9 Feb 2016

Carra: 'Fantastic' £65m Liverpool hero is one of the world's 'greatest players'. Agree?

With 51 goals/assists already this season, Luis Suarez - a Liverpool hero to many Reds fans (but not to me, of course!) continues to go from strength to strength at Barcelona, and according to Anfield legend Jamie Carragher, the Uruguayan maestro is now one of the world's best players.

In an interview with Barca over the weekend, Carra raved:

"Suarez^ was always a fantastic player but with Barcelona...he's one of the greatest players in world football. You wonder how many goals he'll get by the end of the season. He should be looking at maybe 50 goals."

Suarez's creative return at Barcelona is simply stunning:

* Barca Total: 100 goals/assists in 77 games (one every 66 mins)

* This Season: 51 goals/assists in 34 games (One every 61 mins)

Suarez is also outperforming Ronaldi, Neymar, and Messi this season, all of whom are averaging a goal/assist every 65 minutes. There's one player Suarez can't outdo, though, and that's - surprisingly - Gareth Bale, whose creative output this season (goal/assist every 52 mins) is absolutely phenomenal.

For obvious reasons, I was very critical of Suarez during his time at Anfield. Indeed, I actively called for him to be sold, and I remain unrepentant about that. It's a matter of principle, and my view on the issue remains the same: ability should not be used as an excuse to justify, ignore, or condone negative behaviour that damages LFC's reputation and/or brings the club into disrepute.

That principle is not even Suarez-specific; it applies to any player, and I would've made exactly the same arguments if it was Gerrard, Henderson, or even my favourite ever player - John Barnes - engaging in biting, cheating, and hurling racial epithets.

One thing that people conveniently forget, though, is that during the Patrice Evra situation, I defended Suarez (on certain issues) in greater detail - than any other football writer on the planet, and I mean that literally. For example, I:

* Uncovered obvious bias on Suarez's 3-man FA disciplinary panel

* Revealed how the FA withheld vital Evra evidence from Liverpool.

* Explained in detail why Suarez should appeal the FA's decision.

* Outlined credible reasons why Suarez should've sued Alex Ferguson

I highlight this only to show that the common perception that I'm 'anti-Suarez' is just complete and utter BS. If that were actually true, I would've used the Evra situation to stick the knife into Suarez, but I defended him instead, for one simple reason: I'm only interested in the facts, and I passionately believe that *everyone* is innocent until proven guilty, and everyone deserves a fair trial.

Those principle underline everything I write on this site; I go where the facts take me, even if those facts conflict with my personal view of a player/manager (or indeed anyone).

This also explains why I'd have Suarez back at Liverpool tomorrow. I've never doubted his ability, and he's been punished for his past indiscretions, so in legal parlance, his 'convictions' are now 'spent'.

Just to clarify: Suarez got what he deserved with the Evra situation as he did - by his own admission - refer to Evra as 'Negro' on several occasions. The meaning of the word in South America is irrelevant; in Europe, that word - when used in a hostile context (or indeed any context) - has negative connotations.

I mainly defended Suarez against the FA's failure to ensure a fair hearing, and its damaging written report, which (amongst other things) repeatedly referred to him as a 'racist', despite the fact that this was categorically unproven (and expressly rejected in the FA's own report!)

^ Cost Barca £65m

Author: Jaimie K


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