Ever since a particular Uruguayan landed in England, virtually every week has seen a game of cat and mouse, a veritable “Tom and Luis” – a real-life version of that most popular cartoon ever; except that this version has featured multiple hapless Toms befuddled by a tricky pint-sized genius, who always manages to evade them.

A good measure of Luis Suarez’s immense talent and impact is that in just over nine months since arriving at Liverpool – a club that has witnessed the peak years of Robbie Fowler, Fernando Torres and Michael Owen – murmurs of him being the best striker to have played for the Reds in the Premier League era are doing rounds.

It’s hard to describe the kind of player Luis Suarez is. He is not the most clinical of finishers but he’ll get you goals and, quite often, special goals. He isn’t a typical goal poacher but he’ll be there and thereabouts sniffing every little opportunity. His range of passing isn’t special but often his smallest pass will be the exceptional, goal-defining one. His dead-ball skills aren’t exemplary, but are extremely effective. And his play-acting is Liverpool’s very own counter for the likes of Nani and Drogba.

Luis Suarez is such a predictably unpredictable player, the best way to describe him is a player that simply makes things happen. For defenders, he is a pest that will relentlessly make their life miserable by popping up all over the place. For supporters, he is a man who justifies by himself, the price of the ticket they hold; the rest is all a bonus. For a manager, his work rate alone justifies his place in the team. And for teammates, he is an annoying yet delightful talent who wants to do it all by himself, and rarely fails to do so.

In short, ‘El Pistolero’ is a gem that has been shining brighter and brighter with every passing moment. While this may be a cause for celebration in Liverpool right now, how long before it becomes a source of anxiety and tension?

Eventually, this gem will shine bright enough to attract plenty of big guns. Already reports of Real Madrid being interested in signing the striker – that too, in January – have popped up. Interest and big-money offers from other big clubs will follow suit.

The Uruguayan’s ultra-competitive nature is one that should concern the Reds. Although the club is currently reaping the benefits of this aspect of Suarez’s game, he may just come back to bite the hand that feeds him.

There is plenty of fire inside the Uruguayan. He wants to play all the time, he wants to score all the time, he wants the ball all the time and he wants to win all the time. He isn’t shy of expressing his displeasure when things aren’t going his way – not to his teammates, not to his manager and not to the media.

On being substituted against Wolves recently and Bolton before that, the Uruguayan was absolutely livid. While the manager wanted to use Suarez judiciously after a lengthy Copa America campaign in the summer, the striker wasn’t having any of it. He did not hesitate to show his anger and frustration, which was perhaps justified when Liverpool were only 2-1 up against Mick McCarthy’s side.

The cameramen would have a field day focusing for several seconds on the Uruguayan sitting on the bench, holding his head and controlling his eruption. Perhaps, they were inviting stories in the tabloids; stories that would be aimed at creating a rift between the star player and the manager.

But for how long can Liverpool offer Suarez what he wants? His demands will grow with every passing season, or even with every passing transfer window. Right now, his demand is only as low as wanting to fully complete a game when he likes. But this is just the beginning.

Liverpool know that a player of his level deserves to play in the Champions League every single season. A player of his competitive nature would want to win games, win trophies, be it the Carling Cup or the Premier League. A player of his quality will want to play with players in the similar category.

Player loyalty is diminishing as the hunger for success and money increases in a modern football player. If we take a realistic look into the near future, with the powerhouses in English football and in the rest of Europe, it will take a lot for Liverpool to be crowned champions of Europe or England.

It won’t be wrong to say that after losing out on Alonso and Mascherano, the only attractive proposition Liverpool could offer Fernando Torres was the services of another world class talent in Steven Gerrard. And in the wake of transfer speculations and Gerrard’s troubled time with injuries, Torres lost the will to play at the club.

The Spaniard couldn’t resist the temptations of going to a rival club in search for trophies and success. Before him, Javier Mascherano successfully demanded a move to the greener pastures of Barcelona and in the case of Xabi Alonso, crowd support could only extend one more year of his stay at the club, before he too moved to Real Madrid. Even Steve Mcmanaman – a player that similarly mesmerized the opposition – couldn’t resist the temptation of going abroad and playing for Real Madrid more than a decade ago; the most high-profile British transfer of the time.

Is there any reason to expect Suarez to be any different if Liverpool remain without trophies and if no young signing steps up to a world-class level?

