Author Topic: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool  (Read 492244 times)

Offline Vulmea

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1400 on: August 17, 2011, 05:11:03 pm »
Why did this post get almost completely ignored?

Everyone on here (and I include myself) jumps straight down the throat of the mindless fools who pump out the same tired old cliches about Lucas, but when a coherent, well thought out constructive criticism comes by we all conveniently ignore it.

Firstly, I'd say Lucas is definately the latter type of DM you mention, a Busquets rather than a Mascherano. However I think you're being slightly harsh on his footballing ability.

I agree that he is not the biggest build for a DM, in terms of Strength, height and pace, but he punches above his weight because of his excellent technique and a sharp football brain. He is quite short (for a top level footballer) but I'd say he's at least an 8 in the air. He wins plenty of important headers. He's not particularly quick, but has excellent anticipation meaning he's not often caught flat footed.

The question of who should partner Lucas is a very interesting one. Firstly I completely disagree with you about Meireles, they've had a few good games together under Hodgson(!!) but Kenny obviously doesn't see Meireles as a CM. I'd like to see him paired with an attacking, passing player like Charlie Adam, Meireles or Aquilani. To my mind Lucas in his current role creates the canvas on which the likes of Aquilani and Adam can paint the pattern of our side's passing style.

He does this by covering, tackling and passing to the man in space quickly and efficiently. To play that role I think you need to be an 'all rounder'. Players like Mascherano or Sissoko could be superb in a counter attacking side, which I believe Liverpool were for most of the Rafa era, but for the more possession based style we seem to be heading towards I don't think they would be as effective. Their great strengths would not be as important, for example I don't think Masher would get the same opportunity to make those lung busting forward runs after regaining possession. Also their weaknesses would be magnified, to play the pass and move style everybody needs to be able to pass quickly and effectively, especially the DM who will be seeing an awful lot of the ball.

your being a bit harsh on your fellow posters - there was one well educated and thoughtful comment calling it the biggst load of bollocks since the post match Sunderland thread....

Didn't really pen the post as a criticism of the lad - I like him,  his attitude, how he's taken the unwarranted abuse and just got on with his job is brilliant - I'm just left wondering if the game is all about partnerships then how do you partner him?

I notice you dont have Gerrard in the mix or Henderson?

Lucas isn't a typical destructive dm. We want to play with two adventurous fullbacks - usually you'd expect 2 players sitting deeper in midfield to cover that because there is just too much grass to cover otherwise (or else one one of the fb's hangs back?) - Barca make do with one but they employ an intense pressing game to reduce the time players have to exploit it - If Lucas does have that role then you'd expect him to drop deep and take the ball from the back four and initiate play through midfield - he does not really do that though -  the implication for me is that whoever works with him is expected to share the load as a dm - Adam seems better suited to a more advanced role with more cover in behind - he takes chances with his angle of pass which means he'll  lose possession regularly, likewise his stamina is questionable and his ability to track back was shown up too many times at Blackpool late on in games to be anything other than a worry in that type of role - Gerrard likewise is more of an influence further forward - his game may need to adapt as age creeps up on him but he's not best suited to sitting in a back 6 and playing quarter back - Alonso was - he was also a massively underated tackler and had similar tackling stats to Lucas - very disciplined and had a keen understanding of the game, its ebb and flow etc - neither Adam or Gerrard strike me as that type of player but that type of disciplined player with  a range of passing is what I think would compliment Lucas best.

Meireles and Aquilani - both appear lightweight to me - by that I mean unwilling to put their foot in,  not the greatest at tracking back, not naturally defensive players - Meireles is more about movement, touch, creating space, Aquilani about vision and one touch play - I dont see either playing a part in a defensive 6 and either taking the ball from the back 4.

If we dont have a defensive 6 with 2 disciplined cm's then that suggests one dm and that player mainly employed as you suggest to be a destructive player and provide a platform for others - I think that short changes Lucas who has more to his game than that but also he isn't the best at defensive play either - he does not specialise in that type of game - others do for me his natural game is more box to box.

