4 Nov 2011

Is LUIS SUAREZ playing in the wrong position for Liverpool FC?

Okay, put your knives away and hear me out! Luis Suarez is a fantastic player but is it possible that the team could benefit more if he was played in a slightly different position?

Suarez has undoubtedly had a great impact on Liverpool since arriving, but as we've seen, he's quite wasteful in front of goal, and (arguably) doesn't score as often as he should.

We've often seen Suarez played upfront on his own but is this really his most effective position? We rarely saw similar players like Kenny Dalglish and Peter Beardsley toiling upfront alone; they usually played behind a prolific striker, which added a different dimension to the team.

Suarez has many of the same qualities as Beardsley and Dalglish: great skill; superb short-range passing; excellent positioning; ability to intelligently find space; capable of creating numerous chances etc.

In my view, I think the whole balance of the team could possibly change for the better if Suarez was played behind the striker, and had a license to roam around, create chances and generally cause havoc.

Dalglish and Beardsley scored lots of goals every season playing just off the striker, and I'm sure Suarez would too; he would also create goals for his team-mates, which could conceivably take the goal-scoring pressure off him a little.

I guess what I'm suggesting here is that £35m Andy Carroll should be Liverpool's 'main' striker, just as Ian Rush and John Aldridge were the main strikers in their respective teams.

This would mean that Suarez would need to be disciplined enough to allow Carroll to play ahead of him, but I think he's proved he can do that.

Take Carroll's goal against West Brom, for example: It was a classic Dalglish/Rush-style goal: Suarez picked it up on the right, played through a Dalglish-esque through-ball, and Carroll came up with Rush-like finish.

To be honest, I don't think that Andy Carroll is the most ideal strike partner for Suarez in that respect, but just imagine if we still had Fernando Torres, and we played Suarez behind him. If both players were on form, that would be the best striker partnership on the planet IMO, and much more effective than playing Suarez upfront by himself.

With Liverpool's current players, we could be looking at a team like this:

----------- Reina

Kelly ----- Agger --- Carra ---- Enrique

Gerrard ------- Lucas --- Adam --- Bellamy

---------------- Suarez

------------------- Carroll/Some other top-class striker


* Pressure taken off Suarez to score all the time.

* Share the goals around the team more.

* Make Liverpool not so reliant on one player for goals.

* Get the best out of Andy Carroll (or some other Striker)

* It worked for Dalglish and Rush; Beardsley and Aldridge; Toshack and Keegan; why not Suarez and Carroll?


I can't see any, but I'm sure people will be able to come up with some!

What do you think? Worth a shot?

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. That hypothetical lineup looks very interesting to me, and I also think trying Suarez out as link-man is worth a shot.

  2. Jamie, Luis Suarez is a prolific goalscorer and is not usually so wasteful, look at his record for Ajax and Uruguay. It's not just him missing chances its the whole team. sometimes when it starts happening it becomes infectious and everyone catches it. Hopefully come Swansea on Saturday everyone will remember how to hit the back of the net and it'll be a rout... I don't necessarily disagree with you about Suarez playing in the hole I think that could work well, but he's more than capable of playing up top.

  3. this would involve us having to sign a prolific striker but i can't see kenny going out and spending big on another forward,i reckon he'll stubbornly try and prove carroll is the main ma but i think if suarez had a player in the mould of torres ahead of him then it'd be worth playing him in a more withdrawn role.

  4. Must have skrtel rather than carragher

  5. Jaimie I agree 100% ... His dribbling, movement, positioning, ability to create space and draw defenders to him and also range of passing all indicate that he and LFC would benefit more if he played behind a striker who had equal movement coupled with clinical finishing. Suarez is doing great at present, but his movement means he is all over the pitch, sometimes very deep and also wide - IMO we would see so much more if he had the right type of striker to play with (a past example of Torres is perfect but I can see the movement of someone like Michael Owen also working) - it is obvious watching Suarez not just how quick he is on the pitch but he has a quick brain - his one touch passes are sublime so if a partner was on a similar wavelength IMO we would see a lot more goals.

