

    Reality is that partnerships don’t work with time, it either clicks or it doesn’t. Suarez, Kuyt and Maxi instantly formed a great partnership at the end of last season but Suarez, Carroll, Henderson or even Downing haven’t been able to form a patnership.

  2. James says:

    What a stupid article. When you take into consideration our under performing midfield plus Andy Carroll, you can clearly see that Luis Suarez is easily replicating his international form for us, if not, giving us better!

  3. Logan02 says:

    Rubbish article.. I’m a Pool fan for over 25years and Suarez is doing everything right! We are behind him even if he scores or not. His work-rate alone is enough to endear him to us! YNWA

  4. Dogzenkatz says:

    Certainly nails one of the key reasons to Suarez’s profligacy – the appropriate support. Too often, Suarez is our furthest man forward, and that is when he has trouble picking his shot accurately. His own footballing philosophy is one that other South Americans grew up with and will totally comprehend, hence his brilliant combination with Lucas and Maxi. They know how to get the best out of him, whereas our key attackers this term still have other issues to cope with before actually playing their football.

    Carroll and Downing are obviously struggling with their price tags. Their workrates are fantastic, Downing crosses and shoots relentlessly, Carroll defends, wins balls and shoots carefully – that, however, is the problem! Downing is indeed providing what is traditionally regarded as the right type of support for strikers, but his main threat actually comes from beating defenders and sending them scrambling – something he had done regularly for Boro and Villa, but not us! If he did do that and then lay off the ball, those would be the opportunities Suarez thrives on. As for Carroll, he is more like Dzeko or Balotelli, and should not try playing like Waybe Rooney. His effort is admirable, but he was never about effort at Newcastle nor during pre-season. Andy Carroll is a beast of a striker charging at defences through the middle, but our play isn’t really catering to that. Our midfield tends to take the ball too high up the pitch, or it is fed to Suarez too soon, making him the one to charge at defenders and thereby neutralizing both Carroll and Suarez as finishers. Downing and Carroll must shake the pressure and demand to play their natural games if we want to see the goals from Suarez or either of them.

    Indeed Henderson has to play in the middle, but it’s not quite Kenny’s style. The whole idea of Hendo on the flank is he charges with the ball when he has it and that he has a good cross, but, with the rightbacks we have, that makes him redundant as they are equally likely to hog the ball, and consequently, he disappears during games. Henderson’s 2 weapons are his speed and eye for a final ball. By playing him in the middle where he is likely to charge up, it would enable him to push ahead of Suarez, thereby creating the space Suarez needs. This is not to say he can’t then drift out from the middle, like Gerrard and Torres liked to do, and this is when he can bring Carroll into play, as Barton often did at Newcastle – they’d start 1-2s from the middle and barge at defences. This favours both Carroll and Suarez as Carroll gets to drive defences open and Suarez can drop back to look for gaps he can exploit.

    As it stands at the moment, there is alot of industry from our players and they’re doing what they’re expected to of their roles, but it is not catering to their abilities, or if it is, then not the most efficient manner. Suarez is our chief creator, which he isn’t for Uruguay, and he can only be one or the other effectively. When he is creating, his shots have a 1/10 chance of going in, but when he isn’t, it seems almost 100%. Let’s not forget he wasn’t the main striker at Ajax despite scoring the bulk of their goals. Like Kuyt, Messi and Ronaldo, he works his magic better in support than leading the line, and his support = goals.

  5. Pulaha Chaudhuri says:

    Absolutely spot on. Couldn’t have agreed more. Great article.

  6. rajiv says:

    the best point of the article was that suarez is at best a support striker. When surrounded by creative talents (not battering rams) this guy can be unstoppable, as we see for uruguay. Either get forlan or more realistically some technically gifted dude from brazil. LFC really need a good finisher as carroll is not doing it at the moment.Watching brazil over egypt Jonas might be a great buy. Prob cheap and he reminded me of inzaghi with his positional sense and finishing ability. THATS what lfc are totally lacking right now. A stone cold finisher.

  7. Saikat Mandal says:

    @James “you can clearly see that Luis Suarez is easily replicating his international form for us, if not, giving us better!”- I am not talking about his form as a whole, nor criticising his performance, but feel he could score more goals for Liverpool if supported properly…

  8. Aditya Sharma says:

    Great article. In every LFC performance, you can see that the entire team is looking at Suarez to provide the goals. That’s probably why he gets even more frustrated when he misses. We need more attacking threats; either from Carroll/Bellamy, or the wings, or the center of midfield, or ideally all-of-the-above

    @james & logan02: Either you 2 didn’t read the article or didn’t get it. The article wasn’t a criticism of Suarez. The writer’s simply talking about why he doesn’t have goals to show for his great performances for LFC

  9. Anindita says:

    Beautiful article with gr8 analytical insight..

  10. Tanay says:

    “Liverpool can use the service of Craig Bellamy efficiently to make the most out of Suarez” – completely agree with this bit. Bellamy with his pace and physical presence can act as a potential supply line for Suarez and the fact that he is more than a capable finisher provides an alternate dimension to Liverpool’s search for goals and goal-getters. As for Suarez, he seems to be overburdened by having to drop deep and create chances all too often; every Aguero needs a Silva, every needs a Mata; Dalglish surely has his hands full in search for a make-shift palliative in the absence of a creative force in his team who can dictate affairs in the middle third of the pitch.

  11. Pulaha Chaudhuri says:

    I must say that Suarez has played his best football in two systems deployed by Oscar Tabarez: 4-4-1-1, where Luis plays just in front of Forlan, and 4-3-3, where Suarez plays a left inside forward. I am sure that Kenny can deploy neither strategy “effectively” to bring the best out of Suarez. In 4-4-1-1, I doubt if any forward in Liverpool squad is capable of playing in that ‘Forlan Role’ or more famously, the ‘Rooney role’. Some suggest that Henderson can play in a more attacking midfield position to help Suarez out but to me he still looks a bit raw. Maybe the Gerrard of ’08-’09 season, but where is he? Similar problems lie in playing Suarez as an inside forward because in that case, Kenny is left with the option of playing Carroll in the centre. And Carroll’s one dimensional approach to the game means that he contributes little to the Kenny’s favoured ‘pass and move’ football and doesn’t make enough space for Suarez to exploit the opposition territory by any intelligent movement or link-up play- as mentioned by the author. Lack of ‘proper’ resources makes it difficult for Kenny to implement either of those systems effectively. Maybe, he needs to invent something else to get Suarez replicate his international form for Liverpool.