On the 5th June 2010, Mario Suarez Mata signed for Atlético Madrid from Mallorca.
The 23 year old had impressed whilst playing for Mallorca and was a important part of the side that finished fifth in the previous term. The cantera product was back after a succession of loan spells, eventually being sold.
Upon arrival he had to fight for the holding midfielder role with another Atleti player that fans either loved or hated; Paulo Assuncao.
Since then the madrileño has amassed 6 trophy winning medals, including a Europa League, Copa Del Rey and Super Cup – Mario started in all those finals.
He has also started the last 4 matches in both League and Champions League of which 12/12 points were gained. This is of course due to the injury of Tiago and out of touch Gabi but he has taken his chance for playing time with both hands.
To say the 27-year-old isn’t too popular with a section of colchoneros is an understatement.
His continued presence doesn’t bode well and some fans feel he should’ve left with Adrian in the summer. There is no doubt that Suarez could be criticized about his lack of consistency on the pitch and with his good current form there has been speculation as to when the bubble will burst.
Additionally, many claim he lacks a killer instinct especially when he finds himself in attacking positions, his miss against Rayo an example. Unlike Raul Garcia, Juanfran, Gabi, Tiago et al he is one of the players that seems to not have exceeded their maximum capabilities under Simeone. There is no doubt that he has improved but not quite in the way that many expected him to.
However, Suarez wouldn’t be a mainstay in this Atleti side if it wasn’t for a reason. Simeone demands 100% and then some. Mario Suarez’s effort can’t be faltered and if it’s good enough for the boss then who are we to criticize? combined with commitment Mario has an acute sense of positioning.
His football intelligence allows him to be in the right place at the time without running around like a headless chicken which can be misconstrued as laziness. His goal against Espanyol takes his tally to one but he is not in the squad for goals (that job is for our other Mario) and he has adjusted well to the reshuffle of the midfield where Koke is now the conductor.
With Atleti becoming more and more successful it is only natural for standards to raise and in turn anyone not playing at their peak will find themselves under the microscope very soon.
Is the criticism fair or is it justified? What is your opinion on our number 4?