The Fans View

Our Very Own Witch Hunt

Lucas LeivaNow I’m sure that we are all aware of the words of one Mr Wenger as of late, declaring that his striker Eduardo has been on the receiving end of a “witch hunt” against him. However whilst we may be amused at all this, we must also look inside our own club and see that we have had our very own witch hunt happening for quite some time now. I am talking about the treatment that “fans” are giving to our number 21, Lucas Leiva.

For what now is years, I have been saying that Lucas is a talented lad, clearly you don’t win awards for being a good footballer in Brazil if you don’t have talent. And yet it is also rather clear that young mister Leiva has been the very definition of a scapegoat at out club. And I must say that the treatment he gets at Anfield is shockingly poor. Our prestigious captain Steven Gerrard, no doubt the greatest centre midfielder in the world today – should he misplace a pass, the Anfield crowd perhaps tut and move on at the very most. However for Lucas, it is a much different situation.

He is berated with a sea of boos and jeers. And to what good? Does this really help him improve and step up his game? Surly a club such as ourselves who take pride in having the most intelligent fans in the world in terms of footballing know how… We must see that abusing one of footballs rising stars is not the way forward, it is in fact, an embarrassment to the name of out football club. If you happen to be one of the people who set out to give Lucas grief, trying to force him out of the club, then I say perhaps you should be the one to pack your bags and leave.

In terms of Lucas’ general gameplay, it is my opinion that he has been consistently solid in the position he plays. He rarely tries any funny business, and is able to play the simple ball. Recently people say that he is not as good as Xabi Alonso. However it is rather clear that Lucas has been instructed to play it simple, and it is also clear that Javier Mascherano is in fact the one that is taking on Alonso’s distributing role in the mini-absence of Alberto Aquilani’s injury. So in order to clear things up, Lucas Leiva is not Xabi Alonso, nor will he ever be. They are different players with different playing styles and should not be compared, without running the risk of draining more prestige from the supposed “intelligence” that we as Liverpool fans are meant to have.

So this is not a lengthy article by no means, nor is it a debate, it is simply a statement and indeed a call out. For anyone who knocks Lucas. A man who clearly wants to succeed here, a man who could have joined any of the top clubs in the world when he was at Gremio but chose us instead, a man who has Brazilian national football credentials.

He deserves a chance, I have given it to him from the very start, and I implore everyone else to do so, because without the support of the 12th man, Lucas can never fully reach the potential that he so clearly has.

43 comments on
Our Very Own Witch Hunt

  1. Well Billy perhaps Voronin and Lucas were not direct replacements for Crouch and Garcia but Rafa was the one too get rid of them thus is responsible for our bench looking so weak.If Lucas has improved then i’d hate to see him on a bad day!!!.£6 million may not be much for a Chelsea,Man Utd or Real M but for us it’s a substantial amount because beggars can’t be choosers!

    Lucas seems to start more matches then Benayoun which is so difficult to understand considering the latter is much more creative and a greater goal threat compared to the Brazilian who should only play in the Carling Cup.Square balls don’t do anything for me whatsoever!!

  2. Surely Rafa is responsible for the bench look so weak with the predictable substitute being Babel on for Benayoun or vice versa!.He got rid of Crouch,Garcia and Keane bringing in Voronin and Lucas!.I also believe that Alonso left because he felt betrayed by Rafa,as for Lucas he’s really the only option we have to fill in Xabi’s position until Aquilani is available.

    The point is that we need more strength in depth if we’re to emerge as serious title contenders but that seems unlikely seeing Rafa sell’s quality then replaces it with mediocrity.

    • No he didn’t get rid of Crouch, Garcia and Keane to replace them with Voronin and Lucas.

      Voronin was at the club with Crouch, and out on loan when Keane was here. Voronin, along with Torres, was signed as a replacement for Cisse and Bellamy who were both moved on in the summer of 07.

      And Lucas was signed as a central midfielder to replace the outgoing Zenden, not Garcia. Benayoun is more the replacement for Luis. Lucas was also brought in because of Momo’ form after his eye injury.

