by Chris Tobin

Loathe him or detest him but like a Norwich City defender do not ignore him. Luis Suarez has this season seemed inspired, game after game producing scintillating displays, with goals from the footballing God’s, Suarez’s performances have had many comparing him to the very best that Liverpool Football Club has ever had to offer.

If we contrast the attitude felt by the masses of supporters during the close season, left with the possibility that their want away hero was about to disrespect club & fans with a departure from Merseyside after less than 3 years hard labour, with the now euphoric eulogizing of said same hero, it becomes clear that the pro’s & con’s for Suarez being included in Liverpool’s hall of fame is fraught with the menace of danger.

Liverpool’s undisputed greatest ever – King Kenny Dalglish is lauded as one of not only Liverpool’s greatest players, but also one of Europe’s greatest players, those like me who grew up on a diet of Dalglish and his cohorts rampaging around Europe’s major cities in defiance of some of the World’s greatest players, have no hesitation in popping Dalglish in the category of “The Greatest” –

Dalglish was a magician whose feet would turn their very own tricks, either foot being more magical than its counterpart when in possession of a football, and like Suarez adored by his public, he could do no wrong. The longevity of Dalglish’s career at Anfield would see him surpassing even greatness, a relationship, a bond unbroken with Liverpool and its people – Where Suarez is our black sheep, Dalglish is our family.

Suarez on the other hand is portrayed as some sort of enigmatic football deviant, a cheat, a racist and all around serial offender, a constant moaner forever baiting the referee and officials. A more dubious character would be difficult to find – If we are to believe the myopic media that surrounds Luis Suarez.

It is said that comparing players from differing eras is an impossible arduous task, how “The Game” has changed, players unable to tackle without the lightning flash of a referee’s card, diving, cheating added with the financial implications of failure, millionaires dancing to the tune of the dollar.

There would be a time when Dalglish was the very best that World football had to offer, he would reside in the highest echelons of the footballing God’s – Right now Luis Suarez is most certainly at that place, the true greats don’t have moments where they assume that position, they have era’s, a consistent level of achievement they don’t become hindered or held back by their genius, rather they thrive.

Why then can’t Suarez be considered amongst Liverpool’s greatest? His history, the moments of madness that have damned him, and surely his on field persona have been judged at the detriment to his footballing ability. Suarez has been accused and condemned of being unhinged, a mad man on the edge, uncontrollable by his paymasters, tempered with the accusation of his mercenary nature, Luis Suarez the footballer has baggage to contend with.

Anyone who witnessed Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish in the flesh knows that he was no angel on a football field, Dalglish would be known for being a serial moaner, at his own teammates, opposing players & constantly he would be harassing referees and officials. Kenny could more than look after himself against aggressors. Where Suarez is a cheat, Dalglish would be described as clever, but both players possess the ability to play with their backs to opponents, stealing free kicks, constantly putting officials under pressure to make decisions on foul play.

Cunning only the chosen few have in their locker, but despised by those lesser souls who would take the stance that they are being cheated, a jealousy or ignorance to the ways of the modern game – Thou dare not challenge unless 100% sure you will not touch me.

If Kenny is “The King” then for me Suarez is “The Prince Regent” – Suarez has it all, an abundance of talent, yet footballing pundits talk like they have been taken by surprise this season, many have been blinded by Suarez misdemeanours, being quite happy to ignore his personal success on the field, their faux rage overtaking reason when it comes to the debate & argument of his greatness.

Right here, right now Luis Suarez is in the top 3 footballers in World football, Ronaldo & of course Messi being ahead of the Uruguayan. It is interesting that Ronaldo & Messi have also been accused of being unsporting, interestingly their footballing ability allows for this to be mainly overlooked as they pillage personal glory and trophies – World Footballer of The Year……European Footballer of The Year and so on, whilst Luis Suarez is denigrated for such awards in England, as was the case last season – Was Luis Suarez not The Footballer of The Year in England last season?

The arguments will continue throughout the land, within Liverpool it becomes a question of Suarez seeing out his contract & only then will fans consider him for the crown currently held by Dalglish. If at the very least he were to leave at the conclusion of this season, then for me he will still be the most exciting talent I have ever seen in the red shirt, yes more exciting than Dalglish, Fowler, Gerrard and a young Michael Owen. When the ball arrives at Suarez toes my blood sugar levels assume the highest levels, the heart pounds & pupils widen as I witness greatness.


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