23 Oct 2011

Is John Barnes right about Luis Suarez...?

Liverpool legend John Barnes believes that Liverpool rely too much on Luis Suarez, even going so far as to suggest that without the Uruguayan striker, the club would struggle to win games. Do you agree?

Barnes told Goal.com:

"Luis Suarez is fantastic but I wish it was not all about Gerrard and Suarez. Liverpool need a better squad so there is not too much focus on them because if Suarez suddenly gets injured and can't play you have got a problem and Liverpool can't win".

With 5 goals and 3 assists so far this season, Suarez is responsible for scoring or creating 50% of Liverpool's goals.

Take those goals/assists away, and Liverpool would've lost against Sunderland and Exeter, and the wins against Wolves and Brighton would've turned into draws. However, Liverpool still would've beaten Arsenal, Everton and Bolton.

Against Norwich, Suarez again had the lion's share of chances; take him out of the game and it could've been very different.

So what do you think: Is Barnesy right or wrong?

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Suarez is a great a player, but he sums up Liverpool main problem so far this season, He & the rest of the team just haven't been clinical enough in taking chances. 

  2. been saying this for a while now. but im not one to blow my own trumpit.
    i also said, sadly and i hope im totally wrong i could see a torres situation.
    no disrespect to saurez, as i think he has ten times the pasion of the soppy spaniard. for christ sake we got a top striker on the bench who just needs games.
    kenny sort it

  3. I remember years ago the same was said about Steven Gerrard and how we were a one man team.  This was found to be incorrect as the statistics showed without Gerrard we won significant amount of games.  

    If Jaimie can kindly pull some stats on lfc's performances without Gerrard in the side, if he hasn't already.

  4. Suarez is extremely important to our squad. If only he could have been more clinical then things would look much different right now.

    Carroll needs to be given some more games. He is no good on the bench. He has performed much better when we do not hoof the ball to him. We need to get Suarez and Carroll on the same wavelength. Somehow I think Suarez is on a power trip, He knows that he will be in the starting eleven everytime which makes him untouchable at the moment. If we can get Carroll to start scoring some goals then that power trip will disappear. 

  5. Red4life it's very rare I agree with you but on this occasion I still don't!!

  6. i agree with ye both!!

  7. Its a shame but Barnes is right .

  8. It's rare that I'd agree with an ex-player because they tend to either spout emotive supporter bollocks or else toe the company line, but Barnes is right here. Sadly though, it has been fairly obvious since January that we needed to sign a top European talent to complement Suarez and our resulting inconsistency is a consequence of our lack of intelligence in the market. We're sadly becoming less of a draw for these top players now as the likes of Spurs capitalise on their geographical advantage and last season's good PR from their swashbuckling CL run (sponsored by Sky). 

    The only way to better this situation is to be in 4th place in January and to pray that the likes of Suarez and Gerrard are firing all of a sudden because otherwise the trend will continue to be flair players looking towards London and Manchester for the bigger money. 

    I mean, does anyone honestly believe we'll sign someone like HiguaĆ­n or Villa (I've amazingly seen his name mentioned too) in January? At best it'll be Adam Johnson, but I don't think he'll be the kind of player that Barnes is suggesting that will take the creative pressure off Suarez and Stevie. 

  9. To me it seems that you do not agree with Liverpool Football Club at the moment so it makes no difference if you disagree with me.

  10. I don't for a second question Dalglish's ambition to sign the best players in the world, this is the same guy as I'm told tried to sign Maradona and Gazza. 

    Make no doubt about it Gerrard will be firing on all cylinders in a few months. This kid is quality.  

    I hope we pull out all the stops to sign Christian Erikssen from Ajax,  He is what this club needs.  I know Kenny's very very keen on him.  

  11. Dont understand why carroll is on bench!? He should be playing!

  12. Because each time he plays he puts on a poor performance.  3pts are at stake.  When he does get his opportunities to start he doesn't shine.  For example the mid week match against Rangers was tailor made for him to bang  in a goal or two and send out a message.  Unfortunately his performance was below par.

