"What do you mean you've hurt 'your' knee, it's Liverpool's knee" - Bill Shankly.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lucas v. Bolton August 27th, 2011

There’s plenty of reason for positivity at the current moment, with yesterday’s victory furthering the belief that Liverpool could be on the way to being a force in English football again. The team as a whole was marvelous at times, defending well (until that lapse in final minute), linking play and finding a fluidity going forward that left Bolton overwhelmed at the back and fortunate not to have conceded six. And as I mentioned yesterday, there were a host of individual performances worth picking out—each of the summer signings had a discernible impact, Luis Suarez continued to draw rave reviews, and the midfield was once again marshaled expertly by the man that’s increasingly become the standard by which central midfielders of his type should be measured.

With apologies to Jordan Henderson, who had easily the best performance of his young Liverpool career and capped it with a well-taken opener, we’re unable to resist the temptation of highlighting another dominant midfield performance from Lucas. It was, at times, a clinic—holding up play and distributing smartly when in possession, and disrupting Bolton’s attack with a number of perfectly timed challenges. He wasn’t as involved in attack as he was against Arsenal last week, but his partnership with Charlie Adam once again flourished as the Scot continues to find his footing. After picking up a knock at the end of the first half, he could have been forgiven for not getting as involved in the second. As it turned out, though, he continued to fling himself about and cover plenty of ground, cementing the victory for Liverpool as part of a collective that were nearing top form.

So you might not be as big a fanboy as we are, and that’s fine. But it’s probably time to let go of the idea that he’s really not that influential, or that his performances add nothing to the squad, or that he’s only around because Liverpool don’t have anyone better right now. Just give in already.

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Quote of the moment

Defying belief however, is a market Benitez has cornered quite well. The moment you think Benitez is clueless, he defies it by pulling off a result of majesty, like the one achieved in Madrid. The moment he is hailed a genius, he masterminds toothless surrender to a team going nowhere. In the ongoing Anfield power struggle, just when he was cornered by the firing squad, the Spaniard's demise at Liverpool looking practically assured with the ominous suspension of betting by the bookmakers, he squeezes out through a narrow trapdoor and eliminates Rick Parry. Rafa Benitez is Keyzer Soze.
- Just Football blog: The Curious Beast that is Football 28 Feb 2009