    Before people take this as a criticism of Andy Carroll it is not - I do feel for him but IMO he is not the right partner to work with Suarez - their type of game just does not compliment each other due to his lack of movement - (I also think he slows our attacks down). Ask yourselves a question - how many times in past years can you recall Michael Owen or Fernando Torres being in a one on one situation with a Goalkeeper? We need that type of striker, able to time runs into pockets of space rather than a target man - which is undisputably Carrolls main strength.

  6. It'll be disastrous. The only person who can create any chances up front is Suarez. Without him doing that upfront, LFC will have less goal scoring opportunities. Anyway, I still feel he's an effective striker. So are Carroll and Bellamy.

  7. fucking bunch of mongs, draw a second striker and his whole role changes, the idea that because he is wastful moving him backwards so he has less chances and therefore less goals is risible, idiotic, foolhardy, dickheadashary.

  8. I like the idea Jamie but only with a quick striker with great technical ability. Personally if Torres was available for 20m in Jan, I would love us to snap him up. He is only crap at Chelsea because there are too many selfish pre-madonna queens out for themselves. With Torres and Suarez we would be truly awesome.

  9. Suarez himself has said he was selfish and Van Basten and Ajax taught him the importance of being a team player and to remain calm so playing him in the hole might just bring the calmness back in front of goal and make him even more effective for the team ,like at Ajax with Huntelaar and Forlan for his country where he was and his the second striker in those partnerships.
    Also Van Basten noted how Suarez was important factor in a lot of there goals when he was coach.
    I don't think it would change Suarez's natural game.

  10. Suarez - Gerrard - Downing/Bellamy
    ------ Carroll --------
    (I don't like 442 setup as it is too lax defensively imo)

    I'd like to see Suarez and Bellamy consistently working the channels and driving into the box at pace, with Carroll encouraged to get some more movement into his game but focus that movement within the width of the 6 yard box instead of him drifting all over the pitch as if he is some link up man.

    Seeing as Gerrard is out and we let Pacheco and Aquilani go, at present we don't have anybody ideally suited to operate in the playmaker/attacking midfielder role so playing a 4231 wouldn't be ideal, but Henderson could be effective in a deeper role making it a 433.

    End of the day, I still believe that Suarez is a top notch goal scorer and his goals per game ratio will increase significantly over the coming months. Whether he leads the line as Henry did or Rooney does, or comes in from a wider role (as I suggest) a la Messi/Ronaldo/Villa/Robben etc, I think the focus should remain on him scoring goals and running at defenders rather than him attempting to play passes through to another striker

  11. He is an exceptional at beating a man, and at creating his own shooting opportunities but not the best passer. Placing him in ‘the hole’ would restrict him to the centre of the pitch, where it would be easiest to pick him up and place more defensive players and distance between him and the goal.

    He is a goalscorer first and foremost rather than a playmaker, and as such I'd say that all focus should be on what he does best, rather than limiting his effectiveness in order to prioritise some of his more limited teammates

  12. The hypotheetical line up looks ok except for Lucas and Suarez could play as a back up to the main striker which at the moment would be Andy Caroll. We hope Caroll can live up to excpectation and Suarez would be doing his job well.

  13. Suarez is at his best when being played as a wide forward in a 4-3-3 system. That's where he has space to get easy passed to and where he has the time and space to help building attacks and can cut inside the box too, making defenders fearful of tackling him, because there is a huge risk of bringing him down ...

    The whole team plays a lot better when Suarez doesn't play as a centre forward, as we attack in numbers when he plays wide and by doing this we are forcing goals, like at the end of last season, Maxi for example.

    In contrary, if he plays up front on his own, we just try to get the ball to him and wait for him to do something special ....

    We need to revert back to the 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation of last season and we will play once again "pass and move" football. 

    We should try this lineup against Swansea;






    Subs: Doni/Kelly/Coates/Henderson/Downing/Maxi/Kuyt

    By playing this 4-2-3-1 formation, we have two holding midfielders, who will dominate and control the midfield and our full backs will be given the license to go forward at will, providing the width and doing the crossing for Carroll. Carroll instead could hold up play or drop deep to flick on the ball for either Suarez or Bellamy running onto. Adam will also be much more useful behind Carroll, because he doesn't have to defend so much, therefor not giving stupid freekicks away and getting carded and could play through passes for Andy, Suarez or Bellamy too. He also could have good shooting opportunities, because of Carroll's ability to lay it off .....

