The Case For Lucas

Liverpool have kept just two clean sheets in 19 matches, and yet recent rumours suggest that their best defensive midfielder may be heading out of the club in the near future.

Throughout the summer there were rumours that Lucas could be leaving Anfield, with Napoli, and a reunion with Rafa Benitez, looking to be the most likely destination. It seems that like me, Brendan Rodgers was not overly concerned with the loss of the Brazilian. He still had Steven Gerrard, Joe Allen, Jordan Henderson and Phillipe Coutinho, and had just invested in Emre Can, central midfield depth did not appear to be a problem.

However, with the start to the season that Liverpool have made, and the defensive frailties from last season still looking to be a major issue, perhaps Rodgers should rethink his decision to allow Lucas to move on.

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Busquets to Lahm, the Evolution Continues

Like a visiting goalkeeper at Anfield, shots were raining down on me from all sides. Apparently my analysis “lacked direction”, I did not see the impact Sergio Busquets had, and it was even questioned whether I had ever seen him play. I like to promote discussion with my articles, but it seems on this topic, I hit a nerve with a few people.

Within hours of writing my last article I was inundated with Tweets from avid Busquets supporters. Some of the responses proving to be very insightful and informative, with one commentator writing a particularly detailed and lengthy piece to show me the error of my ways.

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The Evolution of the Defensive Midfielder

In my last article I wrote about how Steven Gerrard’s new role may become more common in the coming seasons. It is my belief that Brendan Rodgers always intended to drop Gerrard back, and that this decision was accelerated when Lucas picked up an injury in January of this year.

Gerrard’s deeper role does not offer the same defensive cover as when Lucas plays there, but what it lacks in defence it makes up for in attack. Whilst Lucas’ defensive positioning and interceptions are a little better than Gerrard’s, Lucas’ attacking threat is far worse.

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Gerrard’s Deeper Role: A Glimpse of the Future at Anfield

On Saturday the 18th of January Liverpool drew 2-2 with Aston Villa. It was a day where Rodgers experimented with the role of Steven Gerrard, placing him deeper in the midfield to sit just in front of the defence. On Tuesday the 21st of January, The Independent reported that the “experiment did not work” and Rodgers had to bring on Lucas to rectify the situation.

At the time this seemed to be the correct option (arguably salvaging a point for Liverpool that game). Lucas is a natural holding midfielder, and perfectly comfortable providing protection to those behind him. However, that game Lucas sustained an injury, damaging the collateral ligament in his right knee and had to be replaced not long after coming on. This appeared to leave Liverpool with a problem in the defensive midfield position.

Continue reading “Gerrard’s Deeper Role: A Glimpse of the Future at Anfield”