      As for Lucas’ ability well I don’t think he’s a world beater, but he doesn’t need to be the greatest central midfielder in the world. He’s there to do a job and this season, while not excelling, has been our best midfielder. Nobody in the midfield has stood up this year, but Lucas is the one trying. If the own goal against Villa hadn’t happened, there wouldn’t half as much flak coming his way for the season.

      Will he be a regular when Aquilani is fit? Well only time will tell on that one.

      • Agreed. Lucas is no world beater but he has improved. His reputation was very good from his time in Brazil and he’s often in the Brazil squad. I’ve not always been that impressed with him but I do think he can do a job as a squad player. At the end of the day, once the players cross that white line it is up to them to shine. Based on his reputation and performances in Brazil, Rafa was right to take a punt at £6m, which by today’s standards isn’t much. we can’t keep blaming the manager for sub-standard sperformances by individual players. Look at Morientes. He came with a great pedigree and no Liverpool fan would have argued with that acquisition at the time. However, the man just never did it for us. Not Rafa’s fault.

  3. Mr.Magill
    I agree with you… I have not been a Liverpool fan. 2yrs now…ex boyfriend has been a fan since he was a boy …hes gone but love of Liverpool stays.. he dint like Lucas n i never understood why…hes young and yet he is improving greatly and his confidence is building.. hes not Alonso…..and that’s okay with me… Alonso didn’t think enough of his fans to stay with us…
    Lucas scores…he shows the will and faith in his team … booing your own team is… hmm…….faithless and disloyal… we all trust rafa……he has faith in Lucas…..so should we all…..
    great job Lucas.. keep going!!.
    have a great day
    Liverpool fan in Canada

  4. No we probably wouldn’t do that well without Rafa in the CL but the priority of many fans now is the Premiership because if the Mancs win it again they’ll have overtaken us!!.Torres stands out because he’s a brilliant buy but sadly many awful signings have also been made who we then can’t get rid off!.I don’t see any point in mentioning the likes of Crouchy and Garcia who i wanted to stay but were sold only to be replaced by the likes of Voronin and Lucas,not great management in my book!

    Desperate to see Liverpool win the Premiership so we should give this top priority and for that we need to play attacking Football that often means taking risks so Rafa has got to take the gloves off.

    • You contradict yourself. You’ve said before that you’re not interested in the mancs, now you’re worried about them overtaking our record of titles? I’m not that bothered if they overtake us. If anything it will get that particular monkey off our backs. We have an in built pressure to win things becuase we are the most successful club in British football. Perhaps it would help us to slip behind a bit.

      The other thing I think people should drop right now is this ‘we are Liverpool’ nonsense. WE DO NOT have a divine right to win trophies. We have spent 20 years in the doldrums and right now we are one of the strongest sides in Europe and that has been proven by our recent record in Europe. Football is not the same as it was 25 years ago when we were winning everything. It is clearly harder to win titles now than it was back then. For example our last title was won with 23 wins, 5 losses and 10 draws with us racking up only 79 points. Last season was clearly better with 25 wins, 2 losses and 11 draws with a total of 86 points. How about 2005-06 when we amassed 82 points from 25 wins, 7 draws, and 6 losses. Clearly we can’t be that mediocre if it required Utd to break their own record points total to hold us off last season?

      I want the PL more than the CL, but in terms of finances the CL is more important. Clearly if we don’t want to go the way of Leeds, then we need to keep perfroming well in the CL.

      • There is no contradiction whatsoever!.It’s only natural that as a Liverppol fan i don;t want to see Man Utd or anyone else overtake us but i don’t care about the tactics Man Utd employ but may use it as an example every now and again!.Despite the obvious pressure that comes with being the best i’d rather be that then also-rans being constantly reminded of how we’re no longer the most succesful team in the country!

        You seem to be losing direction of what this thread is all about and that’s the witch hunt of Lucas the author is on about!.He never was and never will be Liverpool class though our often stubborn manager will persist even to make some silly point to the fans!.My greatest problem with Rafa is that he buys players then plays them out of position resulting in not knowing what to do with them.There is much money to be made by winning the Premiership that most fans now want even more then the CL.

