Jan Molby

Luis Suarez is always the story, for better or worse

Jan Molby

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Sunday's Merseyside derby demonstrated once again there are two sides to Luis Suarez but the positives easily overshadow the negatives for Liverpool. His performance was the highlight of the match and once again we are all talking about him. Suarez, as always, is the story.

We know that he will attract critics as often as he attracts admirers, and his behaviour will inspire as many headlines as his goalscoring. But that is what you get with Suarez: he comes as a package. It is a result of his fiercely competitive nature.

Having said that, I do think there are some elements that could be removed from his game. Mimicking a dive in front of David Moyes wasn't a clever move and if he is told to cut out those kind of excesses it will not impact on the kind of player he is. But in terms of being combative with or without the ball, that is just in his make-up. When he gets something wrong you just have to trust the referee to deal with it.

Suarez made headlines for that celebration and I think it was one of those moments where if he had the chance to relive, he wouldn't do it again. Moyes inflamed the situation with his comments about diving before the game but two wrongs don't make a right.

I know Brendan Rodgers came out and said it was "Scouse wit", and it probably is. You might see that on a Sunday morning in Liverpool when three men and a dog are watching the game. However, you shouldn't see it in a highly-charged environment like the derby. Not only has he celebrated in such a way, but he has just scored so Evertonians couldn't possibly be any more upset at that point.

Again it draws attention to him. While the referee can't do anything about the celebration, it lodges itself in the back of his mind. He will be thinking, 'I am in charge of this pressurised game and you are not helping me - you are making it twice as hard as it needs to be.'

Moyes accepted Suarez's celebration quite gracefully but I think he is an intelligent man. He might have looked at his comments regarding diving in the week and thought he perhaps shouldn't have said those things. Before and after games we are always talking about these sorts of incidents and they are always going to make a headline. Strangely enough, though, the worst dive we saw all day was from Phil Neville.

The second big talking point was the tackle on Sylvain Distin. I know Evertonians were calling for a red card and said he was lucky to stay on the pitch, but I think it is very difficult to ascertain whether it was deliberate. Suarez is always trying to nick balls away from people and hassle them and every so often he will catch an opponent's leg. That is just the way he plays.

He is such a busy player and so enthusiastic about getting the ball that contact will occur. With other players it might obviously be a deliberate action but with Suarez I am not so sure. There are a lot of people on Suarez's back at the moment but sometimes you have to be sensible and give him the benefit of the doubt.

Clearly he divides opinion, but whomever you support you cannot help but be impressed by his ability.

Suarez contributed to two goals and should have won the game at the end. It was a fantastic performance and there is no end to his talent - he is always full of energy and he has so much ability. I think he is unique in the Premier League as there just simply isn't another player who puts question marks inside the defenders' minds every time he gets the ball, because of the way he twists and turns. He must be an absolute nightmare to play against.

He has such a feel for the game. When Steven Gerrard put that free-kick into the box Suarez just had an instinct for where it was heading and what connection he needed to make with his head. He knew ahead of everyone else what was going to develop and got there half a yard in front of them.

He was desperately unlucky not to get the winning goal as well. He was never offside and that would have made it an even more incredible game and an even better performance. It was a glaring error from the linesman and while when you are no longer in the game you have more understanding for referees, there are some decisions you just cannot excuse and that was one of them.

If you can't get those right then the game has a problem and big games like the Merseyside derby deserve officials who get those decisions right. It is all very well to talk about the brilliant contest we saw in the first half, but that can't override the controversy of the decision. The officials got it wrong.

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