Why Suarez must trust his teammates


There is no doubt that Luis Suarez should be the focus of Liverpool’s attack as he continues to be highly effective as the team’s striker. Although the Uruguayan’s goal return is still quite prolific, he leads the other top scorers of the league as far as shots are concerned, as featured in the Top Scorers so far analysis at EPLIndex. Nevertheless, in order for the Reds to succeed this season, the Uruguayan needs to add the role of creator to his repertoire. And considering how much of the ball Suarez gets to see in each of Liverpool’s games, one can only imagine the improvement in his side’s goalscoring if Luis passes some of his less clear-cut opportunities onto his teammates instead of taking a pop himself. Nick Miller analyzes this very notion in his article for Football365:

According to Opta, Sunderland have had 26 shots off target this season. Luis Suarez’s tally is 27.

Good lord, Suarez is a frustrating player, capable of the most sublime pieces of skill and the most infuriating tunnel vision imaginable, often in the same minute. If Suarez played for my team, I’d spend the whole time aghast at his brilliance and profligacy in equal measures.

Saturday’s performance against Reading was a textbook Suarez case study. He spent most of the game running at the visiting defence, noting that there were a couple of handy passes available, then shooting. And usually shooting wide, too – he had ten attempts on goal and only one of them was on target. In eight league games, he has taken 50 shots – a third of Liverpool’s 150 in total.

Equally, Suarez also provided the most wonderful flicked pass through to Raheem Sterling for Liverpool’s only goal at the weekend. He has scored five league goals – exactly half of their team total. The man is a complicated mess of a player, and one that you would hope displays the latter qualities more often than the former.

Until Liverpool buy or borrow a new forward in January, it’s basically all on Suarez. And he knows it too – that’s almost certainly one of the reasons why Suarez tries to do everything on his own. It’s as if he doesn’t quite trust his teammates yet, something that might be backed up by the number of passes he attempts – he’s ninth on the list of passes played in the Liverpool squad, at 302 over eight games, behind Glen Johnson and Martin Skrtel. Sure, the centre-forward in a team is not always the hub of the passing carousel, but in a Brendan Rodgers team, everyone is expected to pass. A lot.

It’s hardly a surprise that Suarez has this attitude, since before this season he had the option of passing to Andy Carroll or Stewart Downing, and now he’s flanked by a pair of kids whose testicles have barely descended (although, in Sterling’s case, they have of course dropped far enough to be, ahem, ‘potent’). It will inevitably take time to shake this attitude, but shake it he must.

Suarez must start trusting his teammates more – as he did for the Sterling goal on Saturday. He is very good, but he can’t drag Liverpool back to where they want to be entirely on his own.

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One Comment on “Why Suarez must trust his teammates”

  1. Asfand November 5, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    Against Newcastle, Saurez was brilliant once again and this time he did seem to make an extra effort to bring other players into the attack, i.e. Shelvey and Sterling. Unfortunately, both of them spurned several excellent opportunities, clearly showing Liverpool’s huge reliance on Suarez’ goals. If the Uruguayan gets injured (or suspended for a few games), the Reds might end up facing a relegation battle, unless of course they can pick up a world-class striker in the January window to partner Luis.

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