Tottenham v Liverpool: Luis Suarez is like no other according to team-mate Glen Johnson

Suarez's determination to win at all costs singles him out from the rest says the England right-back

Liverpool defender Glen Johnson admits he has never encountered anyone in football with a will to win like Luis Suarez.

The Reds striker has scored 15 times this season in a series of stellar displays and leads Manchester City's Sergio Aguero by three in the race to be the Barclays Premier League's top scorer.

The Uruguay international's goals have come from just 10 appearances, after his 10-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic last season was carried over into the start of this campaign.

Suarez has never been too far from controversy throughout his career - Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers often refers to the 26-year-old playing "on the edge" - but Johnson believes that fighting spirit is what makes Suarez so effective.

"I've not known anyone like him in terms of living on the edge and wanting to win so badly," Johnson told Press Association Sport.

"There is a fine line and that is probably why some people get frustrated when things aren't going their way - sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes it's not such a good thing."

Suarez's controversial past makes him an easy target for opposition fans, but this season has seen the striker improve his focus and control his aggression - one booking in 11 appearances so far is testament to that.

He may never win over his harshest critics but some of the goals he has scored - including some supreme strikes in his four-goal haul against Norwich last week - can at least be appreciated by the wider public.

"Obviously he had a few little mistakes - outbursts - on the pitch but nine times out of 10 he is perfectly normal and that is what we are seeing now," added Johnson.

"Providing things don't stir up again you are seeing what we see every day now."

Johnson said Suarez's value to Liverpool could not be measured in purely financial terms and in that respect was echoing the sentiments of owner John Henry, who stressed in August there was no possible way he could countenance selling to one of the club's main rivals amid interest from Arsenal.

"Usually some owners will say that to push the price up but John Henry said that and stuck by his guns," said the England defender.

"I think that was great and if we want to get the club back to where it belongs we need all our best players.

"He is clearly a massive player for us and some of the goals he has scored have been laughable."

With Daniel Sturridge (nine league goals) and Steven Gerrard (three) both injured for the trip to Tottenham, Liverpool suddenly look over-reliant on the scoring threat of Suarez.

Their next highest scorer - discounting three own goals - has just one. Johnson is confident, however, that the rest of the squad can step up in the absence of Sturridge and Gerrard.

"We've not dropped outside the top four once and Luis didn't play for the first five weeks," he said.

"That is another sign that the squad is brilliant. We need Luis to play and continue this form but we have a good squad, it is not just all about Luis.

"Clearly we want to be getting goals from set-pieces, goals from midfielders, everyone chipping in, you can't just lean on one person."

The clash at White Hart Lane is billed as one between top-four rivals but not necessarily title contenders. However, Johnson believes the Reds, who began the weekend in second place, five points behind Arsenal, should have higher aspirations.

"Both clubs are fighting to be in the top four. It doesn't mean we are happy to stay fourth - top four is the minimum," he said.

"People are entitled to think what they like about what teams will do well but I've always been confident because we have some great players here and a good squad.

"Last season we were only a bit of luck away from doing what we are doing this season in terms of we absolutely battered teams and ended up drawing 0-0 too may times.

"At the moment the goals are going in so we are getting the points.

"I guess people are saying we're not title contenders because we haven't been that for the last couple of seasons.

"But we have a different team and squad and we are clearly fighting for the title.

"If that happens every week then we will be proving a lot of people wrong."

PA

News
peoplePerformer had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer
News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
people
Life and Style
Could you tell the difference between this and an organic alternative?
food + drink

Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
One Direction
music
Sport
Today's Liverpool Echo back page
football
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling will not be releasing a 'romance' novel anytime soon
books
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
Life and Style
tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
One of the 'princesses' in the video
videoYouTube reinstates sweary video after takedown for 'violating terms'
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?