The excitement around Anfield is palpable with the new Premier League season just around the corner, and Brendan Rodgers and his players must surely be feeling the pressure to achieve that all important top four finish. Despite the glut of quality players at Liverpool, there were times last season when the performances on show were average at best. A large chunk of the playing squad will have a point to prove this season having been written off by the so-called footballing experts after their poor performances, but surely the player with the most to prove is Liverpool’s enigmatic Uruguayan, Luis Suarez. With an expectant fan base looking on, Suarez must seek to repay the faith shown in him during his turbulent season last time around.
In order to move further along his path to redemption, he will have to learn to rise above the abuse that is being hurled in his direction by opposition fans at every stadium in the country. Brendan Rodgers has already made it clear that he wants Suarez to move on from the racism row that interrupted his first full season in a red shirt. Suarez clearly feels (and I agree with him) that an injustice was done last season, but if he could learn to turn that anger into something positive on a football pitch then he could easily become a Liverpool legend.
The Uruguayan’s task should be made easier by playing in Brendan Rodgers’ Barcelona-esque style however, as he will receive plenty of support from fellow attacking players, something which was not available to him last season. At times Suarez cut a despondent and forlorn figure as he chased down long balls hoofed forward from an under-performing Liverpool midfield, but it would appear that his frustrations are over now though as Rodgers seeks to move The Reds away from the style of route one football that they resorted to last season and into a style that allows players to play shorter, quality passes along the ground.
One thing that does remain unclear, however, is where Suarez will fit into this new-look Liverpool attacking line-up. Personally, I would like to see him played on the left as I feel that he can be extremely dangerous when cutting inside onto his right foot, but with Liverpool rumored to be interested in signing Gastón Ramírez it would appear that Brendan Rodgers may have altogether different plans for Suarez.
There is absolutely no doubt that should Suarez play the way we know he can (and manage to keep himself out of trouble) then he could well find himself acting as the catalyst for a return to Champions League football for The Reds. An accomplishment of this magnitude would undoubtedly earn him an even bigger place in the heart of Kopites everywhere, even if he does annoy a few more opposition fans along the way.