He's not an enforcer in the mould of Essien,  an energetic, physical type of player  as per Sissoko/Mascherano  nor is he an Hamann style dm who's positional play is exemplary - cutting off most attacks into the box-  Lucas has parts to his game from all of these but isn't outstanding at any if he isn't fully covering those roles then for me that will leave gaps and I dont think we have the right type of player to plug those gaps alongside him - Busquets is supported by a strong pressing game from all around him denying the opposition the time to pick a pace and exploit the space - the barca teams's work rate is exceptional Xavi and Iniesta in particular - I'm not sure we have that capability either - without it we are forced to drop deeper which causes mpost of our problems

just not sure how the chemistry is supposed to work in our midfield - Mascherano/Alonso/Gerrard was perfect imo but seen as too negative by some - just trying to think what the ingredient would be in a Lucas/Gerrard/? midfield.

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Offline Believe

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1401 on: August 17, 2011, 05:32:15 pm »
If his role is to get the ball and lay it off – keep the team ticking over – well his passing is ok, his awareness is ok……

Hamann’s positioning was exceptional, Mascherano’s pace and determination were exceptional, Sissoko could tackle two people at once…..other parts of each players game were not so hot, Didi’s pace was poor, Masch’s judgement was debateable, Sissoko’s passing atrocious etc

So is Lucas a jack of all trades and master of none? He does not seem to excel at any given element of the defensive midfielders trade – if he’s not an out and out dm then does that cause problems for other players – the likes of Adam and Gerrard have to share those dm responsibilities when in reality neither would want to



Wasn't he the top tackler in the '5 top' European Leagues last season? Above a host of 'big names' and quite some distance ahead too if I recall correctly. In my opinion, the ability to win the ball back from the opposition is massively important, and would certainly class Lucas as a master in that aspect of his game. I would also suggest that his tactical awareness is first class, hence his ability to assist full back, make those late runs and generally see the game from a purely tactical viewpoint.

Offline new-red

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1402 on: August 17, 2011, 07:23:52 pm »
If we are saying Lucas is our only defensive midfield option and he is a must in the starting line up – are we saying he is as good as Essien, DeJong or Mascherano?

If we are not are we saying he’s a different type of player to those players – more of a Carrick, a Busquets, a Song style of player – does he have a style or is he his own type of player? What exactly is his role as our defensive midfielder?

Presumably covering the back four is a key part of the job? Well how does he do that? His stamina is ok, his pace is ok, his positioning is ok, his tackling is ….ok, his strength and protection of the ball is ok, his physical presence – is ok – neither tall, nor small, neither lightweight nor ponderous…….

If his role is to get the ball and lay it off – keep the team ticking over – well his passing is ok, his awareness is ok……

Hamann’s positioning was exceptional, Mascherano’s pace and determination were exceptional, Sissoko could tackle two people at once…..other parts of each players game were not so hot, Didi’s pace was poor, Masch’s judgement was debateable, Sissoko’s passing atrocious etc

So is Lucas a jack of all trades and master of none?  He does not seem to excel at any given element of the defensive midfielders trade – if he’s not an out and out dm then does that cause problems for other players – the likes of Adam and Gerrard have to share those dm responsibilities when in reality neither would want to

Football is all about combinations does Lucas’s lack of specialisation mean to compliment him we need another player who is a generalist capable of playing all roles to the same or higher standard  - are we looking for Gerrard to extend his career and drop back into a more defensive role become a more mature all-round player and play with a defensive 6? Adam’s lack of stamina/discipline (demonstrated largely at Blackpool) does not seem particularly suited to a partnership with Lucas, neither does the light weight Meireles or the delicate Aquilani,. Spearing is a similar player to Lucas imo – neither one thing or another but for me he lacks the quality of the Brazilian – if Lucas scores a 7 at everything Spearing is a 6 imo.

