Well, Lucas is out and it happens to be at a crucial time when we are just getting into our stride. Just our luck. With the likes of Jamie Carragher stating Lucas is our best player it just shows you the importance of the once much maligned Brazilian midfielder.
Protected vigorously by Rafa Benitez in his early years at Anfield, he is Dalglish´s first name on the team sheet and has now become an integral part of the Liverpool set up. Offered a new contract by Commoli at the start of the season he has never been out of the team this season.
His controlled aggression, great positional sense and tireless work rate has made the former Brazilian under 21 captain make us forget that Gerrard has not been in the team. But it is our time to miss him but I hope not too much
Now is the time for his replacement to step in. Jonjo Shelvey is called back but I expect him to be only cover for the players that will be put in to substitute Lucas before Christmas. If they work out then Dalglish might not need to dip into the transfer market for a straight replacement when the transfer window opens either. So who could do the job for us this season? Here are some suggestions:
Spearo had some excellent games alongside Lucas at the end of last season.He was nothing but fantastic. Also his recent demonstration to Dalglish as to his worth in a reserve game would mean he could get the call. Liverpool born and bred there is no way this little guy will tire and, in the role of great little players like Sammy Lee, he won´t let us or himself down. I think no one was happier that Spearo when Dalglish took over and he was told his chance would come. This could be it and I´m sure would die for the cause. With Lucas not there he would be the main stopper.
I have been quietly impressed with Hendo, game after game has gone by and he looks a great investment. He doesn´t look weak at all. He seems to have taken orders well and in recent games contributed at important times to the teams winning performance. Obedient and disciplined he could move into the middle and do the job adequately. However, as we have not seen him in the position yet there is still some doubts by some supporters. Obviously Dalglish knows what Hendo is capable and we´ll see if he puts him in front of Agger and Skertel.
Still coming back from injury, I have never enjoyed Stevie in the position although in his biography he states he always enjoyed getting stuck in in the middle of the park. Stamina is needed here and if he is fit he could do Lucas´s work but may tire initially. We know what Gerrard can do and we know he would not let us down wherever he was put. He may not start next week but be back to make an important contribution later in the season.
What a guy to warm the bench. Mr Liverpool will play anywhere. A natural stopper and tackler, there is no reason why Dalglish doesn´t call in Jamie to fill Lucas´s shoes. He is the mentor of those around and behind him and their complete faith in his play would see a more solid defense. Jamie won´t need to hoof the ball up field in this central position and passing need precision. I leave it up to you (reader) if you feel he can overcome this area of his play that may still draw questions on his ability.
If I could have my wish as to the guy I´d love to see given his head, it would be Kelly. For me he has been so in form recently, he shows signs of playing like Gerrard at his best. Marauding forward with strength and conviction this ´defender´ , although seen as young, would give as much aggression and passion as the Carragher. I don´t think Kenny would risk him but it would be joy to see another local player who is showing his worth, fill this position.
Looking at the players above, it show how important a local player is in this position. Lucas is the only foreign player among them. Henderson may not have come through the Liverpool ranks as the others have but it shows how local understanding of the game is so important in this position, especially if you are a Liverpool supporter. We like our own, and we like to see them do well. Whoever fills Lucas´s position they will be given the 100% backing of the fans as we know when they feel we are behind them, they can raise their game to the winning level we expect.
“Melhores Lucas e quero que você volte rapido. Liverpool e Brasil esta precisando sua garra. Portuguese for ´Get better soon Lucas, Liverpool and Brazil need your deterimination’
So who do you feel should Kenny pick? Looking forward to your views