Before going any further lets talk about the elephant in the room; Luis Suarez is an amazing footballer.
That word of course means very little because of how easily people use it, especially considering sport in the modern day.
In my mind, Luis Suarez is amazing. He amazes people week after week. Nine times out of ten he leaves jaws on the floor because of what he can do with a football. Not only is he scoring as many goals as anyone but the quality of his goals is what really catches the eye.
He can beat players, he can score from distance and he has scored some fantastic goals with his head. The Uruguayan is a brilliant footballer... but he needs to change something very soon if he wants to move to the next level.
I'm not talking about his attitude, I'm not thinking about the moments of madness that he needs to take out of his game, nor am I talking about his reputation as diver or a conman and a bane to referees. These are issues he needs to continue to work on but there is one other thing; Suarez doesn't turn it on in the big games.
In the coming months Liverpool will realistically be fighting for 4th place in the Premier League. In the league they welcome Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal to Anfield and will visit Old Trafford. They will also be heading to the Emirates in the fifth round of the FA Cup as they bid to bring a major trophy back to Merseyside at the end of the season. They have a lot of big games on the horizon.
In order for them to look back on this as a successful season they have to get results in those games, some of which are naturally considered six pointers. And in order for them to get results in those games, Suarez needs to perform.
He needs to score goals and in some cases he may need to clinch points on his own. Since joining Liverpool in January 2011 his record against the top teams is the only thing (performance-wise) that has let him down.
Against all the teams who have won the league this century - United, City, Chelsea and Arsenal - he has a total of only six goals. This is, by his high standards at least, tame. Before Christmas he looked to be unstoppable. Then came two games against Manchester City and Chelsea and he was suddenly stopped.
He played well against City but was fruitless in front of goal. No side are a one man team and of course Liverpool as a team have been inferior to these sides so by no means should all the responsibility of beating them fall on his shoulders. However if Liverpool are to make headway in Europe in the coming years they will come up against strong teams, and they will need a player who can punish great teams on big occasions.
Suarez has spent three years scoring wonderful goals and running defences ragged. In order to be considered one of the Premier Leagues great players he needs prove that he has got what it takes to take on the big teams.
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