    It's disappointing that he's a fraction of the player he was at Toon.  An inform Carroll would make us unstoppable. 

  13. I admit to only knowing what I've read about Eriksson and by all reports, he's an excellent player. My concern would be that we now have to rely on being seriously shrewd in the market as we're buying from the 2nd or 3rd tier of quality. And sadly, we've so far been found wanting in this respect in spite of having so much money at our disposal. There's very little room for error now and we either go all out and make a massive statement by trying to sign proven class or else we continue to just hope that the 'players gel', 'Carroll comes good'; or take your pick of the myriad excuses we, as supporters, use on a daily basis. 

    I know this is churlish but Spurs were linked with Tevez today. I'm fully aware that he's a knob and it'd possibly be playing with fire, but who could deny that even a season with him and that other mercenary Adebayor up front would prove successful for them? They outdid us in the market on the last day by buying for the short-term and they're reaping the benefits. 

    Football has perhaps become a short-term business. 

  14. I voted yes to the poll and I think we will be struggling to win games without suarez, but saying that, one thing we got to remember, he misses awful amount of chances. at first I thought he was unlucky, however now I come to a conclusion that he is a great striker but not as great finisher we think he is. he had 11 shots at goal in Norwich game , and no goal. That s some record.  

  15. No its not true, we are struggling to win games with him let alone without him.

  16. Of course he is right , we have a thread bare squad with only 19 senior players named when we are permitted 25 .

    How the hell can we replace an injured or suspended Suarez when we are trying to cover our weakness's with kids who are only in development ?

    If Liverpool are to seriously compete within the top 4 of English football then they are going to have to spend proper money on proper proven quality players  from home & abroad .

    Otherwise we will be bitching & complaining season after season as we struggle to stay in the top 6 .

    Barnes is 100% correct on this .

    However ....

    Suarez & Gerrard are players of the highest standard & I sincerely doubt there are 11 players in the world who can sustain their level ov performance over a 40 + game season in England .

    So I have to say he used bad examples but in principle Barnes is bang on the money on this one & I couldnt agree more with him .

    Well done Barnsey .

  17. Its all Kennys own doing ...he had the chance to change things

  18.  What are you talking about change ?

    Kenny is only 9 games into his first season for 20 years with us & already he has added proven quality players to our squad .

    No Mystery & no Promises of potential & sunny tomorrows , he bought the best players available within the budget the club set him .

    He also strategically & quietly replaced players with attitudes that weren’t fit to be at our club with Kids who have exactly the competitive attitude required to win major trophies in England & Europe & he done all of that without ruining anybody’s career & he done all that inside 6 months of returning to management !

    I dont think even Superman could have done any more in those circumstances .

    The point Barnes & I am making is that if Liverpool are to genuinely compete in the top 4 we are going to need a bigger squad .

    Not just a squad of talented kids +19 senior players but a squad full of talented Kids + 25 senior players .

    Its not about blame , its a simple fact , we need to out spend our rivals & we need to being in more players of similar quality to suarez & Gerrard .

    That will take more than one two or three transfer windows but what we have done since last January has been pretty damn near perfect so far .

    But we are far from finished & we as fans have to demand a surplus of talent & an embarrassment of riches sitting in our reserve team & on our first team bench .

    Thats the ugly reality of modern day football if you want to compete at the top , especially if you havent won anything in over 5 years !

    Fenway , Comolli & Dalglish have done a brilliant job so fr but theres a transfer window opening in January & we need at least 6 senior players so now is the time to stomp our feet & demand quality additions to our squad .

    Players like Kaka & players like Arjen Robben are the quality we need , it may be a season to sign those but there are players within the Premier League who will improve our squad options in January .