    The most important thing is, that we attack in numbers !!!!!!!! - That's the secret behind scoring a lot of goals ......  nothing more, nothing less !!!!!

    Keep the faith fellow Reds

  14.                     Reina

    kelly       agger       caragher      enrique

    maxi(or downing) gerrard adam downing(or maxi)


    Doesn`t it look more like a top 4 team now? No slow useless shitty players unable to keep track with the attacking philosophy that dalglish is trying to install in the team! Just a pure concentrated aggregate of players capable of either scoring or creating chances for others or doing both. Suarez playing behind bellamy who is more clinical in front imo will work wonders for us. Players like henderson, lucas, caroll, kuyt are too limited to influence a match. They make no difference whether they play or not..

    Maxi: can score goals (scored several hat tricks for us last season)can dribble, cross, can link well with suarez with one two passes etc

    bellamy: can link well with suarez also, and don`t forget he is an experience striker in the having played in not less than 8 different teams i think

    Suarez: as op said he is more suited to play behind a striker orchestrating all the attack from behind and bagging some goals also

    Gerrard: our captain is better than lucas in defending thats for sure and he can also unlike the latter sco goals and create chances forthers with his accurate passes and set pieces

    Adam: not good at defending but can find those killer passes, has good vision and broad range of passing like gerrard and is also good at set pieces

    downing: well he is the only true winger we have and his crossing are sometimes spot on.

    kuyt: he works hard and run more than others but this is only to compensate for his short comings in other parts of his game. Crosses poor, dribbling skills poor,accuracy in front poor, goals few...

    lucas: same thing can only try to tackle and win the ball back as he is very limited, can`t pass except short ones and backwards or sidewards at that, can`t score, low accuracy in front, can`t cross, can`t dribble etc

    caroll: still not up to it but is making progress these last matches

    henderson: in 2-3 more seasons maybe but not now

    as for the defence  the selection is a no brainer kelly is far better than johnson who is prone to making some costly mistakes...


  15. Jaimie I totally agree with you on this.

    Up until this season I only thought of him as a striker.
    However watching him this season, I'm amazed how easily he's become the linchpin in the Liverpool attack.

    His skill set is astonishing and allows him to seamlessly transition to almost any position in the final third of the pitch and take control.
    Most importantly, he doesn't seem to be burdened by the responsibility. He actually seems to enjoy the challenge.

    For me, the baton has been passed, Suarez is now the most important player we have.

    Up front seems an awful waste of his many other talents.

  16. Firstly & foremost this is not the 70's or the 80's , what worked then in those conditions will not work now in today’s conditions .

    Nobody played with one up front back then & the level of both athleticism & professionalism within the game have come on in leaps & bounds since the 90's .

    Rule changes have dictated formations , line ups , tactics & personnel .

    I dare say that is why you may never seen Beardsley , Keegan or  Dalglish playing as a lone striker .

    Secondly , playing Suarez off another striker would be impossible seeing as he already has a free role within the tactical team play .

    He tends to create a lot of his own goals & he couldn’t do that if he had two centre halfs policing his movements if he was playing as a lone striker .

    Granted when he plays with Kuyt as a partner he does tend to play on the last defenders shoulder more often & when he plays with Carroll he tends to move wide & drop a little deeper .

    I think its only a matter of time before we see the whole formation revolve around what will basically be a static , central , Andy Carroll .

    Apart from emergency measures when defenders may clear the pressure at the back & bypass the midfield to hit him long I expect to see most of our two touch attacking play  as being ...

    Carroll shows for the ball with his back to goal - Midfield plays it to his feet - he holds it up as players like Suarez , Downing , Henderson , Gerrard & Adam break forward into the space he has either created or manipulated a defender into vacating - He lays it off then attacks any available space either as the delivery(Final Ball) arrives or just after it arrives .

