Liverpool - How to solve a tactical problem like Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez Free Kick V Zenit

Why Brendan Rodger’s assertion that Suarez will fit ‘seamlessly’ back into the side should be an obvious one.

It is worth pointing out that the most interesting fact behind the 26-year-old’s time at Liverpool is the stark contrast in results with and without his presence. The Reds have a better win percentage when the player has missed games, believe it or not.

Indeed since Suarez’s ban Liverpool have gone unbeaten in the league and there is a firm case to be made that Daniel Sturridge has flourished with the increase in responsibility to lead the attack.

While the concerns that Sturridge may have to be shifted out to wide to accommodate his striker partner are unfounded, there is nevertheless the issue of how to best utilise the number 7. This is very important despite what results may suggest as the inclusion of world class player can only enhance a club’s ambitions of success.

On the surface Suarez can play any one of the three positions in and around Sturridge, but in reality only two of these will bring the best out of him without losing something from the team.

Playing as a number 10 would not be one of them. Suarez’s characteristics are unsuited here. They are not however, for the wide forward role. He can take the handbrake off and apply his dribbling ability and close control unceremoniously on some poor full-back.

Of course out on the wings there is a requirement for tactical discipline, a quality Suarez clearly lack in terms of his behaviour at least. Yet it is the performance away to Arsenal last season in the Premier League which gives evidence that he can help keep Liverpool’s shape without the ball.

Playing as a left-wing forward Suarez was a dynamic presence on the night, getting up in support of Sturridge but also helping his full-back Jose Enrique out by doubling up whenever Arsenal attacked.

Suarez’s natural and hard work rate stand him in good stead here moving forward, if playing in this role to good effect at Ajax is also anything to go by.

Moreover it was the right-wing forward role where he truly excelled at in Holland and it is ultimately one Rodgers will settle on him occupying.

If all players are fit and available then expect Moses and not Suarez to play LWF, with the on loan Nigerian keen to cut in on his right foot and shoot on sight. Swansea anyone?

All the talk of Coutinho as Liverpool’s long-term number 10 was fanned by Rodgers who pretty much said that it is his best position.

So, with those two positions decided on in addition to Sturridge as the focal point of the team, RWF is the only place left to fill. Suarez knows it only too well.

Do you agree this is the most likely position for Suarez to feature?

image: © LovelyLeftFoot

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