How the Return of Lucas will Benefit us

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By Matt Davies

The absence of Lucas Leiva has affected Liverpool’s last year greatly, in the 2010-11 season he was voted as our player of the year, and rightly so. His main asset is his ability to anchor the midfield and break up the play, whilst he was fit last season he made more tackles than any other player in the league and he had very high passing accuracy too.

This season we have had central midfield options of Joe Allen, Steven Gerrard, Nuri Sahin, Jonjo Shelvey and Jordan Henderson. Whilst all of these players can play defensively, none of them would consider themselves ‘defensive’, even Rodgers said that Allen has more to offer when he has the chance to move forwards.

Nearly every game of the season Allen has played at the back of the midfield where the main job is to tackle and receive the ball and then release it safely, forwards if possible. Allen is very good at passing the ball to teammates and normally has pass accuracy of over 90%, whilst this is a very good achievement, he doesn’t attempt many tricky passes compared to a player like Gerrard whose accuracy will be lower but he plays more difficult balls. Lucas is more in the middle of the two, he will give the ball away slightly more but he also plays more cutting passes through the middle. Because of this we should be better at creating chances and more likely to get behind the oppositions defence. Lucas has the ability to win the ball and start our attack, something which we have been missing.

Allen also tackles quite well, especially for someone who is 5 ft 6 and not the strongest of specimen, Lucas tackles more than any other player in the league and he tackles strongly and wins nearly all of his duels. This means that although his pass completion probably won’t be as high as Allen’s, he would probably complete more because he has more chances.

Steven Gerrard is a player who has seemed to under-perform this season, obviously with some exceptions. Even though he has not been at his best, he is still a player that you would want in your team because he makes passes that no one else in the world could do. He is the heart and soul of the team and when he performs well, the whole team performs, therefore getting him to perform well is extremely important.
During the FA Cup Final last year Gerrard played the attacking midfield role with Spearing behind him trying to hold the midfield. It was obvious during this match that Gerrard did not trust Spearing with the ball and it didn’t allow him the freedom that he would want, this isn’t a problem that we have when Lucas is playing, over time Gerrard has trusted him more and more and it is now evident how much he trusts him now. With Lucas back it frees up Gerrard to move forwards and help him to attack, where he is most of a threat. It will also be interesting to see how Allen plays differently when he has someone behind him anchoring the play.

In conclusion, it will be great to have Lucas back, he anchors the midfield and gives the other players more freedom whilst also helping with initiating attacks. His return will allow more players to play in their desired roles and move forwards more without being as afraid about having to rush back. He is a player that has been sorely missed and I am sure he will get a huge reception when he returns to Anfield, hopefully before too long.


  1. I pray for the early return of Lucas so we no longer play Joe Allen who for me is a major disappointment.He has a negative effect on the whole team,so many negative passes and passing to the wrong player creating pressure on the team. All of this was amply displayed in the first half of the Wigan game, when Henderson came on for Suso the whole complex of the game changed as Henderson got the team going forwards.

  2. I think the problem with Allen is that in the absence of Lucas he has been asked to alter his game to compensate, and has not adapted too well to it – he was looking good before Lucas was out.

    It’ll be a massive boost to have Lucas back, our midfield’s looked weak without him in there.

  3. My only worry is how quickly lucas can return to his very best. Long term injuries not only affect the body but the mind. I don’t think Allen has been as bad as Tom seems to make out. To play BR’s style of football, Allen has to do what he is doing. Lucas’ return will be like a new signing for us

  4. Allen a disappointmemt? U are never watchng lfc games. Allen is one of our standout performers dis season. Pass-master, pass-master, pass-master(allen)

  5. I agree with you, of course Lucas has been sorely missed but he must be brought back carefully. His position demands that he is extremely fit so he will need time and care unless he could have a relapse.
    Disagree with your comment on Gerrard, sorry. He has been mister steady, of course he has had one or two games where he wasn’t always 100% but still has never underperformed. No way also should be so hard on Joe Allen who when he came in changed the shape of the team. he has sacrificed a lot and one game doesn’t make a season especially when we won.
    When Lucas is back these players will be given the room and space they need to confidently produce more goals.
    I think when Lucas is 100% fit, Carraghers recent words on us being in the top 4 are a strong possibility.
    Saudades Lucas.

  6. I think joe allen is still a fantastic signing. He is probably exhausted as he has been playing majority of the games, including most of the europa matches. At the start of the season, maybe the first 5 league games, he impresses me with his positioning and tackles. He is not the toughest of player but he makes it up with his hard running and comfort/control on the ball.

    I can understand BR decison in playing Joe as we do not have a natural deep lying midfielder. He is being over used. Having said that, when lucas returns, we will see lucas gaining more match fitness from the europa league and probably joe can be rested.

    Lucas is the best player for us last year, with skrtel. I always thought that if we have lucas near the end of the season, we will finish stronger in the league. Lucas is like a mascherano prototype. He breaks up defend, harass opponents and anticipates cleverly on opponents next attack and can run the pitch all day long. Question is, with lucas back in the team, how will Joe plays in a more advance role? I would actually prefer to see Shelvy Lucas Gerrard with shelvy playing more as an advance role. But I am in not position and we will see how BR plays the squad.

    I suppose we have the most balance centre mid fielders when all of them are fit. We do not have wingers but BR tickering of using Enrique and Johnsons as wingbacks could be a masterstroke.

    I am loving every bit of football that liverpool played this season. In BR we trust.
    YNWA -hongwei from singapore

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