'In Suarez you are looking at the best forward in the Premier League'
‘As far as strike force is concerned, you don’t look any further than Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in the English Premier League,’ former England and Liverpool great Robbie Fowler tells Manu Shankar.
Known as God by his fans, Fowler scored 183 goals for Liverpool. And despite all his accomplishments, he remains a humble man.
The 38-year-old Reds’ former No. 9, who was in New Delhi last week, shares his thoughts on Uruguayan striker Suarez’s goal-scoring ability, Steven Gerrard and England’s chances in the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
Liverpool’s success this season is largely due to the link-up between Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez. Do you agree?
Yes, definitely! What I like about both of them as players is Daniel came in last Christmas and he was excellent, and without Luis Suarez he scored large number of goals.
Suarez, too, has played on his own and is scoring goals. But credit to them. When they played as a partnership, they played well and it looks ominous for defenders.
Image: Robbie Fowler
Best strike force in EPL
Would you rank them as the best strike force in the EPL?
Of course! Well, in Suarez you are looking at the best forward in the Premier League at the moment, anyway.
Manchester United have Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck; Chelsea play with one upfront; Arsenal, too, play with one upfront. Tottenham, maybe, have started to play with two, but, as far as strike force is concerned, you don’t look any further than Suarez and Sturridge.
They do more than just score goals.
Image: Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge
Photographs: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Suarez has become a better player now
With the January window open, and with Suarez having the £70 million escape clause, do you think other teams will break the bank to get him?
Is there a buy-out clause? No, I don’t think so. Liverpool would have made sure of that. But in this modern day we have seen that if a player wants to leave the club, he leaves.
But credit to Suarez that he managed to put a bad time behind him and has become a better player now.
Image: Luis Suarez
Photographs: Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Cameron Brannagan one of the better academy players
In this day and age when teams are using the big purse, what are the chances of an academy-trained kid making it at the top level?
Well, that’s a good question! I think in this day and age, when teams are spending millions and millions on players, it’s vitally important that you bring through local lads too.
You need to look at Liverpool’s bench. We have players who have come up from the academies Cameron Brannagan is one of them and I must tell you there is lot of exceptional talent in the academy.
Within a next year or two you will see a lot of players coming up the ranks.
Image: Cameron Brannagan
Photographs: Chris BrunskillGetty Images
Gerrard is still good to play in any position
Recently, Brendon Rogers said Steven Gerrard would be transforming into a centre-back gradually. What’s your take on that, considering you have played a lot with him?
Gerrard is a versatile player, but he is getting old now. You are not as quick as you used to be, but with Steven he’s still good to play in any position.
I remember, when he first came in, he used to play as right-back, under Kenny (Dalglish). He was used as an attacking midfielder. Under Brendon, it seems, he has been playing more of sitting midfielder. But he still has a lot in his locker and still can play as centre-back.
Image: Steven Gerrard
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
England will struggle after the group stages at the World Cup
What are England’s chances in the World Cup?
Look, England could qualify from the group stage, where they face Costa Rica, Italy and Uruguay, but after that they will struggle.
There are stronger teams, such as Spain, who have been consistent for the past eight years.
Then you have Brazil, who did well in the Confederations Cup, and you can never write off Argentina.
Image: England team
Photographs: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images