What They Said: Rodgers hails Suarez’ influence, Wenger on season-defining March
For major part of the season, preventing Luis Suarez from scoring became a nightmare experience for the opposition defenders. Despite missing handful of league games in the beginning, the Uruguayan has netted 23 goals in 17 appearances. Simply stunning.
However, in the last five games, Suarez has failed to find the net, raising questions whether the defenders and opposition manager has finally found a way to stop him or is it just a slight dip in form.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers feels it is neither of the two. In his new system, Sturridge has emerged as the central focal point of attack. The 26-year-old is sacrificing himself for the betterment of the team while the attacking burden is now shared by a collective team effort.
“There was a spotlight on him this year and last year and that was because of his goals, but I think it shows we are about the collective,” Rodgers said as quoted in The Times.
“Out of the last 33 goals we have scored, he has got four. That really shows we are a team, but that doesn’t diminish his influence on our team.
“Nearly 50 per cent of the goals we score either come from him or are assisted by him. It shows you the influence he has. It is also a great pointer to what he is. People maybe looked at him and thought that he plays for himself, but he has been a remarkable team player for us. His influence has not diminished.”
Suarez will play his 100th Premier League game when Liverpool take on Southampton today and Rodgers expects the Uruguayan to lead by examples.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes that the month of March is crucial and could define the fate of their season.
Wenger previously insisted that February would be vital for their trophy hopes, now says that March will determine their fate, as they aim to end their nine-year-wait for silverware.
“I was wrong about the month. March is the month,” Wenger said. “We play Spurs, City, Chelsea, Bayern, Everton in the Cup. We have a great opportunity to show that we are strong, which is what I think.”
Arsenal will start the month with a daunting away trip to Stoke City today. This is followed by a crunch set of fixtures where Wenger’s side will face derby rivals Spurs, title contenders Manchester City and Chelsea.
Further, the Gunners play host to Everton in the FA Cup quarterfinals and have a crucial away trip to Bayern Munich as well in the Champions League.