    That is the future of Andy Carrolls game , that is what we spent £35 millon on , its what he brings to the team & its worth more than his individual goals & he has already proven himself by the age of 21 to be a goal in 3 Premier League Striker in struggling teams & closer to a goal in 2 striker over his past 40 games .

    I think we are utilizing Suarez almost perfectly as we are & I cant see how curtailing his "Artistic License" is going to improve either us as a unit or his own personal return which both our results & his goals per game tally supports .

    I think the questions we have to ask ourselves now are ,

    Could we add genuine Quality like Lucas Podolski & Arjen Robben &  retain the use of Maxi & Kuyt or is it just time to replace Maxi & Kuyt ?

    Is Gary Cahill capable of starting regularly for us & if so is it time to replace either Skrtel or Agger ... or perhaps both ?

    What is Aurelio still doing at the club & who out there is capable of genuinely competing with & covering for Enrique at LB ?

    I think Suarez is above questioning at this moment in time .

  17. i totally agree with this one, however for him to play in this role we need a striker that can finish and operates in the 18 yard box, basically we need a young robbie fowler or ian rush. Carrol is more your target man and not the one touch finisher; not saying i dont think he will do a job but, surez needs some one who is running in front of him or to the side. surez and kuyt had a good understanding when they played together, but we need a ruthless finisher. If robbie folwer or rushy where in some of the positions that we have had this year, they would be banging the goals in.

  18. You paint a depressing style of play with regards to Carroll...
    If we play that style, we wont be getting the best out of Suarez.
    And the first time Barca come knocking on his door, he'll be gone.

    Firstly I don't think Carroll is good enough to play the style of football you describe.
    At the moment Suarez is blowing people away with his ability and looks capable of much more.
    Carroll is struggling and your vision of his role/ability in the team on current form is fantasy.

    Holding the ball up under duress of a CB, then timing a perfect pass into the path of an oncoming player, while again under duress of a defender...
    Yeah right !! Doesn't sound like the Andy Carroll I've been watching.

    To me its as easy as this, Kenny will eventually be forced to acknowledge the most influential figure within the squad, and build the team round their strengths.
    If Carroll continues to underwhelm don't for one minute think Kenny won't ship him out and reorganize the team around those who can dominate a game.

    The clock is ticking for Carroll... irrespective of his price tag.

  19.  If you think the style of play I have described is depressing then its obvious you have never seen our 87-91 side play .

    Beardsley & Aldridge then Rush played that role interchangeably as I have described which allows the midfield to break in numbers in behind them .

    If you dont rate Andy Carroll then thats your business but you cant question his performance against both Everton & West Brom when he played exactly the role I described .

    You read like you are judging Andy Carrolls value in comparison to some other player or perhaps some other team you prefer ?

    Dont forget how Kenny used Shearer with Mike Newell & then Chris Sutton at Blackburn & neither of those is as good a player as Carroll is , in my opinion .

  20. Dude, have you seen Barcelona play ???
    I'm told they're the benchmark, and we have modeled our academy on them...

    The game has moved on and tactics have evolved.
    The days of big immobile forwards are less common these days & slowly going out of style.

    The most dangerous types of players today are guys like Suarez, Aguero, Messi & Tevez.
    Totally different body shape and skillset to Carroll.
    They tend to be smaller, mobile & blessed with outrages skills.

    Carroll is still getting his chance though, but he better get a hurry up.
    Because if we fail to make the top four those whispers will become a roar.

  21. You left out Maxi , Owen ,Defoe , Kuyt & Bellamy out of your little fashionable group of lightweight munchkin hobbits that have twinkle toes .

