Liverpool FC: Why Luis Suarez Needs to Prove Himself This Week
Luis Suarez may have come into the Liverpool side and immediately gained a devoted following, but he is now finding himself in a position where he may have to prove himself once more.
As a striker, it is often said that in the Premiership you are judged on the amount of goals you score. Emile Heskey suffered from Anfield supporters as despite his ability to cause trouble for opposition defences, he found it mildly tricky to find the back of the net.
Until recently, Dirk Kuyt suffered a similar fate. In the last five league games Suarez has struck the net twice. While this is not a disaster, it appears that the main frustration with the Uruguayan international at the moment is his consistency in falling to the ground with too much ease.
He is in certain danger of becoming known more for his "diving" than he is for his ability to run havoc around his opponents back four.
Against Norwich on Saturday, he fell to the ground on various occasions and decisions were rarely going his way. Yet instead of getting straight back up and fighting to win the ball back on too many instances, he remained on the ground until the passage of play moved away.
For me this was not the characteristic of an attacking player. It was as if he had not gotten his own way and wanted to sulk so others would take note.
There were many positives that could be taken from the draw and in his previous performances. While rivals teams have become more advanced at curtailing his clever ball action, he has proven on numerous occasions that he can create opportunities and break through to take a shot on goal.
Will Suarez score this week?
He also hit the woodwork in the first half and at times when he did go to the ground he continued to fight for the ball, at least when the lack of a whistle allowed him to.
This week may be a week that forces Suarez back firmly in on the goals. Liverpool will seek to enact revenge on a resilient Stoke side who enacted defeat on Kenny Dalglish's men with a wonderfully stubborn defence.
Then the weekend fixture will see the Kop side and numerous still angry Liverpool fans go for Roy Hodgson's blood. After not only exiting Anfield with Liverpool dangerously close to the relegation zone, the former Fulham boss then managed his new West Brom side into a shock defeat of Liverpool in a result that ended a glorious run of form under new boss Dalglish.
In both these fixtures Suarez should hopefully play a major part. The team as a whole is building in their ability to create chances and a flowing game of football.
And if Suarez wants to remind us of what he is more than capable of achieving in goal scoring prowess then he has two matches where he can certainly show us what he can do.
If his growing display against Norwich is anything to go by, we may see a striker who knows he can do more damage with the ball at his feet rather than at the oppositions feet as he demands a free kick from the referee.
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