The discussion on Lucas Leiva has never been positive. It seems that people wronly expected him to fill Xabi Alonso’s shoes when this kid was only Xabi’s and Mascherano’s replacement until last season. Judgments made in this perspective are totally unfair, and so is putting most of the blame of Liverpool poor form on a single player.
With today’s squad, all players being fit; the ideal line-up would be Reina, Johnson, Carra, Agger, Insua, Kuyt, Mascherano, Aquilani, Benayoun, Gerrard and Torres. We have also been linked with various top level experienced strikers to partner Torres or, replace him when he is unavailable. Both van Nistelroy and Heskey will not leave their Clubs to warm the bench at Anfield, so it could be that we might finally opt for a more offensive formation. This could see a different Liverpool from the waist up, with Mascherano as a holding midfielder and Aquilani as the playmaker, Gerrard out on the right, Benayoun on the left, and Torres and ‘whoever’ in attack, for a more traditional and perhaps productive 4-4-2 formation.
4-4-2 is not old-style like many seem to think. Man Utd have been winning consecutive titles with such a game plan, so why not us?
Going back to Lucas! The kid is barely 21 years old, and whatever he lacks in quality and maturity he tries to make up in commitment and passion. At least he is one of the few that has been really trying. He may not be top notch, he may not be a Fabregas if you like, but you only get a Fabregas every 1000 midfielders (meaning players that are a talent and a few notches above everyone else by the time they are 17 years old). Lucas is not the player to be shown the door, he will be needed in the future, but at present, the team certainly needs more quality in midfield, and Aquilani has that quality, a sample of which was on display against Wolves.