Somewhere in between Suarez being Suarez and Liverpool's pass and move game clicking as well as it has at any time in recent memory against Fulham, a couple of milestones slipped by under the radar. Which in a way seems appropriate, since they both involved Dirk Kuyt, who as we all know can score but is perhaps best known as the provider of a tireless work ethic without the particular need for recognition, an approach to the game befitting his fisherman roots that at one point left him questioning if it might be the sea and not the pitch that was his true calling in life.
He's also known as the guy who employs Jan-Jan the Hammer Man and at times displays a touch that could kindly be called questionable, but that's another story completely.
No, the milestones he reached against Fulham were that he became the first Liverpool player in the Premier League era to score in five league games in a row--a feat last managed by John Aldridge in the late 80s--and that he hit a new personal mark for most goals scored in a season for Liverpool, with 13 to go along with seven helpers.
Unfortunately his Liverpool record of goals in five consecutive matches wasn't a first in the Premier League era for all clubs and players, as just one day earlier on Sunday, May 8th, West Bromwich Albion's Peter Odemwingie also scored for a fifth game in a row, beating out Kuyt for the league-wide record by little more than 24 hours. Which almost seems a cruel twist of fate for Kuyt, but then again with the form he's been on of late it might be foolish to bet against him finding the back of the net again against Tottenham on Sunday
Meanwhile, Kuyt's goal against Fulham also moved him past his previous record return for Liverpool, the player having in the past registered a dozen goals in both Liverpool's high-flying 2008-09 season as well as in 2006-07, his first with the club. More impressive, though, is that ten of this season's 13 goals and five of his seven assists have come in only 16 league games under Kenny Dalglish. Whether that's down to the club's generally improved mood and increased attacking intent under Dalglish, or whether it's largely down to what has been a fantastic partnership with new arrival Luis Suarez, an entire season at his current pace would see him with a return in the mid-20s as he often managed in the Eredivisie, a fact that at times hung over him accusingly in his early days with Liverpool as he failed to ever quite match his productivity in the Dutch league.
Of course, since then he's moved largely to the right and raised his assist tally, helping out in aspects of Liverpool's game other than just in front of goal while still managing to chip in the odd important marker--including a couple against Everton most seasons. Since January, however, he's managed to put the Kuyt most Liverpool fans have learned to at least respect and appreciate back together with something at least very close to the Kuyt who showed up on Merseyside as a high-flying goal-scorer from Feyenoord. If he keeps it up, the man who never stops running--and who has never missed a penalty for Liverpool--might once again be awfully hard to dislodge from the top of the teamsheet when next season rolls around.
Before we start to worry too much about next year, though, have a bit of Kuyt from those good old scoring days that will be new to many: