By Daniel Rhodes.
With our turbulent Uruguayan now nine games into his 10-match ban, for this week’s Symposium we asked our panel:
“Assuming Suarez gets straight back into the first team, how would you use him/where would you play him and whose place would he take?”
This is what they said:
Jon Rushton: Daniel Sturridge is undroppable. He scores more often, per minute on the pitch, than Suarez – and is far less wasteful in terms of losing possession and missing chances. We have a better central striker than Luis Suarez, and – barring injury to Sturridge – Suarez needs to up his game substantially before he should ever be considered for the main striker’s role again.
Mind you – he’s not a bad second choice to have.
At the time of writing, the front four for Liverpool Football Club are Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho, Iago Aspas and Daniel Sturridge.
The first observation I’d make is that a certain Victor Moses probably fancies his chance of breaking into that quartet. And the second observation I’d make is that Luis Suarez – in some ways – is quite similar to Iago Aspas (albeit, much more devastating on his day).
So I’d propose a new front four. Sturridge up top, Coutinho in the hole, with Suarez and Moses in the wide forward positions (Suarez and Coutinho can swap during games). I’d suggest Suarez needs to be dropped in games where holding possession is key, or subbed off for Aspas in games where he’s trying to win it single-handed rather than play as a team member.
Psychologically – Suarez acts like he’s carrying the team. But, during his suspension, it’s become clear we play better as a team without him. Its time for him to learn that we can win games without him – it’s a reckoning time where Suarez needs to adapt or die.
He needs to be looking over his shoulder – despite his individual brilliance. And sold, if the right offer comes in, if he finds himself on the bench more often than not.
Finally, I do think that Victor Moses isn’t necessarily a man for all seasons either. Given the contribution that Jordan Henderson makes to the team with his ceaseless energy, well timed runs and ability to follow tactical instructions on and off the ball – I also think that Moses needs to add a substantial goal threat and ability to beat a man, otherwise Henderson would be better retained in a wide role against teams that pose a genuine attacking threat against us.
What we have, of course, is depth in the attacking roles. We can now cope with injuries, and players know that they need to up their game to hold onto their starting berth. So long as Rodgers has the cast-iron will to drop players – no matter how big their reputation – for the good of the team.
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