24 Sept 2011

LUIS SUAREZ: The reason behind his recent goal drought (and how to fix it)

Luis Suarez has become a firm fan-favourite since arriving at Anfield in January, and overall, the Uruguayan's creative impact for the club has been excellent. However, as as Robbie Fowler argued recently, 'the only thing missing from his game is goals'. Why have the goals dried up for Suarez recently, and what can he do to get back on track?

Suarez has gone 4 games without scoring now, but Kenny Dalglish is not too worried, as he made clear in an interview yesterday:

“Luis is not selfish – he’s very much a team player. He might be disappointed not to score but he was happy with the result.

“Some people might judge players purely by goals but we will judge him by results and contributions he makes on the pitch.

"Whether it’s scoring a goal, creating a goal or saving a goal, it doesn’t make any difference. He will always make a contribution.”

So, let's take a look at Suarez's contribution on the pitch. An attacking player's job is to score and create goals, so to judge effectiveness, it's necessary to look at objective criteria, i.e. Specific, Measurable Creative Contribution (SMCC) to the team.


* Appearances: 20 - W11 (55%) D3 (15%) L6 (30%)
* Minutes on pitch: 1615
* Goals: 7
* Assists: 6
* Shots on target: 29
* Shots off target: 73


* Goal every 230 minutes (1 every 2.5 games)
* SMCC every 124 minutes (Goal or assist every 1.3 games)
* SMCC in 65% of games so far
* Shot on target every 55 minutes
* Shot off target every 22 minutes
* Shot (on or off target) every 15 minutes
* Liverpool unbeaten in 70% of games with Suarez in the team

Overall, Suarez's SMCC is pretty good - he scores or creates a goal every 124 minutes. However, this can definitely be improved, and it's clear to see how.

Look at Suarez's shots off target figures: one every 22 minutes, which equates to almost 4 shots off target per game. If Suarez can improve his shooting accuracy and get a few more shots on goal, then obviously he'll increase his chances of scoring.

What kind of SMCC should Suarez be aiming for? Well, taking the last 5 games of last season and the first 5 games of this season, Suarez's figures were:

* Appearances: 10
* Minutes on pitch: 764
* Goals: 5
* Assists: 3


* Goal every 152 minutes (1 every 1.7 games)
* SMCC every 95 minutes (Goal or assist every 1.2 games)

Suarez has proved he can hit these targets so over a season, this is (IMO) the minimum SMCC we should be expecting from a player of his quality.

As Liverpool's lead attacker, there's increasing pressure on Suarez to deliver (especially with Andy Carroll failing to score and the lack of creativity from midfield recently), but Craig Bellamy, Dirk Kuyt and (hopefully) Steven Gerrard should be around a little more now to shoulder some of the burden.

Suarez has now gone 4 games without a goal, and has only managed 3 shots on goal in that time. A home game against Wolves is the perfect opportunity to get back on the score-sheet, and I'm sure he will.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. 4 games is not exactly a goal drought.

  2. For a striker, 4 games without a goal is a concern IMO.

    Sent from iPhone

  3. One of the reason Suarez is not scoring is because of the midfield. Not creative enough. Gerrard's return will see Suarez scoring more regularly. 

  4. Playing 5 midfielders with Suarez up on his own is the reason.Adam is too slow to get forward to link up with him,henderson is too cautious and has no football brain,Downing is better suited to a target man,Lucas holds,Gerrard is the player when fully fit who will bring the best out of Suarez.Bellamys pace and linking was good but this all begs the question why was Carroll signed to compliment such a quick thinking and skillful player when a free transfer in Bellamy is linking up better due to his pace and speed of thought.

  5. Great points.  Totally agree.  Bellamy has to start today, surely...?  If he's fit enough, he deserves his place on merit after scoring midweek, and the same goes for Kuyt.  If both are dropped to the bench after scoring then it will be very disappointing.  There's no point disrupting goalscoring momentum.

  6. Let's hope so.  I wonder if Gerrard will play in the hole...?

  7. I think Suarez is doing pretty well even if hes not scoring enough goals but dont  forget he sets up almost all the goals we score thats a huge contribution all credit to him. I agree that when gerrard comes back he will score more because gerrard will provide him more assists than lucas or adam are, the other reason hes not scoring much is cuz he wastes many chances as well, sometimes he keeps the ball too much in front of the keeper trying to pass  him or do some tricks and then fails to score he should stop doing that, first we must score some then if we have time he could make some spectacular things there. As for adam carroll and hendo I really dont wanna see them again starting Kenny must realize they are crap he sees them everyday in training he must realize that, they might score today but even so they still will not give good performances for this club just average players.

  8. UNBEATEN IN !!!70%!!!
    not 45%
    get it right Jamie Kanwar

  9. Yes, you're right.  I entered the wrong figure.  Fixed now.  Thanks!

  10. well torres has only scored 2 in 19 games so i know who i'd prefer, hes a much more rounded player although an attacker, he's also doing thing not taken into account by giving other players more chance by getting defenders to follow him that also creates goals every defender in the league is scared of given him an inch and that takes them away from the other players freeing them up to score.

  11. i agree surez needs neet through balls more than lofted/hoofed ones and gerrards the person to deliver them and with suarez taken the defenders to the corners it will open up gerrard great forward movement and pin point 30 yarders.

  12. Suarez is the BEST thing Liverpool have, its sad that theres not alot of focus on getting Suarez the ball in dangerous spaces. Downing likes to make pointless runs and cant finish, Adam is too slow, Henderson is jus AWFUL! Carroll doesnt have the mobility although today he had a great game. When Liverpool scores 9 out of 10 times its because of Suarez! Kenny is an idiot for taking off Suarez and putting Gerrard in you gotta have those 2 players playing together so they can create chemistry. I dont blame Suarez for getting mad today! SUAREZ UR A BEAST!

  13. The problem isn't Suarez, it's the players around him. He can create goals, but then another strikers needs to finish them. He can score goals, but then other players need to help create them. He can't do both. Too much creativity in the team depends on him.

  14. i think suarez has been fantastic. but i wish torres was stiil playnig for us, can you imagine them 2 up front?? awesome.