    Torres , Bent , Berbatov , Chamack , Dzeko , Drogba , Anelka , Pavlyuchenko ,  Adebayor & Van Persie are all over 6 foot & all have scored considerably more than Aguero who has only just arrived & as of yet has done absolutely nothing  of note apart from play well against the cash strapped newly promoted Swansea .If Carroll scores a hat trick against Swansea will you then be waving yer panties at him too ?
    Tevez done nothing for West Ham until he realized he had to play well to get a move , he was kicked out of Utd & now even refuses refuses to warm up during games if not outright refuses to play as a substitute , if we are going to scrape the bottom of tha barrel for scumbags we may as well have El Hadji Diof back as well so that he can spit on fans while Tevez mocks them with his behavior .As for Messi ?Could he even find England on a Map ? I only ask coz I kno for sure he has never kicked a ball here let alone scored a single goal in the Premier League .Perhaps you haven’t noticed but we haven’t played in the Champions League for 2 seasons & Barcelona dont play in the Premier League & while I'm sure there are admirable features of their club that replicate our own I can assure you we innovate & we never imitate , that might not please a lotta fashion victims who would rather lose & stay outa Europe just so that can scapegoat a single player while pretending to support our club , But sure who cares what obnoxious know nothing mindless morons like them are making noise about eh ?

  22. In case you forgot, here's how you yourself described Carroll's role,

    ---'I think its only a matter of time before we see the whole formation
    revolve around what will basically be a static , central , Andy Carroll'---

    Could you point out in that fine list of your's, how may players fit that description... not many I'll bet, so what's your point ?

    Look I can see this is upsetting you, so this will be my final word on the subject.

    To argue Carroll will be a success because someone else played a similar roll 20 years ago in a different team is nonsense.
    Andy Carroll will be judged on Andy Carroll's performances and nothing else.

    Kenny will give him his chance, the rest is up to him...

  23. Kuyt?? isn't he 6ft??? ;-))

  24.  So is Suarez who is built like a Light Heavyweight boxer but still gets called small .

    I think it has more to do with their style of play than actual dimensions .

  25.  As long as you dont unleash yer mighty roar we will all be safe .

  26. Suarez is such a versatile player that he can play in any attacking line. Perhaps you are right, Jamie, that his position behind the main striker could give more options both to himself and to the striker (Carroll, Kuyt, Bellamy).
    However, if we look at how he is used in the Uruguay national team, he is always in front of the goal. He is mostly used as a second striker, paired with either Cavani or someone else, or as a loan striker, with Forlan playing in the hole and delivering all set-pieces.
    I wouldn't be mentioning his Uruguay experience if it wasn't very successful. Their pattern of game basically resembles Stoke, but with more technical skill. They almost don't waste time playing in the midfield, but instead play on quick counter attacks or through the wings. The ball is being hoofed by either goalkeeper, or FB or wingers far upfild, where Suarez is waiting to get it, of course being closely marked by one or two defenders. He then outplays the defenders and either attempts a shot on goal, or a pass to a second striker, midfileder or winger who by then have all arrived in front of the goal, or creates a set-peice situation... Throw-in, free-kick, corner, which then being played very efficiently, and produce most goals they score.
    He is also being very active in preventing counter attacks, he tackles defenders, midfileders, goes deep in the midfield if needed, even though they have very efficient defending wingers (Maxi and Alvaro Pereira, Martin Caceres, Diego Perez, etc.).
    This style of course only proves efficient with high precision of far crosses, which in our case has a lot of room for improvement, besides, we prefer a pass and move game. All I am saying is basically that he can be used in any attacking position. Either a loan striker, or second striker, or behind the striker, and he will prove to be efficient in any way, given his unique talent to read the game, creativity and trickiness. It is rather the opposition style we have to look at when deciding where and how to play Suarez, as there are clearly different oppositions and they have different strengths and weaknesses, and we should custom-tailor the formation and tactics under each particular game, rather than stick to one or two formations.

  27. The youth academy comes from Ajax where Johan Cruyff learnt his football from a young age, in 1979 he had the idea for Barcelona set up La Masia for their youth academy which started to have results in 1988.
    It is Ajax we have to thank for youth academy football.
    It was also after the 5-1 defeat to Ajax with Cruyff in the European Cup which made Shankly take the Dutch idea to football and the patient pass and move game.
    Funny enough where Suarez had his finishing school you could say from Van Basten.
    I find it a bit strange how LFC have never had a Dutch coach like Luis Van Gaal another Ajax and Barcelona coach which have suited the Liverpool way more then Houllier or Rafa. 

  28. This could work well if carroll didnt play like a lame 3 legged DONKEY LMFAO!!!!