Anfield

Next Game

Liverpool v West Ham

Saturday, 31 January 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Stamford Bridge

Last Game

Chelsea 1 - 0 Liverpool

Tuesday, 27 January 2015, 19:45

Capital One Cup Semi-Final

Downing supports Suarez's case

Liverpool winger Stewart Downing believes Luis Suarez's reputation should not count against him when deciding on the Player of the Year awards.

Last Updated: 04/03/13 at 08:54 Post Comment

Luis Suarez: Premier League top scorer

Luis Suarez: Premier League top scorer

Suarez is among the leading pack alongside Gareth Bale and Robin van Persie to win the Professional Football Association's Player of the Year prize after an impressive campaign for Liverpool.

The Uruguayan is the Premier League's top scorer with 21 goals and he enhanced his chances of winning this year's individual prizes with a hat-trick in the 4-0 win over Wigan at the weekend.

However, it has been claimed the controversies Suarez has found himself caught up in the past could cost him getting the vote from his fellow professionals.

Downing, who scored the opening goal against Wigan, believes Suarez should only be judged by his performances and that he is in with a great chance of being named player of the year.

"I wouldn't like to say who will get it [the award]," said Downing. "They're all great players, they've all had great seasons. Bale is Tottenham's main man, Luis is ours with his goals and Van Persie is great. They're all top players and it's a hard choice.

"It could go any way, that's how close it will be. It may end up with whoever gets the most goals this season, so Luis is in with a hell of a chance.

"It should only be judged on his performance on the field - and you can't fault him for that. Obviously he's had things which have happened in the past but he's got on with his football and does his job at the end of the day.

"It should be judged on how he plays and, for me, that's all it boils down to. Nothing else should matter - I think he's got a hell of a chance."

Meanwhile, Downing believes goalkeeper Jose Reina is returning to top form again after the Spain international played a crucial role in the 4-0 win at Wigan.

"It's hard for keepers. As players, we make many mistakes in games, but they get overshadowed by other things," he said.

"A keeper makes a mistake and it's in the back of the net. It is a tough position to play. But you see his save at 2-0 and if we had gone in 2-1 at half-time that would have made it more difficult.

"People don't tend to see that, but we as players could see it was an important save. It gave us the platform to go on and get the third goal and it was easy from then on.

"He's a top-class goalkeeper. Everyone has dips in form and things like that. It's about the way you bounce back and he certainly has."

Downing was also impressed with the contribution of Philippe Coutinho, the £8.5million January signing from Inter Milan making only his third appearance for the club.

The 20-year-old provided assists for the first two goals, crossing for Downing and then sliding the pass through for the first of Luis Suarez's hat-trick in an encouraging 70-minute display.

"He's had two good games (his other match was a 12-minute debut as a substitute)," added Downing.

"He will find it hard physically because this is different from the two leagues he's played in.

"I think he's settled in well and he's had two really good performances. If he can keep playing like that - and with Luis banging in the goals - then we've got a really good chance."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

he uber commercialisation of the 90s has led to the point where this overly familar, try hard, jolly hockey sticks type fronts up a major football match on a weekly basis. Unlike the great presenters of yesteryear, I doubt he would even recognise the scent of Brut.

mufc phil
Football On TV: Jake Humphrey

H

opefully Jose turns up to the game wearing a T-Shirt with Costa's face on, that's the classy thing to do in these situations right?

Petulant_Radish
Costa loses appeal against ban

C

onfirmed. Nick Miller is a douche bag. Lazy, incoherent rant is what this article should be titled. And for the editor to have the temerity to pass this as acceptable writing is shocking. Ah well, anything for clicks right? You got mine. Well done. Your mother must be proud.

poolshortsdown
Gerrard Constantly Searching For That Final Hurrah

Footer 365

David de Gea future key to Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has reiterated his desire to keep David de Gea at Old Trafford.

Juan Cuadrado backed to shine in Premier League by Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says Chelsea-bound Juan Cuadrado has all the attributes to succeed in the Premier League.

Les Hutchison's takeover of Motherwell has been ratified

Lanarkshire businessman Les Hutchison has completed his takeover of Scottish Premiership club Motherwell.

Mail Box

'Costa Is A Bad Man. Suarez Is Not'

That's quite some claim. And yes, unfortunately we are still talking about this. We also have mails on Ronaldinho, possible replacements for Yaya Toure and more...

Red Mist Better Than Calculated Costa?

Hmmm. We're not sure about this argument - one Mailbox says Luis Suarez is easier to forgive because he is a little loco. We also have mails on Studge and more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company