It will then, perhaps, be harsh to expect Luis to show loyalty and patience. If such a situation arises, the Reds will expect loyalty claiming it is Liverpool who made him what he is. Things might change as time goes on, but right now that doesn’t hold true. Firstly, he is officially South America’s best player making his name with Uruguay. And secondly,Ai??the worry for Liverpool is that it is Suarez who makes the Liverpool of today, bringingAi??with him everything Liverpool had been crying out for – creativity, goals and flair.

Officially South America's Best Player

.

Liverpool’s new-found reliance on Suarez makes Kenny Dalglish’s role at the club tougher and even more important. He has to now tread extremely carefully in terms of handling his star player. Player burn-out may not be a great issue without European football, but Suarez’s lack of a summer break might play its part later in the season and Dalglish will have to often substitute the player. However, that Suarez is the most substituted Liverpool player this season isn’t a statistic that the striker will be pleased to look at.

Dalglish also holds the key in helping Suarez exercise some control over his temper and frustration; plenty of glimpses of which are seen even when the team is doing well but he hasn’t been on the scoresheet. At Ajax, just before his big move to Anfield, he was handed a seven-game ban for bizarrely biting the neck of an opposition player and early in his Ajax career, he was suspended by the club for fighting with a teammate.

Luis Suarez also makes Steven Gerrard’s role at the club as important as ever. When two world-class players are on the pitch, they tend to interact in a way that no other players can. Although injuries and lack of game time have forced people into questioning what Gerrard has left to offer, his ability and intelligence should be there for all to see this season. A Suarez-Gerrard partnership, much like the Torres-Gerrard one, will be critical in keeping the Liverpool striker happy at the club.

Not only should the pattern of previous Liverpool stars moving away for greener pastures worry the Reds, but the pattern of Suarez’s own career.

An year after becoming Ajax’s player of the year in 08-09, he topped the Dutch scoring charts and was named the Dutch footballer of the year. Then came heroic performances for his country, capped off by the infamous handball in South Africa that made news around the world. And after setting alight the city of Liverpool mid-way through 2010-11, he achieved Copa America glory both on a personal and team level.

Liverpool simply cannot afford to stand in the way of his meteoric rise to fame in world football. Long-term plans aside, the club needs to finish in the top four this season and make a mighty assault on cup competitions to satisfy the Uruguayan’s hunger.

If it doesn’t, then Liverpool will be gripped by the fear of losing their biggest asset – the former ‘Cannibal of Ajax’, the new ‘Tormentor from Liverpool’.

—–

Follow the author on twitterAi??@Akarsh_LFC

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6 Responses to “Liverpool’s Corner: Why Luis Suarez Instills Both Joy And Fear In The Kop”

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  1. Joe Greps says:

    Spot on, it’s going to be very hard to keep him when the Spanish vultures start calling, he has already indicated he would like to play at Barca “someday”….

    Management isn’t stupid though, have to wonder if this isn’t one of the biggest reasons they bought Coates and will likely add more Uruguayan players in the near future.

    Nice writing BTW, how about next article – Wolfswinkel – the one that got away….

  2. Anon says:

    He’s good but certainly not South America’s best player………..Did Lionel Messi not win the Ballon d’Or?? Did Kun Aguero not score more goals this season??

    • EDGARD says:

      YES DUDE , KEEP IT THAT WAY , SUAREZ GOT A TROPHY WITH URUGUAY , MESSI AND AGUERO GOT NONE WITH ARGENTINA’S NATIONAL TEAM. I LIKE TO HAVE SUAREZ WINING WITH OUR NATIONAL TEAM THAN BEING CALLED BEST PLAYER OF THE WORLD.
      WHAT REALLY MATTERS IS THE WIN WITH THE NATIONAL TEAM .

  3. Cena says:

    Perhaps the fact the Pere Guardiola is Suarez’s agent stopped him from joining Barca as the Guardiolas didn’t want to mix personal and professional life. However, that doesn’t mean that Luis wont be tempted to join Barca someday! After all he himself wants to play in the best team on the planet!

    • EDGARD says:

      LUIS SUAREZ IS NOT A SMOKE SELLER , IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN .
      HE WILL STAY IN LIVERPOOL FOR A WHILE… AS HE DID IN AJAX REMEMBER THAT AND IF HE LEFT LIVERPOOL HE WILL GO TO ANOTHER COUNTRY

  4. Alvaro says:

    People need to relax. He played for nearly 5 seasons at Ajax and never demanded CL football. In fact, clubs were offering bids all the time, but Luis said “I just like living here and want to help this club the best I can”.

    Point is, if there’s 1 guy who’s different, it’s Luis. He’s already made it to a top team. He’s even said it in Spanish interviews himself