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

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

H

ow magnanimous off him - to leave if he's asked to by the owners? What's the alternative, bunker down in his office claiming squatter's rights if FSG want rid?

feed the bear
Rodgers: I'll go if owners want

Footer 365

Sepp Blatter lies low in Zurich in wake of FIFA arrests

Sepp Blatter did not attend Thursday morning's FIFA medical conference in Zurich as pressure grows on him to stand down.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter 'has to go', says Greg Dyke

FA chairman Greg Dyke insists that "Sepp Blatter has to go" and has urged UEFA to try and force the FIFA president out.

Jack Warner has been arrested and bailed in Trinidad

Jack Warner has been arrested and will be released on bail in Trinidad and Tobago as part of the FIFA investigation.

Mail Box

Vidic Is Part Of United's 'Budget XI'

We have post-2000 budget XIs on behalf of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs. Plus gaelic football, FIFA, more awards and the majesty of Il Fenomeno...

Europa League: Hardly The AIA Cup

A Spurs fan definitely isn't bothered his side aren't in the Europa League final tonight. Also, a warning about Michael Laudrup, and how to build a team with less than £20m.

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