        • Naturally a witch hunt of a single player ends up becoming a discussion about the stengths and weaknesses of the manager that bought him. Genuinely though, I can’t see Lucas being a regular when Aquilani is fit. I think he’s playing games at the moment becuase by most accounts he’s had a decent pre-season, we’ve lost Alonso and our major summer signing is out injured. I don’t think Rafa is continuing to play him to make a point though. I beleive Rafa honestly thinks Lucas is the best person to fill the void right now. Did Rafa persist with Bellamy, Keane, Crouch etc to make a point? Josemi was his first signing. Did he stick with him just to be stubborn? I don’t think that’s his way.

  5. Personally I think Imran and gregnc are spot on.Rafa Benitez has had a lot of money to spend and most of them have not turned out to be world beaters.What I don’t understand is why Lucas gets so much support from fans when we can all see that he has major Weaknesses as a footballer.I think the problem is that we are so used to seeing mediocrity that We have forgotten that this is Liverpool Football Club one of the greatest football clubs in the world and I for one can’t stand what I am seeing on the pitch and management of the team

    • So Barry Venison, David Burrows, Mike Marsh, Nick Tanner, Steve Staunton, Ronnie Rosenthal, Mike Hooper, Alec Watson were all top class players far better than what we’ve got in the squad now were they? These players contributed to our last title win by the way, but funnily enough I don’t hear them mentioned much in debates about great Liverpool players.

  6. I believe Jose did well before joining Chelsea but yeah the cash certainly helps!.Problem i have with Rafa is him not being able to see where we need strenghtening,anyone can tell that we need a forward or atleast he should give Pacheco a chance.His reinventing of the youth system isn’t really producing anything either.Wenger’s Arsenal plays great stuff to the degree that i’m envious of how they move the ball despite having not spent much recently.

    I don’t expect Liverpool to win every week rather Rafa’s team selections and signings often baffle me!.If he wanted a freebie then surely Owen is a better choice then Voronin!!?.Kuyt was purchased as a forward but he plays on the wing where he puts in great effort minus any real penetration.Talking of which Pennant was another waste of money but here i feel he wasn’t given enough of a chance to prove himself.Rafa may not have had the open chequebook of a Jose or Sir Alex but he’s not exactly been straved of cash either only that he buys duds who then move on for half the price!.In any business the owner will want to know about his previous investment before handing more funds,with Rafa’s record if i were Liverpool owner his record wouldn’t exactly fill me with confidence.

    I’m not demanding he be sacked but if Aquilani prives to be another dud then serious questions need to be asked.

    • Don’t get me wrong I don’t have blind faith in Rafa, and I don’t think he’s immune to criticism either. I’ve criticised him myself on this very forum. My concerns are more to do with player selection and the set up of the team rather than his transfer policy, but that is a whole different can of worms altogether. I’m not questioning his tactics, becuase it’s those tactics that have seen us play in 2 CL finals in recent seasons winning one of them. However, I do believe you have to go for the jugular in the premier league if you want to win it and I often feel frustrated that we are sometimes playing with the handbrake on and being a bit too cautious.

      With the exception of Robbie Keane, whom I don’t think Rafa was that keen on, (no pun intended) when Rafa has spent larger sums of money he’s generally bought top players. Look at Torres. He’s our record signing and has been brilliant for us. Look at the previous record buys. Cisse, Heskey, Diouf, Collymore. Not even a contest. Xabi cost a lot of money, so did Reina for a keeper. Masch cost a lot of money but is a top player. Those players that have cost less have been gambles. Some have worked, some haven’t. Look at the bargains he’s made too. Agger, Skrtel, Garcia Sissoko, Crouch, Arbeloa most of which he’s made a profit on. Our immediate survival as a club depends on continued qualification for and good runs in the CL. Would we do so well in the CL without Rafa?

