We were very encouraged by Luis Enrique’s decision to start with Luis Suarez in El Clasico. It may have been a gamble due to the lack match fitness of the Uruguayan. But it demonstrated the willingness to be adventurous that all the top coaches have.
With Suarez in from the start Real Madrid took a step backwards and quickly conceded a goal. In the end they came through and some have suggested that this was down to a lack of communication between the Barcelona strikers. Marca has quoted some Uruguayan journalists who reviewed the game by saying that Suarez’s team mates didn’t look for him enough during the game.
Diego Pérez, from El País, noted that “Luis Suárez looked for Neymar and Messi more than they looked for him. The doubt remains over whether he’ll have to adapt to Barça’s game or vice versa. It’ll be a big job for Luis Enrique.
“Messi didn’t pass to Suárez once. His teammates didn’t help him. That isn’t the style of play that suits him best. Suárez provided an assist for Neymar for the goal and crossed the ball in when Messi could have scored the second, and that would have changed the whole contest”.
Let’s not forget that Uruguay is a small country (3m people) and Suarez is a demi-god at home. So there may be a little bias in these sentiments but there is an obvious need for the front three to gel more than they have so far. But the fact that Messi had to have pain killing injections before the game was as big an element of the final outcome.
But the great thing about Messi and Suarez is that they are wonderful providers as well as finishers. We have no doubt that, over time, these two in particular can form an amazing bond. They will love playing together and may even improve each other.
That said, there wasn’t a particularly good understanding between the front three on Saturday and this may have been a reason for the result. But we think that it will be different story when Real visit El Camp Nou in the spring.
Barcelona fans: did the Suarez gamble backfire?