BRENDAN RODGERS raised a few eyebrows when he described Luis Suarez as Liverpool’s Lionel Messi, but I understand what he is trying to say.
You can’t compare anyone to Messi, who is a genius.
Certainly, the ratio of chances he converts is staggering, which isn’t Suarez’s strong point.
But Suarez is just as important a player to Liverpool as Messi is to Barcelona.
The problem for the Anfield man is that he doesn’t, at the moment, have the same level of attacking support as Messi.
You could see against Newcastle United that, when Liverpool had more players in the opposing area and Suarez wasn’t the sole centre of attention, he becomes an even more dangerous player.
He isn’t the furthest player forward and he can drop into positions where he wreaks havoc. He does things and sees things that nobody else in the Liverpool team can match.
When he is in there with other players, it allows him to go off the radar and opens the game up for others.
Jonjo Shelvey didn’t have his best game but on another day he could have scored twice after coming on as substitute, simply by getting into the box and occupying the spaces left by Suarez.
Everybody knows Suarez is Liverpool’s best threat in attack. But if you haven’t got other players in the final third then it’s a little bit easier to look after the Uruguayan.
It sounds simplistic, but it is. Nuri Sahin and Suso don’t get into the box enough for my liking.
Rodgers is looking for somebody who will play either side of Suarez that will also chip in with goals, which is why they went in for Clint Dempsey.
Suarez has to play through the middle to make sure he gets into the box as often as he can.
Whether Rodgers can get the type of player he wants in January is another thing.
Swansea City didn’t score many goals under the Northern Irishman. It’s a good system but the pressure on the front three to score is higher than any other way of playing.