  19. of coures i agree hes should be next LFC CAPTAIN YNWA

  20. Glen Johnson is the best RB in England & when we get back in Europe he will be acknowledged as the best RB in Europe

    Seriously, you're having a laugh, right? In what insane universe is Johnson the best right back in England?! By saying that, you are basically arguing that he is the best right-sided defender in England, and that is simply not true by any stretch of the imagination. What has Johnson does to deserves such a lofty label? Give me specific examples of what exactly he has done for Liverpool and England that make him the best right back in England...

  21. I did an article about LFC's form without Gerrard a couple of years ago, and you're right, Liverpool do okay without him. 


    The club has played a few more games without him since but the overall result is still pretty much the same.

  22. You are asking on the wrong thread but I'll point you in the direction of his medal collection & his 190 + Premier league appearances and his 30 + England appearances ,   I'll consider any contradictions you might have beyond that ..... but only on the appropriate thread ... http://www.liverpool-kop.com/2011/10/glen-johnson-still-defensive-liability.html

  23. I see no reason why he , Downing & Adam shouldnt be considered if Gerrard or Carra are unavailable for selection , it would probably even raise his game to another level .

    Either one of them is a better option than a goalkeeper & especially a goalkeeper who embarrassed all us fans by publicly stating that he considered leaving us for Arsenal after only one season outside the top 4 !

    But as it stands he isnt the best option available to us .

  24. I don't know if it is just me.. But somehow I feel that most players struggle to perform when they come in, and when they leave (perm or temp), they seem to find their scoring boots again. I think it sends out a message, no?

  25. It's a bit silly if you ask me. So we have actually purchased a player who scares the opposition and plays at a level we drool over - now we have to be critical because we utilise his talents?

    If Barnes is saying take out gerrard and suarez and we don't have a top 4 team, then he is hardly inventing the wheel, if he is saying we should somehow try to utilise them a little less then it doesn't make sense.

    Suarez is a joy to watch and at Anfield on Saturday a different day would have produced a rout. That is the funny part of it all. Our bad performance was spurs and we'd have won Stoke, Manure and certainly norwich with a bit more luck. Then, just because a ball had fallen a different way, we'd all be talking about what a wonderful team we are.

    We need time to gel, gerrard needs to regain match fitness (anyone there on saturday would have seen he was way off) and our boys need to learnt to play with each other.

    The future is a lot brighter than it was.

  26. i think kenny or stevie need to have a word with suarez.his behavior on saturday was ridiculous and similar to how drogba behaved a few seasons ago.if he concentrated more on the game we'd see alot more from him.
    i would have preferred to have seen him partnered up front with bellamy on saturday and put kuyt outwide.

  27. What might that message be ?

    That our current fans are so horrible to play for that players of genuine talent couldnt give a shit about us & dont want to perform for us ?

    If so ?

    I cant argue with you .

  28. Yes I agree with Barnes the squad is not good enough.

    I've seen enough games this season to identify our problems already.

    1. We spent poorly in the transfer window. If Kenny wanted to bring in
    English players to get their numbers up we should have targeted English

    That would then allow us to bring in the best overseas attackers we
    could afford. I don't want to sound like I'm biased against guys like
    Carroll, but the technical ability of overseas players to unlock
    defenses, dribble with the ball and take on defenders is well
    documented.  Our transfer policy is arse end around, We're buying
    English attackers and South American defenders... that doesn't sound
    like a winning strategy to me.

    As such, there is now too much pressure on Suarez to score all our goals... This must change.

    2. We have several players unable to play at the required high temp for
    a full game and our second half performances this season have suffered.

    Take for example our game against Norwich. The first half we played
    great, created tons of chances and were genuinely unlucky not to have
    scored more. The second half was a different story. It was quite
    noticeable both Adam and Gerrard dropped off the tempo in midfield.
    With a lower intensity Norwich came back into the game. Their manager
    to his credit drew the same conclusion taking off a midfielder to add
    an extra forward and it payed dividends inside of four minutes with
    their equalizer.

    Henderson was desperately needed in midfield, (should have replaced Adam), instead it was Bellamy !! WTF ???

