Brendan Rodgers believes Premier League top scorer Luis Suarez is improving as a person and a player. He said the following to BBC Sport:
[quote]What I have admired from close hand is this is a guy who is trying to change. He has come in here and been labelled many things. Because he is a foreign player he will get accused more. If a British player dives we’ll laugh and find it funny but when it’s Luis Suarez he is a diver. There are cultural differences to where he has worked and played before and you can see he has clearly adapted to that.[/quote]
It’s fair enough if the Liverpool manager says that the player is improving as a person – at the end of the day you have to be close to the player to know that and Brendan certainly seems like a man-manager. From a fans point of view – we can see it on the pitch also. The diving has certainly calmed down since the turn of the year and the blow up over the “handball” at Mansfield was an absolute joke especially from ESPN Commentator Jon Champion who labelled Suarez “a cheat”. The nerve – I was this close from having to buy a new television but Champion isn’t worth the hassle! Coming back to the point Luis Suarez has improved on the pitch with regards to behaviour but that’s not the only way he’s improved.
This season is his breakout year. We’ve seen it in the Premier League in the past – players take two years to settle and this is Suarez’s 2nd full season (10/11 was just half a season). It happened to Pires, Ljungberg and Henry in the past and it’s certainly taken Suarez last year (with some lessons learnt too) and now he’s flying. The Top Scorer in the Premier League with 21 goals – we didn’t think we’d be saying that about the player who was missing chances for fun last season. Here are the stats:
Luis Suarez has played a similar amount of games to last season (he was banned for 8 games remember? How can we forget!) and he’s surpassed or improved in almost every single department. There is an improvement across the board and that must be applauded. If he isn’t voted Player of the Year he should certainly be the most improved player of the year.
A few things we can pick out: crossing accuracy up by 10%, mins per chance created has decreased by 9 mins which means he’s creating more often, 100 mins cut on the clear-cut chance creation – he’s tried to take on players more but isn’t beating them as well as last year! We’ll take that though. Onto goals scoring:
Well this is obvious – massive improvements in every statistic. Ten more goals, 117 mins shaved off per goal scored, more shots on target meaning an improved accuracy. Conventional chance conversion almost doubled and clear-cut chance conversion more than doubled this season! He’s been spectacular and in my opinion is the clear Player of the Year so far regardless of the competition – the improvement he’s shown after a disaster of a season, on and off the pitch, is nothing short of remarkable and shows his hunger and determination to succeed.
I just can’t get enough.
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