Suarez is a genius
There are many Ghanaians who would love to strangle him. There are many of those who have played against him who would really love to knee him in the small of the back while the ref is not looking.
There are probably teammates who wish they can tune him out when he starts his constant moans and, of course, there are many match officials who wish they did not have to deal with him. However, having watched Luis Suarez closely since he moved to Liverpool in January 2011 I have finally realised that to watch this man at work is to see genius.
When Jose Enrique went long at Anfield in the match against Newcastle two weekends ago in the general direction of Suarez, many regular players might have hoped to get a free-kick and get their team moving closer to the opponents goal. Other great players might have tried to do what the Uruguayan had in mind, but I strongly believe that there are probably not up to five footballers playing the game at the top end in world football that would have thought and executed so brilliantly what Suarez did in killing the ball high to his chest, going round Krul in goal, and just tapping it into an empty net.
Now what Suarez did following that goal is also what makes his genius so uniquely his. He went into the net, picked up the ball so that the game could continue and Liverpool could search for the winner. Despite his gifts, he is a fierce competitor and a winner. He absolutely hates losing.
It is that desire to win that leads him to not really mind how he gets the win. In that you cannot blame him. His cultural background in South America believes that in a contest you have to what needs to be done to win a match. He dives or goes to ground to win free-kicks because, as far as he is concerned, the referee is part of the opposition and it is not frowned upon to try and win fouls - it is all part of the same game.
When he dived to punch away that goal-bound header in the last World Cup, denying Ghana a certain winner, he did it instinctively and was lauded back home for it - if Gyan had put away the free-kick it would not have mattered but that was the chance Suarez was ready to take.
When you watch him on the ball, his brain is working nearly five moves ahead of his opponents and probably more in the case of some of his current Liverpool teammates. His close control is amazing. His speed of thought, his one touch play and his sheer ability to dribble the ball in the tightest of spaces must make him one of the most difficult players to play against.
It is the biggest indictment on the "abilities" of Andy Carroll that he was never able to play well with Suarez. No self-respecting centre-forward should have a problem playing with Suarez. He will make the forward score loads. Against Man City earlier this season he lined up a free-kick and, watching the way the wall was set-up I felt that the ball can only be scored from one angle and around the wall. I did not fancy Gerrard to have the patience to do so but I did not think the skipper would pass up the kick to Suarez but he did. I ask anyone to watch that kick again and not marvel at the thought process that went into it.
Suarez has eight league goals for a Liverpool side that are struggling. The likes of Van Persie, Mata, Hazard and Oscar get so much great press but, in my view, in terms of sheer ability, Suarez is more talented than all of them. He will walk into any team in the Premier League and score while creating for others. Jamie Carragher, his teammate at Liverpool, thinks Suarez is the best player in the BPL. I agree with him.