    We have brought KEY personnel into the team who are physiologically
    unable to play a full game at the required level for 90 minutes. Its
    not a question of fitness. Their bodies just cant do it.

    The problem in a nutshell,

    Carroll & Adam, unable to play a full game at EPL pace.

    Gerrard & Carragher, both slowing in their latter years.

    We can play great for half a game, but after that we struggle to maintain our tempo.

    As we tire, mistakes and defensive lapses creep in.

    And this problem runs right through the spine of our team, it needs to be addressed.

    I could go on... however this post is long enough.

    Kenny has some tough choices to make...

  29. True.  Is it me or was Maxi banging in consecutive hat tricks at the back end of last season?  Surely Maxi would give us the ability to finish at present if nothing else.  Kenny has dug a hole for himself.  If commoli had been left alone to do the job he was originally employed to do (sign players) we would have a wealth of young exciting players possibly in the mould of Bale and Lennon.  Commoli is a big fan of guile and flair.  This summer we missed out big time.

  30. yep, that's us in a nutshell.

  31. Barnes is right. We need "dependable" players in the right positions. The team has to have a pattern. Players that won't hit one game and miss another on a consistent basis. 

    Forget about the stats on goals and assists, we need players that put in quality performances. You can have a player that scores 20 goals a season, but if that player doesn't play good with the team in terms of link up play and team chemistry then it is the player that is relying on the rest of the team to get him those goals. So it falls on the midfield to get the job done, and that's what kind of player Carroll is. 

    With Suarez it is not a problem because he doesn't have to rely as much on his teammates but he still wants that help but it isnt coming as much, so that's why Carroll is really struggling. 

    Henderson is still developing, so he shouldn't be in the shoes of a more experienced player for the time being. 

    Downing is a winger, something we havn't had in a while, but to say he is good for Liverpool when there are better wingers out their in the world atm is underating LFC. We fans demand the best, and Downing definately needs to improve and show more danger to opponents.

     Adam for the price we got him for, it is a good deal, but is it safe to say he is a better player than Aquilani and Meireles combined? Aquilani and Meireles have that quality to make something happen, they have that in their tank and that's better than what Adam has to offer on his own. Also i would like to mention that  Aquilani IS a better player than Adam. 

    Enrique I have nothing bad to say about, it is apparent that he knows how to defend smartly and his ability is good enough. Also I think we should put in Coates with Agger or Skrytl. Its time to look for the future so why not take Carragher out of the team for a while. The only reason I think he is in the team now is because he is vocal and not because of his defending. He may know how to defend but if he cannot do it physically then its a problem LFC have to solve.

  32. My analysis of the liverpool players featured in the games this season thus far:

    Reina- Good shot stopper, unsure at corners and set pieces.
    Carragher- not as sharp as once was, has lost pace, needs to play a simple pass at times rather than wastefully lofting the ball to the opposition half.
    Skrtel- good going forward, weak defensive abilities, a liability at times.
    Kelly- good pace, strong, needs to stand off and avoid making lunges. 
    Agger- good passer of the ball, defensively weak.
    Johnson- Defensively not savy, worst of our defenders.
    Enrique- good going forward, defensively strong, needs to release the ball quicker from defence as he has sometimes got himself into a muddle.
    Henderson- mentally weak, backs off from challenges, anonymous in games needs to demand the ball more often.
    Gerrard- lacking the sharpness at the moment. 
    Adam- very good going forward, not a defensive midfielder in my view.  Play him in a more attacking role.
    Lucas- good energy, improved vastly from last season, wins tackles, good at short passes, however gives the ball away too often.
    Downing- loses the ball too often, not a goal scorer, crosses have been poor, right midfield his ideal position.
    Bellamy- no faults.
    Suarez- needs to keep it simple at times, many of his moves he fails to pull off, a simple pass would ensure play isn't slowed down and he can then get into goal scoring positions.  Shots to goal ratio needs to improve.
    Kuyt- good energy, industrious, poor ball control, loses the ball frequently, good football brain.  Kuyt on form throughout the season would get us into the top 3.
    Carroll- doesn't have the pace, not difficult to defend against as he gets into goal scoring positions too early (unable to time his runs at the moment), poor ball control, loses the ball frequently, tries to hard to score goals when he should be concentrating on improving other parts of his game, goals will follow. 

