After his run of 17 consecutive starts for Milan came to an end on Thursday night, Suso reacted in the best way possible against SPAL.
Although there is undoubtedly an overriding feeling of disappointment with our performance and the need for an individual piece of magic to secure all three points, Suso stepped up and delivered when we needed him to and for that he deserves credit.
Given his poor displays so far this season, the 25-year-old arguably deserved to be relegated to the bench in midweek, as he has consistently failed to deliver a decisive contribution with no goals and just one assist in the opening nine Serie A games of the season.
In turn, he rightly came under criticism and scrutiny and was even jeered by the San Siro faithful as he continued to frustrate and disappoint.
Given he has such an important role in the side, Suso simply can’t afford to be anonymous in games and ultimately while it was great to see him score against SPAL, and bag a match-winning goal at that, it’s not enough as he knows himself that he has to deliver more consistently and earn his place in the side.
WHAT A GOAL BY SUSO! pic.twitter.com/Rb8zjONeWB
— MilanGifs (@MilanGifs) October 31, 2019
With that in mind, it was also impressive to read his post on Instagram as seen below after the game as it showed maturity, awareness and acceptance of his shortcomings and the desire to be better both as an individual and collectively to provide us with performances and results we can get behind.
“A goal doesn’t change the story. It does not erase a negative moment. Nor the jeers, [which are] deserved. Nor the criticism, [which is] fair,” he wrote on Instagram.
“A goal makes us breathe, makes us understand that the path we’re on is the right one, but a long one. I play for Milan and I support Milan.
“It doesn’t matter plays or who scores. What matters is bouncing back and we’re trying.
“It’s up to us, all of us, to decide what our fate will be. There are two games before the international break and we believe.
“That’s because anything is still possible. Always, always, Forza Milan.”
Naturally, words will mean little if he doesn’t produce on the pitch week in and week out, and the same applies for the entire team as we must be better than Thursday night and we have to improve significantly if we’re to close the gap on the top four and finally secure a return to the Champions League.
Nonetheless, Suso has shown his class on and off the pitch this week and he should be commended for that just as he has been heavily criticised this season, but now comes the important part.
Consistency key for Suso
While there is still an air of predictability about what he does, coupled with his inaccurate deliveries and wayward efforts as well as his lack of tracking back, there are a string of criticisms that could be levelled at the Spaniard.
Of course it’s always welcome to see him produce a moment of pure quality to help us win games, but that isn’t going to be enough for Suso to entirely silence his critics and detractors as he must do more and improve in clear and obvious areas where he is falling short.
Milan need him to deliver consistently, to be more effective and influential in possession and to offer creativity and service for the likes of Krzysztof Piatek to flourish.
There is no agenda or personal preference when it comes to Suso. It is simply a case of players must show that they deserve their starting place and must play to the best of their ability.
Suso hasn’t done that so far this season, but it’s hoped that after a better week on and off the pitch, the decision to drop him could perhaps give his season a kick-start and allow him to be the influential figure we need him to be.