Monday, 23 December 2013

Brendan Rodgers tips Luis Suarez for Premier League goal record after another show-stopping display

Brendan Rodgers tips Luis Suarez for Premier League goal record after another show-stopping display

"He gives me everything, every day of his life – not just in games. So we have a good understanding,” says Reds boss
Appetite for destruction: Suarez can beat Cole and Shearer's goal record, says his boss
Appetite for destruction: Suarez can beat Cole and Shearer's goal record, says his boss
Action Images
It is testament to the quality of Luis Suarez that it took his manager a full 17 seconds to decide which is his best goal of the season.
For the record, the answer as Brendan Rodgers pondered an imaginative question following another demonstration of the Uruguayan’s audacious talent , was that stunning 40-yarder against Norwich a couple of weeks ago.
But it could easily have been both goals he produced here to destroy Cardiff or any one of a number that is fast looking like a one-man goal of the season competition.
Maybe an even bigger testimony to Suarez’s ability is the fact no one argued for a second he was not worth the huge pay rise he has been offered, that puts his salary on a par with the likes of Wayne Rooney in the Premier League.
There is little doubt Suarez is on a par not only with the United star, but also the elite of world football in Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and it could be argued that right now, he has surpassed them all.
Indeed, there is very probably a case to suggest the run of form the Uruguayan has enjoyed, since returning from his ban for biting at the end of September, is one of the greatest in the history of football.
Hyperbole? Well, it is true we are running out of things to say about him, but surely never has a player not only looked more like scoring than Suarez right now, but no one has promised to do it in so many different, outstanding ways.
Watching Premier League defenders singularly fail in their one task of marking him is a little like watching that incredibly talented kid run rings round the others in playground matches.
It is little wonder Rodgers joked afterwards of having to come up with a new buzz word for the striker every week (and for the record again, this week’s was “unselfish”, for the way he generously gave Raheem Sterling a goal).
What Rodgers pointed out is that Suarez looks likely to score a hat-trick every time he sets foot on the pitch these days, which is why he believes the striker has every chance of breaking the Premier League record of 34 goals in a single season held jointly by Andy Cole and Alan Shearer.

“I really think he can push the record close for sure, because he has the quality to do it, he looks like he can score a hat- trick in every game,” said the Reds boss.
“But you know what? I don’t care who scores. He was unselfish in passing to Raheem for our second, and I’d have given him a b******ing if he hadn’t passed and we didn’t score!
“He did have other chances to score in this game, but he gives me everything, every day of his life – not just in games. So we have a good understanding.”
It may be that understanding which explains not only why Suarez has signed a new long-term Anfield contract, but also why he is playing with such unrestrained joy at the moment.
He clearly trusts his team-mates – which evidently was not always the case – and his manager and clearly believes he is in the right system to make the most of his talents.
His goals again proved that. The first, a fine, instinctive steered volley from the increasingly brilliant Jordan Henderson’s lobbed pass, was audacious, the second, a curling effort after some intricate interplay, perhaps his best yet.
As his manager said, when suggesting no one else could do what Suarez delivers right now, it shows he is in the right place. “I just think his profile suits us. There are many players who are good players, but he is a top performer in this system,” he added.
“He is definitely in that bracket of world-class with Messi and Ronaldo. I think what you can look at this year is that maybe one or two of his off-field antics have detracted from his performance level.
“But you see a different man now. You see a maturity in a guy who is happy and is confident and is totally at peace with everything in his life, on and off the field.
“He is loving Merseyside and is loving being at Liverpool. When you are scoring goals at the rate he is in the most competitive league in the world then you have to put him up there.”
His movement for the goal sandwiched in between – all before half-time – was world-class too and he deserved the hat-trick he surely would have enjoyed had he not chosen to pass to Sterling in front of an open goal.
Perhaps it is fitting – in a perverse way – that he did it in front of Cardiff boss Malky Mackay, because if ever a manager has to go out, then he would prefer to do it with a world-class memory. And Suarez provided that.
Liverpool's Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring his teams second goal alongside teammate Luis Suarez
Unselfish: Suarez teamed up with Sterling for the second goal
As the shamefully-treated Scot stood on the turf at the end, it was clear he was taking in one last, lingering moment with the fans who chanted his name throughout – and sang something far less charitable about Vincent Tan.
As Rodgers said afterwards, this is a man who brought Cardiff trophies and finals, and most importantly a £90million bonanza after their first promotion to the top flight in 50 years.
It is pointless asking how he can be treated in this way, because Tan is the only man who can answer that, and it is painfully clear the man’s mind does not work in a way understandable to football fans.
It is also clear that all supporters have had enough of those owners who display such contempt towards the paying public – with Liverpool fans joining in when the Cardiff faithful showed their affectionate appreciation of their manager.
And that touched an emotional Mackay on what he admitted was a moving afternoon.
“The fans’ backing of myself and the team in the way they did was very humbling. They are incredible and I will not walk away from them,” he said.
“And to hear the Liverpool fans doing the same – that’s something that will live with me for ever.”

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