  33. What point are you trying to make ?

    That they are human beings & that like all human beings they have flaws in their make up ?

    You read like a self critical inverted self loathing masochist , not a LFC fan .

    All players at all clubs have strengths & weakness's & if you sit studying them looking for their weakness's you will find them so why dont you put your analytical criticizing skills to good use & start fault finding in our immediate opposition & our most likely rivals in the major competitions we hope to contest ?

    Name me any player from any club that isnt LFC & I will dissect him either fairly or unfairly & I will convince you he is such a bad player he isnt worth a professional contract .

    Equally name me any LFC  player & I will sit & talk about how good he is until day turns into night .

    Why ?

    Because I am a SUPPORTER & I chose to support the club & its efforts .

    If I were to sit & dwell on LFC player attributes that might not be up to my idiotic ideas of perfection I may as well be a Utd or Arsenal supporter .

  34. Maxi's form extended into pre-season, Dalglish should have played him more often in the first 6 games as he was in good form.  We all know if you're on form everything you touch mostly finds the back of the net! 
    Missed opportunity in my view, recent outings of Maxi prove he's gone off the boil.  Shame.

  35. this is an open forum which invites different views and opinions.  If you find it  increasingly difficult to accept opinions which you deem to be an 'attack' on the club or players then tough.  If you don't like reading such comments then you know what to do.

  36. Equally name me any LFC  player & I will sit & talk about how good he is until day turns into night .ok, let's hear you talk about how good Glen Johnson? 

  37. LoL @ Increasingly difficult !
    I have zero difficulty with anyone expressing an opinion let along increasing difficulty & to put it mildly I find your apparent inability to structure a sentence within a relevant context "increasingly" amusing .
    That aside , even if you weren’t delusional about my ability’s , are you saying that I shouldn’t reply to a comment made to me in reply to an initial comment made by me ?
    If that is the case , I find that attitude "increasingly" hypocritical & imposable to conduct any kind of conversation with .

  38. Think people on here are getting bored with your comments, they're long and dull.

    Some advice- don't take yourself too seriously and please calm down! 

  39. Like I already said in reply to your previous comment I find it impossible to converse with apparent hypocritical attitudes  but perhaps its a case of miscommunication on your behalf & we have got off on the wrong foot ?

    If so here is my reply in its entirety to any & all doubts you may have about our excellent fullback by the name of Mr. Glen Johnson .....


    I suggest you insert that simple two word answer after any & all ridiculous questions you may have ever heard about his undoubted talent & proven ability .

  40. Glen Johnson best right back in England because he's won an FA cup with Pompey, a premiership and league cup with Chelsea half a decade ago? In a Chelsea side where he was a passenger.  Mourinho used him sparingly, for the simple fact, he didn't rate him highly.

    You're not doing a good job here are you Brehon Law?

  41. We would be weakened of course, but not as much as some of our rivals

    Take Rooney away from Man Utd or Silva from City or Van Persie from Arsenal or Messi from Barca and they would all be weaker

    Bellamy could do a job up top if Suarez missed a few games

  42. Bellamy is the closest player we have to Forlan.  Why not play Bellamy aalongside Suarez?  It's obvious that Suarez likes to play alongside a mobile intelligent player who he can link up with (s apposed to a lamppost).  Also If Suarez starts doing that fake apologizing after he shoots instead of passes, Bellamy might have something to say......when I say he might have something to say...............

  43. Barnesy is right this time...for once.  I really feel that Pacheco was the perfect understudy for Suarez as he's tricky, clever and unpredictable. But as the old mantra goes 'Kenny knows best'.

