Jonas Gutierrez knows his fellow South American Luis Suarez well and admits that the Liverpool striker is a really difficult player to keep quiet as his side prepare to just that in tomorrow's Premier League match at Anfield.
But Newcastle's Argentine midfielder is not referring to Suarez's reputation for diving. Gutierrez is not blind to the Uruguayan's flaws but insists concentrating on the other side of his game is at least as important.
"I know Suarez," said Gutierrez. "He's a really good player, a quick striker who always works really hard for the team. Yes, he upsets some people. He has done a few things players and other people don't like too much, but I want to speak about the type of player he is.
"He's a really difficult striker to handle. There are a few things that people speak about. They are not about football, but then the other day he scored two goals. He always works hard so when you have a player with his confidence and that type of player, it's difficult.
"When you see a referee make a decision he is always upset [but] he tries to enjoy himself. I think he does the right thing in taking that on the pitch. He scores a lot for the team and that is more important.
Referring to Liverpool's sticky start to the season, he said: "It's always difficult when you start with a new manager and new players. We brought in a lot of new players last year and they did really good, but that doesn't always happen. From the start, maybe Liverpool didn't have results they wanted but they have been coming back in the last few weeks. I don't care what they have done before because they have a lot of good players. When they are on a good day it will always be difficult."
Suarez has at least survived. Of former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish's big-money signings, only Suarez is making an impact. Andy Carroll has left, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson have struggled and Jose Enrique, who famously left Newcastle for "a top six side" has been no more than a bit-part player.
"I've been speaking to Jose," added his former Newcastle team-mate. "He doesn't know if he is going to play but he is beginning to find his form again. It was a bit harder for him at the start of the season, but he feels fit and comfortable.
"It think it [his leaving Newcastle] was about his contract. The club didn't want to let him go for free. It was a choice of a one-year contract or a four or five-year contract. You feel you never know what can happen in football so you have to think about the future, about your family so a four-year contract seemed better for him."
Newcastle's own season is slowly showing life, but they have not won at Anfield in 18 games or found the form of last season yet. "The second year is always harder than the first," Gutierrez said. "The opposition know about the new players."Reuse content