Jan Vertonghen’s Wrong On Tottenham, Liverpool and Luis Suarez


Jan Vertonghen expressed the opinion that Luis Suarez is the difference between Tottenham and Liverpool this season. I believe that the Belgian international is wrong.

With Tottenham’s match against Liverpool at Anfield looming at the weekend, Jan Vertonghen expressed the view that Luis Suarez is the only difference between the two clubs this season. The Tottenham central defender, speaking about Suarez, was reported in the Daily Express, saying,

"At the moment he is one of the best strikers in the world and I think he is the only difference between the teams."

Jan Vertonghen [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]Suarez has made a major contribution to Liverpool’s outstanding season which has them challenging for the title. He has scored 28 goals Premier League goals and has 11 assists to his name. His goalscoring record is phenomenal and the added contribution of assists has made him a real handful throughout the season. Considering Suarez wasn’t available for the opening matches of the season due to the suspension carried over from last year, he quickly got into his stride and was among the goals, scoring twice against Sunderland in his first Premier League of the season at the end of September.

In a very simplistic comparison of Spurs and Liverpool, Vertonghen’s view would be true. The goals and inspiration from Suarez have been a major factor in Liverpool’s season but not the only one which has enabled the Merseyside club to outshine Tottenham through this season.

Other major contributory factors include:

  • The inspiration and leadership provided by Steven Gerrard who has led the Liverpool team by example, driving them on to even greater effort. With all his years of loyalty to Liverpool and his experience engrained in the traditions of the Anfield club he has found a new lease of life and is determined to make the most of it.

Who at Tottenham has shown such leadership qualities?

  • During the early season absence of Suarez and when he had a recent spell when not scoring, Daniel Sturridge has stepped up to the mark, scoring 20 goals  in 23 league games this season. Suarez and Sturridge together have scored 48 Premier League goals, Tottenham have only managed 40 as a team. When Suarez returned to the team, Liverpool were 5th, two points off the top of the table and the goals of Suarez gave them the impetus to push on. At that point Spurs were 2nd on goal difference but have been unable to build on that positive start.

Vertonghen did acknowledge the contribution of Sturridge, saying,

"Daniel Sturridge is obviously doing very well but those two are very hard to stop."

Who at Tottenham has provided the goals needed for a top-4 finish?

  • Liverpool have scored 84 goals in 31 league games with players like Raheem Sterling, Joe Allen, Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho able to provide the creativity necessary to open up defences and present the goalscoring opportunities for their in-form strikers.

Who at Tottenham has shown that degree of creativity this season?

  • Liverpool have had a very balanced team this year and a manager who has set the standards and has high expectations of his team.

With a change of manager during the season, neither AVB or Tim Sherwood have achieved that with Spurs this season.

  • The weakest part of the Liverpool team could be said to be their defence. They have, however, only conceded 38 goals. The most goals they have conceded in a game is 3 but on all but one occasion they have won those games by outscoring the opposition, including last weekend’s 6 – 3 win at Cardiff. The exception was the 3 – 3 draw with Everton.

Tottenham have conceded 40 goals and suffered a number of heavy defeats including the 5 – 0 loss to Liverpool at White Hart Lane which brought Andre Villas-Boas’ time at Tottenham to an undignified end.

Tottenham started the season by grinding out results, their style of play was too predictable and when they have come under pressure they have capitulated. Liverpool have been very consistent this season, playing with the style and attacking flair to score goals which would be very acceptable at White Hart Lane.

Luis Suarez has been a big influence on the Liverpool team this season but there is a great deal more to Liverpool than just Suarez. He is the icing on the cake after all the hard work and creativity of those around him.