Yes, Luis Suarez is exceedingly amazing at doing things on the football field. Especially against Norwich City. We knew we were going to beat Norwich and we weren't surprised that El Pistolero tormented Norwich once again. However, our number seven constantly surprises us with the manner with which he passes judgement on Norwich. Four goals and one assist. Five goals for Liverpool. If that's not the definition of a one-man show then I would be one confused scribe. Perhaps I am. The four goals scored were of such a quality that only a world-class player could score all four in a match and that's what Suarez is.
We know this but perhaps we are seeing how good this player is. His goalscoring output is increasing with each passing season at Liverpool FC and it's currently looking like his Ajax days. Check the league stats in Holland. 17 in 33, 22 in 31, and 35 in 33 in the Eredivisie. His Liverpool career in terms of full league seasons looks as follows: 11 in 31, 23 in 33, and currently 13 in 9 games. Parallels are forming in Europe. 81 goals in 110 league games for Ajax and 111 goals in 159 games overall. 51 goals in 86 EPL matches for Liverpool and 64 in 106 games in total for the Merseyside giants.
Ladies and gentleman, Luis Suarez is a goal machine no matter what league he plays in and if he moves on to another league...he will score many goals there too. To our temporal misfortune. He creates plentiful chances for himself, admittedly shoots often and from ridiculous angles, but also creates space for other quality players to operate in. Witness his partnership with Daniel Sturridge. Perhaps Iago Aspas will also benefit over the coming months.
Luis Suarez can bring a lot of problems "on and off the pitch" as we're used to hearing in conventional footballing chatter. In fact, he has done just that since he arrived on Merseyside. One cannot hide from his transgressions whether they stem from immaturity, frustration, petulance, disrespect, or just sheer madness. He has often pushed the boundaries of "good behaviour" as he regularly pushes the realms of effort and hunger in pursuit of victory. If there ever was a player who exemplified the ridiculous percentages of focus, drive, and application desired by Brendan Rodgers then look no further than Luis Suarez. He does not stop. He will not stop. He knows no other way. For him, everything is left on the field after 90 minutes in pursuit of what could be and for all the flair the man possesses, it is his effort that sets him apart. The quality is evident but there is something more.
Ironically, 2013 has generally been a year of greater maturity from Luis Suarez and the now infamous bite on Branislav Ivanovic was perhaps a huge blotch on a trajectory of improvement. It is hoped that all the drama surrounding Luis Suarez is now a thing of the past but somehow I sense it won't be. There may be minor hiccups along the way that will be expanded into a national event by "media luvvies" or hypocritical fans but for now, all is well. Stick around Luis because we're going to need you.
Newcastle's four game winning streak has come to an end at the hands of Michael Laudrup's Swansea City. Alan Pardew, otherwise known as "Pardiola", has benefitted from the lack of Europa League football this season while Swansea have suffered from those Thursday nights at home and abroad. It was interesting to see two sides pitted against each other who will be stuck in the trap of doing well one season to achieve Europa League football, struggling the next with European completion, and then experiencing a return to form with no Europa League football commitments. This isn't a criticism of Europe's second continental competition as it can be a gripping and engaging competition in the latter stages but it presents some problems for sides such as Newcastle and Swansea. Possibly Everton too but their new manager's ambitious approach has them pushing hard for the top four at this stage.
So, Everton. We don't really hate them do we? We want to beat them and beat them well whenever we face them. Naturally. Further humiliation for Manchester United and David Moyes is an occurrence that any Liverpool fan cannot possibly dislike. David Moyes never won away at the league's biggest sides and while he is a good manager, his footballing philosophy was never expansive or positive. Roberto Martínez may have been relegated with Wigan but they won the FA Cup. Wigan were a side who always flirted with relegation and sometimes hanging around something for too long will result in being sucked into that very thing...one day. And so it happened last season.
Manchester United at home against Everton. Defeat for Manchester United. Victory for Everton and especially for Roberto Martínez. Questions about David Moyes. Perhaps this will be the season of transition for Manchester United and it may have to be if United's overlords persist with Moyes. Yet it is damning that Martínez faces Moyes as the clear underdog and in their first meeting, the Martínez does what Moyes could not. The Everton supremo was understandably proud of a significant and symbolic victory. Even in the Merseyside derby, Everton played with ambition and lacked fear as the game progressed. They impressed me and they look like a side that can take a few points from the league's best sides. Fellaini needs to find his feet but the deal looks like an excellent one for Everton. Getting more than demanded by a release clause because of dithering from Old Trafford. Replacing him with players who settled in quickly and established partnerships to enable Everton to look like potential top four contenders. Everton are currently the only side who have not suffered multiple defeats in the Premier League. In a league season such as this, that is worthy of respect.
Tottenham managed to win away to Fulham in a welcome win for André Villas-Boas. Tottenham have reinvested a lot of money from summer sales in some very good players but perhaps it is a case of the players needing to gel. Sure, Eric Lamela needs minutes to actually prove that he is worth the money spent because he is a very talented player. Roberto Soldado hasn't scored that many goals and even less from open play. Is it a case of the player or the system? ETW is firmly in the system camp but that does Soldado as well as Spurs no good. Lewis Holtby has settled in slowly since his January arrival from Schalke 04 but scored his first goal to help Tottenham keep in touch with Liverpool and Everton. Lennon, Sigurdsson, Holtby, Townsend, Lamela, Soldado, and Defoe should mean goals but that is a conundrum that AVB must solve. Is it a creation of the manager himself and if so, how patient should the Spurs hierarchy be?
Eden Hazard turned in a superb performance to help Chelsea to an away victory over Sunderland, a side that needs a couple of wins to bring confidence to the group. Mourinho will not have been pleased with conceding three goals but getting an away victory while Man City picked up one helps his side stay ahead of Pellegrini's men. Top spot is still with pacesetters Arsenal as Liverpool's conquerors, Hull City, were vanquished at the Emirates. Well, not vanquished but you get the point. Arsenal look pretty good at the moment. Tomas Rosicky started, Bendtner started and scored, and Walcott is back to provide Arsenal with a different option if required. The midfield collection looks strong and somehow, ETW senses a triumphant return of pet favourite Abou Diaby. If he returned from injury and managed to stay fit until the end of the season then Arsenal may have too much for the rest in midfield. He'd have to play as well as stay fit but one thing at a time eh?
Crystal Palace picked up their first win under the never-been-relegated-before-in-the-football-league-mastermind-Tony-Pulis and former West Ham striker, Marouane Chamakh was the matchwinner. If that reads strangely, try writing it. Chamakh and Bendtner scoring crucial goals? The apocalypse is nigh. Not so for Aston Villa who went to Southampton and won. Christian Benteke's poor goalscoring form saw him take up a place on the bench alongside another of last season's breakout young stars for Aston Villa, Andreas Weimann. It is an example of young players needing the platform and time to arrive on the scene, wow observers, suffer dips in form, play through them, sit on the bench to gain perspective, and return to prominence as a better player. Raheem Sterling was amazing last season as Suarez's sole attacking support for the first half of the season. It was good to see him get a goal against Norwich and he has picked up some vital development minutes over the past week. He's still a major talent and his youth is often ignored. Give him time and watch him soar. The kid's got what it takes. So does Benteke but patience is needed. I'm glad that Rodgers and Lambert are taking a sensible approach with both players.
That's all for now folks. ETW is hacking away on a flight to Lagos so misery and comments will be in short supply for the next few weeks. Tune in next time to see if ETW can predict the future...or not.