Sometimes, I can be a bit over-critical of some of the Reds’ players, and even Rafa (who I am not a huge fan of). But if there is one player who has boggled my mind to why he is ever in the squad is Lucas Pezzini Leiva.
Liverpool has some serious issues right now in the squad. Much of it comes from Xabi’s departure, injuries, beach balls and some lackluster play throughout. But as Liverpool fans do whenever we hit a rough patch, a degree of panic sets in.
Fans can say whatever they want regarding how this team will get out of its’ rut and get back into the title race, but what I feel needs to be addressed is the midfield.
Everyone knows Gerrard, Mascherano, Benayoun and sometimes, even Kuyt in some form roam the midfield. I have no problems with any of these players, and they are all vital to our hopes, but whenever Lucas’ name is mentioned, I get a headache.
Lucas has made 12 appearances for the Reds so far this season, nine in the Premier League and three in the Champions League. He hasn’t scored, and according to ESPN Soccernet, he hasn’t had an assist. Now, one cannot base good play only on goal and assist production, but Lucas never has seemed to fit in this squad. He is not a good decision-maker, and frequently interrupts the flow of play.
Even in the loss to Lyon, Lucas was on the pitch according to the lineup, but where was he when we needed plays? Last season, it was scary to see him on the pitch, because his poor form would do nothing but hold this club back. He just doesn’t do enough to earn the time he sees. Liverpool has a very talented squad, even an elite squad. So why should we be wasting time on a player that is not a leader, playmaker, or lock-down midfielder?
Rafa still has good players to select while Gerrard is out, and even when he is healthy.
In a healthy squad, Lucas doesn’t fit. Even in a thin squad, he just cannot make enough of an impact. I really see no point in him being on the bench, let alone starting with the Liverbird on his chest.
Hopefully when Gerrard and Torres are both healthy, and Aquilani makes his debut, Rafa will be able to find places for Gerrard, Benayoun, Kuyt, Benayoun, and Aquilani to all be on the pitch at the same time. If this can happen, it will be very, very difficult to stop Liverpool. If not, we might be in for a long season.