Football

Suarez swipe

Mourinho feels that Gerrard or City striker Dzeko deserved the Player of the Year award

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has questioned the crowning of Luis Suarez as English football's Player of the Year in his latest swipe at the Liverpool striker.

Mourinho has already labelled Suarez - the Professional Footballers' Association and Football Writers' Association player of the season - the king of penalties this season, described him as an "acrobatic swimming pool" diver, and prior to the trip to Anfield last month, suggested that the Uruguay forward goes in search of contact in the box.

Speaking before yesterday's last round of Premier League matches, the Blues boss stated that his Player of the Year would either be Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko or Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

Mourinho said: "Luis Suarez is a very good player. They're not voting for a player who has no quality.

"(But) the profile of player who wins the Player of the Year is not the profile of player who used to win in English football 10, eight, six years ago.

"He bit (Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic) not this season but the previous season. This is a different season. I'm not speaking about one mistake that a man can have. You don't have to be punished for the rest of your life if you make a mistake on the football pitch.

"(But) my Player of the Year would be always from 'the champions', in every condition. If the champions are Man City, I would say a Man City player and if I have to choose one, I would choose Dzeko."

Mourinho outlined his reasons in a veiled criticism of Suarez.

"The kind of player he is (Dzeko), he's not just a goalscorer," Mourinho stated.

"He assists, he plays, he behaves, he's fair, doesn't dive, doesn't try to put opponents in the stands with accumulation of cards.

"He was the third (choice) striker at the beginning of the season. When the team needed him in crucial moments of the season, I think he made the difference.

"In this moment I think he has 16 goals. Sixteen goals for the third striker is something spectacular."

If Liverpool had won the title, Gerrard would have been Mourinho's man of the year, even though his slip in the defeat by Chelsea proved costly.

In appraising Gerrard, there was also a cryptic mention of Suarez. Mourinho said: "Tremendous cold blood as a penalty taker. He had lots of them but with every penalty he was there for the team, too, and some of them were crucial." 
- PA Sport.