To think, Luis Suarez's career at Liverpool, for a moment, was at the feet of Andy Wilkinson. No, no, it wasn't the way you might think. It was a little more subtle than a two footed challenge from behind.
It was Wilkinson, a member of the Disturbed Donkey Football Club, also called Stoke City, who failed to clear Suarez's dramatic debut goal off the line. You shouldn't be surprised I guess, Wilkinson has spent his whole career one step behind the game. This time though, a studs up challenge to the ball wouldn't reduce it's will to go in.
Might this be destiny?
It sure seems that way. Let's consider the circumstances of his move. The transfer comes months after The Hand of God remix (feat. Double Fist Pump Celebration). Luis is also not the first highly rated Uruguayan striker to come to England. The one before Suarez, uh, didn't really pan out. And we all know the media is about as friendly as the sun is shining in England.
Add to that how Liverpool was in drop zone this year a stunning 9 (!) games into their campaign. That is not a typo. So yeah, Liverpool is capable of struggling as of late. It's not just Arsenal in the midst of an extremely weird EPL this season, wondering how they're so far up the table.
Oh, and I almost forgot, Luis is "replacing" Fernando Torres.
Did I leave anything out? Africa killer, Forlán's legacy, reactionary media, struggling team with a usually delusional fan-base, replacing El Niño... yeah I think that covers it. Out of those 6 potentially suffocating factors, 4 of them come into play if Wilkinson is a half-step faster.
My heart, of course, would love it if Suarez is hugely successful at Liverpool, but my head says it won't happen. The Luis I know would have to change a few things to be a star in England. For starters he would have to lose the knack he, and other Uruguayan players have for missing the easy goal. 81 goals in 110 appearances for Ajax is something special, considering that it could have been 162. His biggest strength is creating chances, or at least receiving the chances, damnt you know what I mean. I can look past "easy" misses; it's the opportunities to score that matter. Luis is great at that since he's basically an onside Pipo Inzaghi when it comes scoring opportunities. He just has a tendency to squander chances.
It's simple really, the EPL is much less understanding when it comes to misses. Luis will have to survive that, because it's going to happen. Consider it a TLOCA guarantee.
He'll also have to adapt to the England. That is to say, he'll have to grow stronger leg bones so that they don't get broken so easily, develop a dislike for the sun, shed the hatred from a largely xenophobic population, and brush off a media that killed princess Diana. You may have noticed, but these are all the things that Forlán didn't do. Diego, I must mention, also took 26 games to get his first goal for United, a statistic I still can't believe.
The good news, and never remind me that I wrote this, is that Andy Carroll is a good striking partner. He's physical, capable of finishing all of Luis' crosses, and likely to get into more trouble off the field. Andy also cost more too, so in theory he should get more flak if Liverpool burn out.
So my final answer is this - Suarez can be as successful as Andrei Arshavin, or as unsuccessful as Giovani Dos Santos. Let's hope it's the first guy.
Arsene Wenger cobbled together starting lineups with spit and duct tape and Denilson and somehow the team dragged its ass over the finish line in third or fourth.