  7. …and your type “Anfield Online” have become so used to rubbish that it’s become acceptable to you!.You simply can’t stomach any critisism towards the overrated Spaniard who has won nothing in almost four years!.Not denying that the owners are liers but Benitez would have spent any new funds on s4hit anyway or free jokers like Degan and co.

    No harm in admitting that Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the greatest manager’s off all time but doesn’t mean i support the Mancs so deal with it!.No!!…i suggest you watch again because Alonso clearly said he decided to move on after finding out that Rafa was trying to sell him behind his back .We still depend on Gerard and Torres just like the Houllier years with the only difference being that Torres has replaced Owen!

    For all i know Rafa’s “new contract” probably has a small print of promising to sign trash from around the world then trying to make them world beaters!

    • You mention the winning mentality of Mourinho, but you’ve said nothing of the fact that he inherited a team at Chelsea that came 2nd the season before and were knocked out of the champions league in the semi’s. He was then backed with an open chequebook to make Chelsea into champions. I think even you could win a title with circumstances like that.

      Let’s examine another so called top class manager. Arsene Wenger. In the 5 years Rafa has been with Liverpool he has won more than Wenger. Fact. Wenger’s last title was in 2003-04, his ‘invincible’ team. So in the seasons that immediately followed he had the nucleus of an exceptionally strong side, title winning side, and money to spend. However, despite this, between 2004 and today Arsenal have become a team that regularly scraps for 4th place, but are the media out in force demanding he walk?

      Some people have this rosy view of Liverpool’s heyday, that it was 3 points every week come rain or shine. This was not true. Look in the history books. It has become hader to win the title, particularly since Abramovich got into Chelsea. That’s why only 2 teams have won it since he bought Chelsea. The two richest teams. If you can name one man in world football that would have done any better than Rafa this past 5 years then you should be doing Rick Parry’s job.

  8. In fairness I think Lucas has had ample opportunities to prove himself. In my opinion he is nothing more than a squad player and will surely find himself out of the team when Aquilani is fit?

    I think the problem here is that Lucas plays for us as a holding type player. Problem is, he isn’t particulalry good at it at least not as good as Masch. Two holding players makes us unbalanced and means that Lucas should only be used in the absence of Masch not alongside him. If the first 4 games have shown us anything, it’s that we are crying out for a progressive central midfield player capable of getting forward, being creative and scoring goals. This isn’t Lucas or Masch. It wasn’t Alonso either. I don’t think Alonso’s exit has helped Lucas’ cause and makes him an obvious scapegoat.

    Lucas is clumsy and at times has been a liability commiting needless fouls in dangerous areas of the pitch, giving away needless penalties and contributing to goals against through free kicks he has given away. Every player makes mistakes, but Lucas tends to make them more than most. That said, I wouldn’t bomb him out just yet. given the frailty of our squad, we need to keep all the players we’ve got as it looks like we won’t be given much money to replace them. Lucas has shown some promise and we need to try and encourage that out of him as supporters rather than get on his back. The only other alternative is to sell Lucas, promote Spearing and see how he goes. This may not be anymore effective as spearing is not the progressive midfielder we are looking for.

    • Kev I think your right although your reply is sound, this entire article screams blind ignorance! I hate the fact that allot of these articles are written with such a bias view. Conor Magill needs to put his passion for the club aside when writing such an article.

      I find that when you see a player for the first time you can tell if he has that star quality in the first few touches.

      I have read many such a rant in the past just like this with regards to Babel and it is always the same bias views that lead people to say “next year, he will defiantly come good next year!” I have been following liverpool for the past 10 years granted im still only young at 22 but it seems that the entire belief In Liverpool is based on “next year”.

      I am aware that young talent is crucial for the longevity of any club but should it come at such a cost?

      In the opening game of the season we saw Babel and Lucas “gaining experience” and as far as im concerned that was there only contribution. Am I so wrong to expect more from £19million? If I am wrong and I should not be expecting much from them than why are they on the pitch? Granted other players did not help the situation but should the likes of Gerrard and Torres have to carry this club all the way?

