OVER the space of 48 hours this past week I witnessed outstanding displays from two unique characters who share the same instinct for getting in the thick of it, the same ability to leave an observer spell-bound, the same savvy to pull off a trick or two, and, perhaps more prosaically, the same number – well, nearly.
And while 007, James Bond ,was strutting his stuff in this, his twenty-third cinematic outing with all manner of stunts, style and strikes, so was Liverpool’s own special agent no.7, Luis Suarez putting on a remarkable virtuoso display in an enthralling Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park.
A new Bond movie, now with Daniel Craig convincingly in the iconic role, remains one of those special half-term holiday treats. The ultimate action hero who always comes out on top but not without the odd scrape or three. And always with a new villain to beat.
Suarez plays villain or hero depending on whether he is bombing through the opposition’s defence with a range of ammunition that Q could only dream about – or whether he is taking an unlikely tumble in the penalty area – more pratfall than Skyfall.
What is indisputable about Luis Suarez is he has quickly become Anfield’s new matinee idol, a man that gets top billing – for good or ill.
He has very quickly become Liverpool’s most important player, relieving Steven Gerrard of some of the burden he has carried for the best part of a decade.
And just like Daniel Craig is following in the footsteps of some great 007s – Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan so Luis Suarez has world-class players like Keegan, Beardsley and Dalglish to strive to emulate.
Suarez, at his best, is unplayable. Last Sunday was one of those occasions. Chasing down lost causes, turning defenders at will, sniffing a goal, perhaps two, even three on another day. Working his socks off and coming off the field a little richer in reputation and in reality too, with an errant coin tucked in his boot.
His swan-like dive in front of the Everton bench after scoring was priceless. And, to his credit, Everton manager, David Moyes, reacted to it in the right spirit.