Why Luis Suarez deserved the PFA player of the year instead of Yaya Toure
An analysis on why Liverpool's Luis Suarez fully deserved the PFA player of the year award ahead of Yaya Toure of Manchester City.
When Luis Suarez’s name was called as one of the nominees in last year’s PFA player of the year there were a considerable number of ‘boos’ and jibes. This was understandable as the awards were happening in the aftermath of the infamous bite incident with Branislov Ivanoivc.
How a season and a change in attitude has completely turned around his fortunes! He was one of the strongest contenders last season and he probably lost it due all the non-football issues he created on the field. Now, exactly a year later he has landed the prize that he would have longed for. A warm round of applause and a friendly atmosphere was the icing on the cake for the Uruguayan striker.
He has scored a record number of 30 goals this season (highest for a Liverpool player in the Premier League era) and his phenomenal all round game has helped Liverpool challenge for the title. However, questions still persist whether he really deserved the award above Yaya Toure.
The Ivory Coast and Manchester City midfielder has had a magnificent year himself where he has excelled in all departments. He has been pivotal in ensuring that City’s title pursuit will go till the final day of the season.
So, is the PFA player of the year for Luis Suarez justified?
Stats for Luis Suarez and Yaya Toure for 2013-2014:
Both Suarez and Toure have had a phenomenal season in terms of total goals scored as they have scored 30 and 19 respectively. This season Suarez has increased his goal tally by 7 goals as compared to last season and Toure has increased his tally by an impressive 12 goals. This statistic would have been incomparable if Suarez had not missed the initial few games due to his ban.
However, it needs to be noted that Toure takes penalties for Manchester City and this season he has scored a total of 6 from the spot. So, to make this statistic more comparable lets discard the penalties scored by Toure as Suarez doesn’t take penalties. Suarez has scored more than double the goals as compared to Toure.
Critics would argue with the statistic of goals scored as both play in different positions for their respective teams. Let’s compare them on aspects which could draw parallels on how they affect a game.
In terms of chances created and assists for the team, Luis Suarez surprisingly comes up trumps in this department also. That he has managed to create more apart from scoring goals speaks volumes of his all round game. He has double the assists as compared to Toure which is significant as Toure traditionally plays in a position meant to affect games.
In terms of average duels won, both are more or less comparable as Luis Suarez has 42% to Toure’s 44%. A closer look to the breakdown shows that Suarez is better than Toure in completing a successful tackle with the percentage being 44% to 33% in favour of Suarez. Also, with the mobility, positional changes and game intelligence of Suarez he is bound to be closely marked by opponents hence, he will always draw more fouls than most of the players in the league.
The 2 main aspects of the game where Toure outshines Suarez are in terms of shot accuracy and successful completion of passes. Toure boasts of a 90% average pass accuracy and a 57% shot accuracy which is higher than Suarez’s tally of 75% pass accuracy and 53% shot accuracy.