      I hate to say it but players like Dirk Kuyt are not helping the situation. Although I love to see a player giving his all and making ground, end product is just as important for a Striker or wait is he a Winger? Thats the problem with Kuyt no one is quite sure what position he is supposed to play. He dose not have the touch and finishing to be a striker and he dose not have the technical footwork and pace to be a winger. He looks more like a stray puppy running and making ground but with little contribution.

      It makes me upset to think that in my heart of hearts i know it will be at least another 10 years before we see Liverpool lift the League Cup. Although im sure in the years time I will still be saying “Next year, we will defiantly win it next year!”

  9. “Football is a simple game based on the giving and taking of passes, of controlling the ball and of making yourself available to receive a pass. It is terribly simple.”
    Bill Shankly.

    Lucas is the epitomy of the Liverpool style of play, pass and move, pass and move.

    he doesn’t hide. he tackles and he keeps things simple when they need to be.

    Possession is the key to any good side, and Lucas keeps possession.

    In fact, last year he gave the ball away less than Gerrard, Alonso and Masch and had a tackle success percentage equal to any of them.

    All this bollox about he can’t pass, can’t tackle etc is just a myth made up by the press and then regurgitated by fans who are so clueless about the game they have to read their opinions ion a newspaper in order to have one.

    Let’s have a look at the free kick conceded against Villa.
    Wonder why he had to make that tackle?
    Because Carragher was on the right wing, playing a suicide ball into a crowded area and then couldn’t get back when they broke, because he has no pace.
    Skrtel was covering the man in the centre, and the free kick was conceded 40 yards from goal in a position where it was either take the man out or give him a free run into the area, simply because Carragher forgot he was a centre back.

    Against BW the free kick he “gave away” was actually the attacker pulling Lucas backwards on the blind side of the ref – Lucas grabbed on to keep his balance and got pinged.

    I would urge people to actually watch the lad, and learn a bit about possession football and the influence of Rinus Michels on Rafa’s approach to the game.

    And if people can’t be bothered to do even that little bit, they should keep their gobs shut and leave the football discussions to those who know a little about the game.

    See the difference?

  10. Yes, some good responses here. True that he hasn’t impressed on occasion, then again what player hasn’t. He has showed that he has everything in his game at different times. However I know for a fact that he will be petrified to make on mistake or the crowd will be on his back the entire match, and so that pressure on top of the pressure of playing for a team pushing to win the league has to get to him. Lucas has had his best games away from home, and that is no coincidence

  11. Good article and some good responses.
    Lucas is a good player but he needs to clean his game .He seems to have paddles for feet whiping players up as they pass him, like the penalty he gave away against Wigan away last season with no danger to us whatsoever.
    He gave a free kick away on the edge of the box right in front of goal pulling the Bolton player with him to the ground.Lucky Reina was in the mood at that moment to make a great save,well done Pepe for once.
    The og he scored for Villa of course was just one of those things?
    Lets keep our thoughts to ourselves at the match and get behind our team
    I like Lucas and think he has talent that is until he gives away another pen and scores another og.
    THE MIGHTY REDS LFC

  12. Personally, I think one of the main reasons why Lucas is disliked by a lot of supporters is his inability to create and unwillingness to risk killer balls likely because of lack of vision or fear of making a big mistake, it may be debated that these can be age related or just plainly the lack of experience . His high passing accuracy can be attributed to the fact that his favorite target has always been Mascherano rather than distributing forward or to the wings forcing Gerrard to come deep and start an offense from 50 yards away.

    This is just one of our problems this season but by no means our main problem, it’s just blown out of proportion by the sale of Alonso.

    The 2 losses we have so far this season is heavily due to poor defending mainly through set pieces and inability to control the counter, not because we we’re unable to score, create chances or Lucas made a short pass to Mascherano 30 times a game.

    I think Lucas gives our squad depth but not my first choice for a starting 11 spot. Benayoun would be a better option.