  44. With analysis then we must be in the bottom 3 then?
    Johnson might not be the greatest defender but he his the best English right back going forward, assists and he knows where the goal is but then again he has only played once this season so how can you do analysis of him this season?
    Lucas has vastly improved this season he vastly improved last season and has carried on this season.

  45. Suarez kinda reminds me of Jason roberts in his first season in the prem with Wigan.  He absolutley battered teams with his running, pace and power but rarely finished.  Maybe Suarez needs to play behind a front two in a 4-3-1-2 formation in the future.  Our wide men are not wingers so why not go narrow through the middle?

    -----------Kelly coates agger enrique

    -------------gerrard lucas adam or downing


    ---------------Carroll  bellamy

  46. I'm doing "increasingly" grand thank you very much & once again thanks for yer amusing efforts .

  47. The most amusing comment of the year belongs to you Brehon Law!!

    For all those that missed it, here it is:

    Glen Johnson is the best RB in England & when we get back in Europe he will be acknowledged as the best RB in Europe.

  48. Jason Roberts = Suarez !!!???!!!???!!!???

    S'cuse me while I point & laff at you for a moment or two ...


    Oh dear God !!!

    Suarez rarely finishes ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! 

    He has either scored himself or set up a goal in 2 out of every 3 games he has played for us & on Saturday along he had 6 quality efforts on target !

    So once again , s'cuse me while I point & laff at you ....


  49. Chelsea wanted to buy Johnson back the same season we brought him.
    He also played over 60 times for Chelsea in his first couple of seasons not bad for 19/20 year old when he first joined Chelsea.

  50. Lets take a look a it then. 

    last season 13 games 4 goals and 5 league assists.

    This season 9 games 4 goals should have had at least 12 goals by now from a goals to chances ratio but.....rarely finishes. As Suarez has decided to play for SuarezFC this season No league assists in 9. 

  51. obviously Suarez is superior to Roberts I gave the reader credit that they'd already know this...to0 much credit it seems.   Their direct style and finishing ratio in the premiership does draw comparison.  Roberts battered Man utd when he was 27 or so but he battered them without scoring.  Suarez has a similar nack of playing well without finding the back of the net and as he seems to have given up on assisting I think its a fair comparison. I'll Live by the sword on this one......

  52. Johnson's 60-70 games for Chelsea in four seasons is not bad??? 

    Compare him to Ashley Cole in four seasons with Chelsea played over 160 games.

    Lets compare him to a young Smalling at Man Utd who in less than two seasons has already played over 40 times.

    I'll name you better right backs than Johnson.


  53.  LoL at the clumsy Smalling & the clueless Richards

  54. Johnson was 19 Ashley Cole 26 when he joined Chelsea!
    Smalling and Kelly are great defenders but only have a couple of assists between them in all their apperances and no goals and are really center halfs by trade.
    Micha Richards should be the best RB in England and should have took over from Gary Neville but has gone backwards since his first England cap in 06 but is now showing how good he his and staying fit.
    In that time Johnson has been Englands most consistent attacking English RB at Portsmouth and then Liverpool for some reason his defending last season at right back was poor but his movement forward was great and at left back his defending and attacking was good and that is why he his Englands RB.

  55. oh jj oh jj, when are you going to pay attention? I was expecting you to counter my comments with raising the age issue hence I used Smalling as an example, same age range as Johnson of 2005, you know??

    Can I ask you how many assists and goals Glen Johnson had last season.  Then I'd like to compare those stats with Richards, Kelly's and Smallings.  

    Please don't bail out on me.

  56. Smalling,Kelly and Richards only have 3 assists and 1 goal in the league last season.
    Johnson 2 goals 2 assists.
    Johnson 19 apperances 3 goals League 32 4 goals Total 03/04  season 
    Smalling and Kelly are center halfs, will they be playing RB at the age of 27 I don't think they will be, so name another TRUE English RB.

  57. You missed another young English RB Kyle Walker, who could be better then all these above.