I don’t think I’m disputing Lucas’s quality (unless people think he’s an all round 8 I suppose) just how that fits in with the team dynamic and the personnel we have?



I would agree with your post but your characterization of Lucas' game is inadequate.

First of all, Lucas possesses a few attributes at world class level because of his game intelligence - if he didn't have it from the start, Rafa would have never even attempted to develop his all around game. He came as a natural attacker and after years of hard work he has developed remarkable defensive ability exemplified by the following:
                 - positioning - goes hand-in-hand with game intelligence. In developing a defensive game Lucas' positional awareness reached a world class level. He understands where to move, when to move, how to move, and most importantly he fully understands why he is moving. This trait is the most influential factor in being a good defensive player. It has taught him how to expend his energies on the pitch in the most economical fashion evidenced by his indomitable work rate in the closing stages of matches, (see chelsea away). Furthermore, he never has to go to ground when tackling. His positioning allows him to make standing challenges which rarely draw yellows and therefore allow him to maintain his aggressiveness for 90 mins. Also, his commitment to standing challenges is a hallmRk of his game intelligence. He is able to be a strong, combative presence in midfield, never having to compromise in his tenaciousness.

         Work rate and mentality - no one, including dirk, works harder than him on a football pitch. He genuinely gives his all for the side. An invaluable trait that is a rarity in players nowadays. But more importantly, he has possesses a perfect attitude. Every obstacle he has faced, he approached with unyielding determination and commitment. No one has ever even heard him express any discontent while at the club and that is beyond incredible considering the daunting hills he had to climb to even be accepted as an LFC player. But with benitez behind him, he showed everyone and anyone that he belongs at the club.
       The ubiquitous fan sentiment towards Lucas was that he wasn't fit to where the red shirt, greatly influenced by his unbrazilian style and original physical weakness, and this put Lucas through a trial by fire which has made him what he is today.
      They say the hottest fires forge the hardest steel. This encapsulates Lucas story at LFC. Because the fans looked to deride him for any performance falling short of exceptional, Lucas was driven to surpass expectation and gain acceptance. The Lucas that you watch now never shits out of tackle, instead, he goes in full-blooded because LFC fans expect nothing less. He never feigns injury or stays on the deck after being fouled, no matter how hard, because LFC fans wouldn't tolerate it. He had to show them that he wasn't a typical Brazilian and that he was a proper prem player who could handle any physical battles. Lastly, he demonstrably gives everything to the side and is still driven to prove his worth to fans. Every new step in his progression validated his hard work and continuously strengthens his resolve and determination ensuring that he never stops striving for perfection.   

         Being a steadying influence - I know a section of our support maligns his simple passing style but his short passes are essential for ball retention. But more than that, his deliberate passing out of defense allows the side to reorganize in attack as well as controlling possession affording us the ability to impose our style in the match. The best supporting evidence is not any game he has played in but the games where he was absent. In those games we weren't able to establish any fluidity or rhythm evidenced by disjointed and dysfunctional attacks that wasted possession and left.us in a war of attrition.
       Alonso dictated the tempo of.matches at a masterful level through his ability to play any pass with equal ease. With his impeccable range and accuracy he could have opted for more direct passes but he eschewed that for a more deliberate passing game because it was more beneficial to the side. Lucas subscribes to this philosophy and while he can't replicate alonso's influence, he has assumed that role in the side. No one else in the side exhibits this mentality. Adam partly does but he diverges from this when a more direct attacking pass is available.
      The best CMs atm are all tempo setters: xavi, cesc, xabi, scholes, gerrard (by natural drive, I.e. chasing games and by instruction, I.e. disciplined role from the start). This is no coincidence. Tempo setters heavily affect the balance of play. They allow the side to establish themselves in the game and from there the side can look to impose themselves on the game putting the opposition on the backdoor.

