Date: 27th September 2013 at 4:12pm
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Liverpool’s central midfield has been a point of concern for me so far this season and I would like to share my thoughts with you and hear what you think. I know I will upset a few people with my line of thinking but here it goes:

Liverpool have been playing Lucas, Gerrard and Henderson in tandem for large parts of the season. We missed Lucas last season due to injury but now that we have him back, something is not quite the same. Could it be because Lucas himself is not the same player he was before his injury or is Gerrard the player to blame?

I feel it is the later in my opinion. Lucas has been played next to Gerrard in our midfield with the younger and more energetic Jordan Henderson being asked to push ahead of those two. Gerrard is clearly not the same player he was say five years ago and that is expected due to age, but now with Gerrard having lost his legs he is not helping Lucas out as much as he is supposed to. When Gerrard does decide to go forward, he is too slow in getting back and thus exposing Lucas to do all the midfield battles by himself.

If you had Henderson rather playing alongside Lucas then I think we would have a better combination as Henderson still has the legs to go from box to box. I feel it is unfair that some fans are blaming Lucas for not playing well this season, when in fact the blame should be on Gerrard; Captain Fantastic simply has to start producing more next to Lucas or else he must be pushed further forward up the field.

Lucas has recently been recalled back into the Brazil national squad for their upcoming friendlies and that is testament of the work he has put in. Lucas will have to compete against the likes of Ramires, Paulinho and Luis Gustavo to get into that Brazilian side but there is no doubting that he is capable of doing so.

So where to now for Lucas and the setup of the Liverpool midfield? I can not see Rodgers dropping Gerrard anytime soon so it is a question of whether Rodgers will continue deploying Gerrard alongside Lucas or bring in Henderson to play alongside Lucas. Another option may be to bring in Joe Allen to help Lucas in the middle of the park and then give Gerrard or Henderson more freedom.

My next biggest fear is if Lucas gets injured again. Rodgers did not go out and buy a defensive midfielder this summer and thus we have no like for like replacement for Lucas. Let us hope Lucas remains fit until the January transfer window as I am sure Rodgers is going to strengthen our central midfield then.


6 responses to “Lucas needs help in midfield”

  1. red1 says:

    Spot on. I have been saying the same for yrs. SG is a liability in cm, should be used in the Coutinho position behind our striker/s

  2. Ben Gray says:

    Awful article. Gerrard is playing deeper as he can no longer play the box to box role (apparently). At 33 he still has a lot to offer, look at Scholes and Lampard – neither as talented as Stevie but both played or still playing at 35.
    Get a grip and start supporting Liverpool, not criticising. Both Lucas and Gerrard are wonderful players and not the problem. We lack decent wide players (and have done for 10 years) and link up players. End of.

  3. Daniel says:

    Awful article.

    Gerrard could play in any top team in Europe.

    Where could Lucas Leiva play? He’s a good player, and a nice person. But he’s not the top quality DM.

    Bring back Alonso, or get Yaya Toure so he can play with his brother.
    Something needs to happen in the central midfield.

  4. lvpol fc says:

    Gerrard should be blamed..why? his play not as sharp as before..and nowadays he’s become lazy to run and let the opponent gettin away though..probably he’s already 33..don’t know why..yeahh same goes to lucas not as sharp as before and not very solid in defensive

  5. mataio says:

    absolutely agree with this, although years ago I was of the thought that we should sell stevie! not only cos of the cash but also cos I think stevie casts such a large shadow over lfc that in some cases that can be unhealthy. but nonetheless, stevies contributions are much deeper these days but he should be higher up the pitch linking with coutinho, suarez and sturridge. having him deep in midfield is a waste, and he just leaves lucas exposed.

    other noticeable thing is that he doesnt move a lot in midfield, i think he expects players to move around him but its a liability. xavi still moves a lot, and stevie needs to keep it moving in the middle. our link up play is suffering for it

  6. Gary says:

    Has any of the people commenting on this thread ever played a game of football in their life. You can tell by the way Gerrard’s body moves; he has lost his bounce. When closing players down he is just covering ground and not really nipping at players. Workrate is considerably lower aswell. He is a passenger now in 80 percent of the game, I hate to say it but its true. Lucas has way more mobility and stamina. The only thing that Gerrard can outperform other players in is his delivery on setpieces, and his vision for the long ball. Defensively Gerrard doesn’t have the legs. He is my favourite player of all time. But every player has their peak and decline. I’m in tears thinking about it. We need to find a top class CM.