There are some in the world that would say that the Liverpool team at the moment is Luis Suarez plus ten other individuals.
It is a great compliment to Suarez, and there is little doubt that if Liverpool had more individuals with his talent and desire to win all over the pitch then the Reds would be in shape to challenge for Champions League football next season, if not that then maybe the Premier League crown itself.
But it isn’t, because footballers like Luis Suarez don’t come around all that often. His display last night against Norwich was possibly one of the best displays Liverpool fans have seen on a football pitch perhaps since the late 1980’s – and one of the most memorable hat-tricks since Robbie Fowler’s six-minuter against Arsenal which remains the quickest hat-trick in the Premier League to date.
For as remarkable as Suarez’s form has been this season, and how much of a loss to Liverpool he would have been if he left the club, the implication that Liverpool are nothing without him is simply not true.
There have been times when Liverpool have been 'nothing without Gerrard/Alonso/Torres/Suarez.' There's a shock, a football team is nothing without players!
You only need to look at how Liverpool fared during his ten game ban where they only lost one game – which incidentally happened to be the last of his ban against Southampton. During that time Liverpool picked up six wins and two draws in the league and managed to beat Manchester United in the process.
There is a difference however between saying that Liverpool are a one man team, and that one man’s form could be the difference between success and failure for the side. Suarez could be the difference of the Reds returning to the top table of European football or not this season, but if you put Suarez into 99% of other sides in the world his contribution over the course of the season could be the difference between success and failure.
His performance against Norwich last night summed him up beautifully, after looking a little frustrated early on he comes up with a bit of sublime skill and magic and he's away, and nobody could stop him. In terms of Liverpool's chances, if Suarez has more looks of sheer joy combined with almost disbelief etched across his face because of his own performance, then it can only be a good sign.
image: © LovelyLeftFoot