Liverpool legend John Barnes has had quite the football career, from player to manager, and from coach to commentator. So it’s needless to say Barnes knows the perfect ingredients of a successful football team, and recently he has been quite outspoken about the partnership of Liverpool forwards Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
Making headlines after a successful season, the pair has scored 36 Premiere League goals between them, and after the recent win against local rivals Everton, this atypical forward pair is gaining some attention. Yet not everyone is as optimistic about the pair’s success. Barnes warns that while the pair is successful now, there may be some future frustrations on the horizon for the two players. A telling scene from the game against Everton caught the Uruguayan player reacting theatrically to “his team-mate’s moment of selfishness, thrashing his arms wildly and aiming a few choice words at his colleagues,” a moment Barnes believes underlined their individuality, according to a recent article on Goal.com. Is this something we can expect from either player in the future or was this just a fluke occurrence? Time will only tell.
Another article quotes Barnes as stating, “They are not going to be a classic partnership because they are very individual.” Barnes’ emphasis on the element of teamwork and warning against being too “individual” comes from his years of experience in the sport, and rightfully so. Independent LFC website and forum Kopworld recently conducted an interview with Barnes and when asked about the lessons learned at Liverpool, he responded with, “one of the lessons I learned at Liverpool was that the continuance and longevity of performances is what makes a successful player. The great individual moments are meaningless when you look at the bigger picture.”
While Barnes does believe in the importance of individualistic talent, he values much more the teamwork and collective moves of team members. Coming from a man with so much success in the sport, perhaps these are words of wisdom to be heeded by the striking pair before an unfortunate fall from grace, as so many players and pairs have endured with egos bigger than their actual talent on the team.