Luis leads the way

Tuesday 20th November 2012 14:48

Suarez: a great goalscorer

Suarez: a great goalscorer

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FanZoner Richard Garnett doesn't want to consider where Liverpool would be without Luis Suarez this season.

Uruguayan striker is pushing Liverpool up the table

In an era of extortionate ticket prices it has never been more important to be entertained at a football match. With that in mind, thank god for Luis Suarez.

The controversial Uruguayan has had his fair share of unwanted headlines since he made the short trip from Amsterdam to Liverpool some 22 months ago. Thankfully, he is beginning to make the back pages for all the right reasons.

To put it simply, if Liverpool didn't have Luis Suarez in their side, they would currently be hovering around the relegation zone, but they do and on the pitch he is an absolute joy to behold.

Liverpool have, of course, had highly skilful forwards before (Torres, Fowler) and hard working ones too (Rush, Kuyt), but in Suarez they have a player whose unique ability can only be matched by his unrelenting work rate.

As Brendan Rodgers struggles to extort the best out of the players at his disposal whilst staying true to his footballing principles (an admirable approach, I might add), Suarez is only too happy to play the talisman and in recent weeks has literally dragged his team up the table with his goals and all round inspirational effort.

Of course, it wasn't so long ago that a lot of people were saying that Suarez was a scorer of great goals not a great goal scorer. His current standing as the Premier League's top goal scorer makes a mockery of such a suggestion.

Despite a very tough start and a home record that suggests they can only win at 3pm on a Saturday, Liverpool are now unbeaten in seven league matches and are beginning to move closer to a more acceptable league position.

Of course, Suarez hasn't done it completely on his own. The impact of Raheem Sterling has been hugely significant. He may only be 17 but he has already shown more purpose and desire than some of his older (and more significantly remunerated) peers and is keeping them out of the team as a result.

Rodgers will no doubt want to give Sterling and Suso a rest at some point as he looks to protect his young artillery, but that doesn't look like being any time soon.

problem

Herein lies the problem. If Liverpool are overly reliant on Suarez for goals, their backup men are actually a couple of teenagers.

Steven Gerrard recently celebrated 600 appearances for Liverpool and 100 caps for England; a phenomenal achievement.

Unfortunately, there is some evidence that the club's legendary captain's light has started to fade a little and as it has now become fashionable not award Liverpool a penalty (superseding last year's trend of just missing them), his usually reliable goal return has all but dried up.

Gerrard's goal quest has been hindered by the prolonged absence of Lucas Leiva, who is thankfully now back in training. With the Brazilian sidelined, Gerrard has been employed in a deeper role where his goal threat is marginalized.

Rodgers has seemed reluctant to let Jordan Henderson fill the midfield void, which could have allowed Gerrard to assume a more advance position up field. An impressive substitute appearance from the England under-21 captain will have done his chances no harm though and if he can continue to make such an impact on a regular basis, he could at the very least, leapfrog Nuri Sahin in the pecking order.

Regardless of how Rodgers shuffles his pack, there can be little doubt that Liverpool's American owners must dust off the cheque book in January and give their man the funds he needs to improve his team for the rest of the season. A repeat of the last transfer deadline day fiasco would do little to appease discerning voices.

With no Champions League football to offer, a heavily streamlined wage structure in place and a promising but hardly box office manager steering the ship, it has probably never been more challenging to sell the club to the game's top players. An odd situation indeed, for a great club like this one.

Ian Ayre has spoken about getting value for money with players in the transfer market. Nothing wrong with that.

He just needs to ensure that players are actually coming in so such an assessment can made.

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