Luis Suarez - The Best The Premiership Has To Offer?

Published: Apr 28, 2014 12:37pm EDT
By Jason Bardwell, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:45pm EDT


Last night, after the Premiership title had taken yet another twist, a ceremony was held in London to name the PFA Players’ Player Of The Year. The award is given to the player judged to have been the best for that season in English football. It is voted on by members of the Professional Footballers’ Association. Last night, Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, picked up the award, after missing out last season.


The fact that his fellow professionals voted for the divisive Liverpool front man means that this award in particular is held in high regard by the recipients. There will be much debate about the validity of this award for the Uruguayan and whether he actually deserves it has passionate advocates on both sides.


For the reasons he should get it you have to understand that this season his goal tally has been fantastic. So far he has scored 30 goals in the Premier League from 31 games and his energy and effort for Liverpool cannot be questioned at all. Just as Manchester United arguably won the Premiership title last season with the impact of Robin Van Persie, the same could be said this season of Luis Suarez if Liverpool go on to lift the trophy.


With the possible exception of Steven Gerrard, he would probably be considered by Liverpool fans and others as the difference and most influential player in that red shirt. That effort and boost for the team can not be doubted, and is probably the single reason they are still in the Premiership race.


That said, there is the other side to the Luis Suarez game, and that is where the subject of him winning the ‘Player Of The Year’ becomes debatable. Exclude the fact that he was banned for 8 games after being found guilty of racially abusing the Manchester United defender in a game on 15th October 2011. His return, in 2012, was also against Manchester United and again issues remained, although it wasn’t so much a Suarez problem.


Towards the end of last season he was involved in another incident when he bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in a game which summed up the best and worst of Luis Suarez in 90 minutes. It wasn’t the only time he has bitten an opponent though and bit Otman Bakkal while playing for Ajax. Back to the Chelsea game though and he set up a goal for Daniel Sturridge, received a yellow card for handball which gave Chelsea a go ahead penalty. After the bite, which was missed by the referee, he scored the equalizer. Liverpool legend, and ex manager, Graeme Souness said at the time that the incident was ‘embarrassing’ and that now ‘That puts him in the last chance saloon’.


It was this bite and resulting ban which extended into the start of this season and the reason he missed those opening games. Now it seems though he has gone from zero to hero in record time and I am all for the rehabilitation of players. The previous mentioned incidents, although appalling, were in the past and the Player of the year voters should not consider these. He did the crime and also did the time. My argument for the Liverpool talisman to possibly not be considered would be straightforward. The FA are trying to get cheating out of the game whether that be diving or faking injuries. If you were to ask for fans to name a player they most associate with cheating in this manner then I think certainly you could find this guy in the top five and with that perception what message does that send about the practice?


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Jason Bardwell
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