12 Dec 2013

Molby: Forget Fowler/Rush - Only one LFC legend can match Suarez 'magic'. Agree...?

After witnessing Luis Suarez's 4-goal demolition of Norwich City recently, Liverpool legend John Aldridge described the Uruguayan's performance as 'the best from a centre forward I’ve ever seen in my life'. High praise indeed, but given the (comparative) poor quality of the opposition, it's not really the most accurate statement. Norwich's lack of quality notwithstanding, not many players could produce four goals of such quality in one game, but according to Reds hero Jan Molby, one player from Liverpool's past could've matched Suarez's feat.

In his column for Eurosport this week, Molby claimed that 'unique' Suarez 'can do things that Kenny Dalglish couldn't', and when considering what other LFC players could produce such magic, he noted:

"The performance last night was right up there with the great Anfield performances. Rush, Aldridge and Fowler were great goalscorers, but Suarez had a magic night. It was the sort of performance that perhaps only John Barnes could have come up with"

I absolutely agree with Molby here. Aldo, Fowler and Rushie were prodigious goalscorers, and were more than capable of scoring 3, 4 or 5 goals in one game (Fowler hit five against Fulham in 1993; Rush scored four against Everton in 1982, for example), but Suarez's goals had an extra touch of magic skill, and as Molby suggests, the only LFC player of the past who could score similar goals is (arguably) John Barnes (with honourable mention to Peter Beardsley and Steve McManaman).

Barnesy is my favourite player of all time, and anyone who actually had the pleasure of watching him play would - I'm sure - concede that he is still ahead of Suarez when it comes to all round football genius. Barnes is a once in a lifetime genius of a player, and whilst Suarez is a superb footballer, he's not (IMO) on Barnes' level. For me, Barnes is superior in the following areas:

* Close control.
* Dribbling.
* First touch.
* Passing range.
* Chance creation.
* Crossing.
* Pace (1987-1991)
* Shooting accuracy.
* General team-play.
* On-field mentality.
* Ability to thrive under pressure.
* Playing the game with honour and fairness.

Suarez is on par when it comes to long/short range shooting, heading ability, and free-kicks, but overall, Barnes was/is the better player. Additionally, it should be remembered that in Barnes' day, defenders were much more extreme, and would endlessly hack/kick attacking players in every game.

Fitness etc may be improve in the modern game, but today's players have massive protection from referees, and far more space in which to play. Barnes was constantly fouled/hacked, but still managed to make it all look easy, and perform consistently with dignity and honour.

If Suarez was playing in Liverpool's team of 1987-1991, he probably would've played well, but he'd be targeted by defenders, and would possibly be injured a lot more than he is now. Conversely, if Barnes was around now, he'd undoubtedly be world player of the year (IMO). He'd have so much space in which to operate, and the results would probably be even more exciting.



  1. if we had John Barnes now we would win the league. But if Liverpool had Luis Suarez all through the 90s and early 200s then we would have won the league also.
    It's a shame we have had to wait 23+ years to win the league title.


  3. Let me ask you one great question then - Which Liverpool player won TWO European Footballer of the year - Were all Europe wrong twice ??

  4. Barnes was amazing and is a legend, Suarez is a genius too, aren't we lucky....... :-)

  5. Michael Owen won it in 2001, but that doesn't make him better than Maradona, Totti, Henry or Dalglish, none of whom won the Ballon D'or.

  6. It's useless to compare players from different times, as the football was/is being played differently ....

    I don't really get this anyway - who is the best player in the world?; who is the club's best ever player? It's not worthy at all, in my opinion!

    We should remeber the "teams" and talk about their achievements, that brought the supporters joy and trophies and not about single players ....

    It's the team that matters, nothing else.

  7. I don't know about being injured more. After the Mirallas hit I was shocked when actually Suarez got up...and then stunned that he kept playing. I can't imagine a worse hit to the back of the knee being administered to anyone. He must be made of titanium.

  8. Apart from your list what has Barnes got that Suarez hasn't?

  9. I have to go on the record and say Jaimie is 100% spot on here. Barnes is my favorite player of all time also. He was the reason I started supporting LFC. I'd never seen a player do things with a ball like he did before and his talent and skill was simply outrageous. Barnes doesn't get the credit in this country for his talent that he deserves and the likes of Gascoigne seems to get mentioned ahead of him at times, but for me Suarez is slightly behind him.

  10. u never like luis bob