  13. I totally agree with TIM, it is one thing having talent and the ability, its quite another to be able to deliver it in crunch situations…i believe we have a similar problem with babel. The talent is for everyone to see but the desire and attitude has gone missing. I think lucas is yet to attain the quality or temperament required for the premiere league. The fact that rafa continually keeps including him in the starting line up is frustrating to say the least. Watching him give the ball away regularly, conceding free kicks in dangerous areas, running into defenders and having the ball taken off him with ease have become a constant frustrations for us. Somehow rafa sees something that i dont, nor do a majority of the fans. To simply say that one should pack their bags and leave because we dont support lucas is juvenile and reflects the immaturity of the poster. We arent out there to give any red “grief” or “trying to force him out of the club.” We are simply telling it as it is. The player isnt ready yet.

  14. Nothing personal against Lucas but he’s never impressed however see that we can’t afford anyone with greater ability.He can’t dribble,has no pace and at best average passing and tackling ability on top of which he regularly makes crucial errors so what is great about him??.

    He’d be a good signing for a mid table club like Everton or Aston Villa but nowhere good enough to wear the red of the mighty Liverpool where he always looks out of place.One brilliant performance followed by ten very average ones proves that he’s nothing special but i’m not one to shower personal insults on anyone yet want him out when we can afford a quality replacement.

    It’s amazing how one positive article can make believers out of doubters but i’m standing firm in what i’ve always said about Lucas because practically on the field he’s done nothing of any real quality.Gives away crucial free kicks but lacks the ability to make up for it on the other end,was never worth the £8 million Rafa paid for him but then again our manager is well known to pay top money for rubbish!.

    Rafa is a good tactician especially in Europe but terrible in the transfer market infact in this regard he’s probably amongst the worst in Europe!.Johnson and Torres are the few signing’s he’s got right where as we’re still waiting for Aquilani….i’m sure Rafa’s excuses will be ready if the Italian also fails to impress yet our obese Spaniard will continue to demand million’s from the owners only to waste on Lucas and his type.

    • What about Alonso, Skrtel, Agger, Reina, Mascherano, Benayoun, Kuyt, Aurelio, Riera? To suggest that Torres and Johnson are the ONLY good signings Rafa has made is nonsense. He’s also moulded Gerrard into one of the most deadly free scoring attacking midfielders in the world and Carragher into a world class centre back in recent seasons.

      I guess you think Saha, Bellion, Djemba Djemba, Veron, Kleberson, Forlan, Barthez, Blanc, Fortune, Taibi, Blomqvist, Jordi, Howard, Smith, Pique, Anderson, Possebon, Berbatov et al were all quality signings.

      • We’re talking about Liverpool here so leave the Mancs out of the debate because i don’t care about them!.Alonso was class but he left due to feeling unwanted by Rafa who has signed more dross then quality.Gerard and Carra were already class before Rafa arrived so he takes absolutely no credit for them in my eyes!

        Rafa is a good tactician in Europe so we have a chance of winning the Champions League but he won’t deliver us the Premiership.

    • skrtel and agger for under 5 mil was sensational he’s bought kuyt a relatively unknown player who’s turned into a key player for us. Hes bought benayoun for 5 mil alonso for 10 ( a 20 million profit) and mascher for 17 mil ( Barcelona were prepared to pay 30) and reina, one of the best keepers in europe for 7 mil and aurelio one of the best left backs in the country for nothing. So youre comments are ridiculous

      • its foolish to say that rafa has been a poor performer in the transfer market…i believe rafa has been quite shrewd with the funds that have been made available to him….i would like to know exactly how many complete failures you can list …you might argue that he bought in lucas for a bit high but thats a gamble with young “prodigies”, because when they are labeled as such, they are usually playing in lower leagues and how they would cope with the pressures of a league like the PL is somewhat uncertain…even in lucas’ case i m not yet convinced that he is a complete failure, i believe he just needs more time and experience …but then rafa has made some superb signings like aurelio (free transfer) and made him into one of the best in his position..add many more gr8 signings like alonso, kuyt, agger, skrtel, benayoun, torres, reina, mascherano, riera. These have all shone at the highest level. I cant believe you are already adding johnson to the list of Super Brilliant signing under rafa, one month into the season. I completely disagree with you that rafa is a failure in the transfer market.

