Is Luis Suarez player of the year?


Luis Suarez
Suarez… Going down in history, or just the box? (Img: Paulblank)

Is Luis Suare player of the year? There are certainly compelling cases to be made for and against the Liverpool forward coming out on top of the Premier League’s end-of-season poll, so join Football Burp guest columnist Umarah Naz ( @_umara ) in examining the pro side of the argument…

Suarez: player of the season?

What’s left to write about Luis Suarez that hasn’t already been written? The good, the bad. Mostly the bad. Everyone loves to hate Luis. So much so that Blame Suarez culture has a cult following of its very own! If he so much as looks in the wrong direction, people are baying for his Uruguayan blood. If you listen closely enough you can hear the sharpening of blades and the cocking of guns. He’s controversial, without a doubt, and he’s been a naughty boy too. But he’s done something else this season, something spectacular: he has somehow shut out all the negativity and got on with his job of playing football. Not just any old football, but out of this world football.

Now, I’m not going to bore you with stats and figures other than to say that most of them are better than anyone else’s. Most importantly Suarez has been consistent. This is the argument (for me anyway) that swings the Player Of The Year Award in his favour: from August to January he singlehandedly carried a football club that would have been in the relegation zone without him, and from January onwards he has effortlessly continued that brilliant form in partnership with Daniel Sturridge. If he hasn’t scored in a game, he’s assisted his teammates in scoring them. At the very least there’s a little slap or kick. Ah well, we are talking about Luis Suarez, in case you’d forgotten amongst all the praise!

I believe that part of the reason for his success, aside from the obvious talent, is the passion and pride that he plays with. At times, in the season’s lacklustre performances by Liverpool, he has seemed like the only player who was giving 100%: going for every tackle, wherever on the pitch that may be, to his tears when Liverpool were knocked out of the Europa League a few weeks ago. That passion and commitment rubs off on the rest of the team and breeds a confidence that can pick up a struggling team and turn it into a consistent outfit. Despite all the loathing and criticism Suarez faces, he has shown the ability to turn it all in his favour. That shows a particular strength of character for which he deserves an award itself! I’m 100% sure that all those football fans that loath his very existence wouldn’t say no to Suarez leading the attack in their own team.

Having argued all of the above I would be very surprised if Luis Suarez won player of the year. I just don’t think he’s won enough people over yet. Staggering as that may seem, it’s true. Off the pitch he’s a cool, calm, mellow, affable individual. On it, he’s a proverbial pain in the arse, sometimes literally. But isn’t that the perfect mix? As I’m always being told by my family, you don’t go work to make friends. You go to get the job done and be the best at it and Suarez certainly does that, as do Gareth Bale and Robin Van Persie. For me, though, Bale hasn’t done it all season and Van Persie has the luxury of an amazingly talented team providing excellent service, not to mention one of the best managers the game has ever seen.

I think Steven Gerrard hit the nail right on the head when he said on Sunday that Suarez would be the best player not to win an award. In fact, it would be a travesty.

Should Luis Suarez be player of the season? Have your say in the comments section below…