Six months of good behaviour. Six more to go before the close of the summer transfer window following the end of the current season. Luis Suarez has done a lot of good for his reputation after returning to action at the end of September, but for many who have been burned before, it's likely to take a little while yet before they're ready to believe the change is permanent.
In the meantime, it's fun at least to get to watch this season's best player—likely in any league. And as much as everyone wants to see Suarez learn to control his less savoury tendencies, managing to do so while still holding on to the combative, competitive drive he first developed as a child and that over the years pushed him to become one of the world's best players is key.
"Sometimes, it's 100% from the street," said Suarez of his approach to the game, the one that has at times gotten him into trouble for losing control and going too far. "When I was a child, I never liked to miss. From the age of seven, I was involved in competitions, and I never liked to lose. I've worked very hard in my life to get to this level, and I can't miss one ball."
So far this season, that drive has remained on display despite that Suarez has, so far at least, managed to tone down the sort of behaviour that saw him castigated by the media and general public in past years. Another sign of Suarez' maturation is his growth as a more complete team player, one who has made assists for Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling as impressive as any of his goals.
"If I score and we win, it's unbelievable," he said. "But if I don't score and we win, it's just as unbelievable. It's best when I work for the team, not just for me. If Liverpool win the game, that's the important thing."
Six months of good behaviour. Six months worth of signs of maturation, all while developing into a better, more complete, and even deadlier attacker than he already was. And six months to go to put proof to the past six.