        • Lucas,Babel,Aurelio,Dossena,Degan,Voronin,N’go is nearly £40 million wasted on players that the other top three would never consider buying so i don’t really blame the owners for refusing to let Rafa spend further though i’m no fan of George or Tom but that’s a different topic.

          He’s had time and reasonable financial backing so spare me all this “In Rafa we trust” s4ite….if Aquilani turns out to be another expensive flop then surely he should walk!

          Problem is that many Liverpool fans are blindly loyal unable to seperate emotion from fact that is we’ve not won anything for three years i believe!?.You guys maybe happy with mediocre players but i’m a winner in life and expect nothing else from everything that i associate myself with!.Certainly he’s signed some good players but he doesn’t seem to have the winning personality of a Jose Mourinho or Alex Ferguson that will finally win us the title.Watched “You’re on sky sports” a few days back that was dominated by Liverpool FC supporters who are also becoming increasingly tired of Rafa’s excuses and rants so i’m not the only one.

          Just seen Xabi Alonso on Sky Sports this afternoon more or less admit that he left us because Rafa stabbed him in the back when trying to purchase Gareth Barry ending up with neither!

        • Voronin and Degen were free transfers. N’gog was about a million pound.

          If the owners have given Rafa a new contract then the least they can do is back the manager in the transfer market.

          Instead – looks like they’ve stolen £14M out of the value of the club in 2009.

          As for Alonso’s comments – he actually said the club told him he would have to be sold to pay for new transfers. Just as he ended up being this season. The owners certainly bear heavy responsibility for that.

          Stick to listening to the knee-jerkers who ring up Sky Sports. Considering Alex Ferguson’s personality impresses you so much maybe you are supporting the wrong team in red.

  15. Dear Lucus,scoring own goals,giving away free kicks and getting sent off against Everton is not the way you make the fans sign your name.If you play like you did against man u every game you will become a Anfeild legend,so every time you put the L.F.C crest on your chest make sure you fill your shirt and give 100%. Chin up,crack on,get to work and put a good shift in and show us what your all about!

  16. Giving Lucas stick is unjustified and wrong the own goal against Villa was not his fault most Liverpool fans do not do this we must be our players 12 man. He is talented and could become a worlld beater in a few years people might laugh at that but for he is better than Anderson Wilkshere Mikel Michel Johnson and the other young players who our rivals rave about who won the last time Lucas and Anderson played anyway Lucas by a country mile for example. However maybe moving Gerrard back and Yossi inyo his postion at the expense of Lucas might be worth a punt. No point in denying it we are missing Alonso and Gerrard is the only fit CM you can play well in Xabi’s role. However I would give Lucas another couple of games he has improved in each match. Also Lucas has shouldered to much of the blame for our poor start all our players have to take responsiblity and improve which under Rafa I am sure they will.

    • Yes a punt to lose the title! how can you neglect the best footballer at the club for an average player. settling on players with ‘potential’ won’t win us the title look at arsenal!

  17. Good article and I’m all for supporting the lad, but some things are painfully clear, which Lucas must improve on:

    1. Keeping possession of the ball under pressure. Lucas tends to give away the ball much too easy at times.

    2. Not getting pushed around by more physical players. The EPL is a man’s league, unmatched in its pace and physical play. Footballers raised on a more finesse-style game (or league) can struggle, and I think Lucas qualifies in this case.

    On a positive note, I did like Lucas’ pressure up front vs. BW. He was definitely an added force and made a positive impact.

    On a separate note, what the heck is going on with Jamie Carragher? Is the lad losing it? Last year and already into this season, he’s been out of position and responsible for giving up goals which should have been better defended. He’s a warrior, make no mistake, but it seems lately that is mouth is doing more barking than his game is backing up. Hyypiä’s absence is being felt and resulting in unnecessary goals by the opposition.

    YNWA,
    Napa Red

  18. I believe people are not only booing Lucas but also partly jeering at Benitez for continually picking him when he’s contributing nothing in every game. It’s the only way possible for the paying fans to get the message across to Rafa that picking this player is hindering our campaign.

    Conceding, Penalties, continually giving the ball away over and over again, getting sent off, giving away stupid free kicks right in front of our penalty area, moves breaking down when he gets the ball, running into blind alleys or dwelling on the ball until the opposition take it off him. The best we can hope for in a game is some sideways passes completed while we await the next mistake from him.

    Right from when we first signed him I thought ‘he seems a bit average’ when he played. I had no idea he was even Brazilian let alone this alleged teenage prodigy. But judging him on his performances alone, he is consistantly hopeless. He cannot help this and yes, he tries his best and puts the work in but it is not anywhere near halfway good enough and Rafa is being pig headed by giving him preference over our actually talented midfielders who remain on the bench until the last 15 minutes.

    Sorry but if I’d seen one good game from him I’d say so. I haven’t.

  19. Totally agree. I really like Lucas and with proper support he can only get better. He needs to cut out giving away free kicks outside the box, but he has good passing ability, is good at getting forward. A bit more confidence and he could be be one of those players that get you 10 goals or so a season. He’s not bad at tackling either. He obviously popular with his team mates too. After the Villa game he looked distraught. Probably ‘cos he knew he’s get the flak….wasn’t wrong either was he? C’mon Reds, let’s get behind Lucas, give the lad a chance.

  20. Had the same problem in the ‘Anny Road End’ last season,booing and bitching at Lucas even when he didn’t have the ball.

    I really hate that there are some who go to Anfield just to moan and sit their creating no atmosphere at all ( but the wrong atmosphere) and others who go to “hate monger” one of our own ( this I’ve never got !!!!!!?).

    Like the man said leave that stuff for the pub and get behind the team or give your seat to those who would die to be in there, Roarin the lads on ……
    Y. N. W. A.

  21. Good article, Mags.

    I disagree with the part about him being a rising star and having bags of potential, just because he won some awards in Brazil. I don’t rate him and a few good performances is not enough to make us forget about all the shockers he’s had.

    I do agree that we should show the same level of trust and support that Rafa has, only then can he realise his full potential. Unfortunately, for some of us, his full potential is not good enough for a team that wants to win the league.

    It is unfair to compare him with Alonso, agreed, but that is whose position in the team he has taken. By what other yard stick should we judge him, as we do with all players? Hasn’t Johnson been compared (favourably, I’ll admit) with his predecessor, Arbeloa? If he stays for a few years and puts in the sort of performances we all hope for, he will no doubt start to be compared with other LFC right backs – Rob Jones, possibly even Phil Neal one day.

    I do, however, agree with you that Lucas should not be jeered and boo’ed at Anfield (or anywhere) by his own ‘fans’. That sort of behaviour is best left to the part-time fans of other clubs – not this one where we have always respected our own.

  22. I agree Lucas has talent & hasnt shown us his best yet but fans seem to want to get on his back at every opportunity. The article is quite correct in that Rafa instructs him to play it simple. It is also VERY clear how much effort he puts in for every game & that alone should be a good enough reason to encourage him, even if he wouldn’t be the 1st (or even 11th) name on your own team sheet..

  23. Great article!
    He really deserves a chance and has proved in games such as the chelsea one away in the Champs league last season that he can be phenomenal

  24. Regardless of a persons views on whether or not they believe Leiva is capable of “making it” at the club, it is surely a simple matter of respect that we do not boo our own during a period of 90 minutes.

    It has long been my belief that not only are we tarnishing our reputation of being the greatest fans in the world, but we are at the same time reducing our chances of victory and hindering the club’s chances at the same time! It is ridiculous not to see that booing a player will reduce his confidence and make him play worse – do the “boo boys” really want the team to fail?

    Say what you like about the lad to your mates, down the pub or wherever, but keep it off the terraces.

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