My phone battery is running out. This post will be expanded upon.
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Offline Vulmea

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1403 on: August 17, 2011, 07:39:53 pm »
Wasn't he the top tackler in the '5 top' European Leagues last season? Above a host of 'big names' and quite some distance ahead too if I recall correctly. In my opinion, the ability to win the ball back from the opposition is massively important, and would certainly class Lucas as a master in that aspect of his game. I would also suggest that his tactical awareness is first class, hence his ability to assist full back, make those late runs and generally see the game from a purely tactical viewpoint.

dont know to be honest -  what does top tackler mean ? most tackles, highest % success in tackles?

tackling is only one way of winning the ball back - but you'd hope if we were deploying a pressing game tackling would be more evenly distributed wouldn't you?

does a player with a high tackle suggest a poor team more than a good dm - like a keeper making lots of saves?

I think Alonso led the prem in no. of tackles as well one year and he was playing is the same side as Sissoko or Mascherano at the time...........

I'm not sure what such a stat actually means or what constitutes a tackle - does it include interceptions? collecting  a loose ball?

Wouldn't a better stat for a dm be around restricting chances. clean sheets, defensive record, forcing high balls rather than playing through midfield, to say he made lots of tackles therefore he must be good isn't right imo - it might suggest some of our other players aren't making the tackles they should be or our formation put more onus on Lucas than it should umpteen reasons why? 

Finding it hard to discuss Lucas in normal terms without coming across as being critical of our player of the season and sounding like a twat - as I said I like him I'm just struggling to see how the midfield fits together.

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Offline Felipe in Rio

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1404 on: August 17, 2011, 07:57:30 pm »
for 2 seasons he was an absolute disaster..he used to come on and give away a peno for a 1-1 draw ever week. how anyone can deny that i can't fathom
he has improved no doubt and like i said he played brill at times last season..just for the future i doubt he has enough ability to get into a kenny dalglish team on a regular basis. if we want the league we can't carry players that offer nothing going forward. sentiment has no place in a title winning team


Hell yeah! Let's not play Pepe Reina or Carragher either because they can't dribble or shoot so they don't help the attack!

Lucas first main job is stealing the ball, and he's done that better than anyone else in Europe for over a year now (not to mention that he is great at interventions, but I have no stats for that).
His second main job is taking the ball from defense to the more offensive midfielders and strikers and keeping himself as an option to receive back the ball if the frontmen can't find any good option on the offense. He does that incridibly well too, making more passes than anyone else in the team (43 against Sunderland) and with a completion rate of well over 80%. And this includes some nice direct balls to the strikers or to the advancing wingers when he feels it's the best option.

He can obviously improve that second part of his game, maybe do the distribution more neatly and get more touches on the ball (in a perfect world, he should be getting 80-100 passes a game), but it's only a question of time and of Liverpool having a better team for this to happen I believe.

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Offline Vulmea

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1405 on: August 17, 2011, 08:02:34 pm »

First of all, Lucas possesses a few attributes at world class level because of his game intelligence - if he didn't have it from the start, Rafa would have never even attempted to develop his all around game. He came as a natural attacker and after years of hard work he has developed remarkable defensive ability exemplified by the following:


Lucas came as Brazilian player of the year described generally as a Dunga style player rather than a typical 'brazilian'

      Being a steadying influence - I know a section of our support maligns his simple passing style but his short passes are essential for ball retention. But more than that, his deliberate passing out of defense allows the side to reorganize in attack as well as controlling possession affording us the ability to impose our style in the match. The best supporting evidence is not any game he has played in but the games where he was absent. In those games we weren't able to establish any fluidity or rhythm evidenced by disjointed and dysfunctional attacks that wasted possession and left.us in a war of attrition.
       Alonso dictated the tempo of.matches at a masterful level through his ability to play any pass with equal ease. With his impeccable range and accuracy he could have opted for more direct passes but he eschewed that for a more deliberate passing game because it was more beneficial to the side. Lucas subscribes to this philosophy and while he can't replicate alonso's influence, he has assumed that role in the side. No one else in the side exhibits this mentality. Adam partly does but he diverges from this when a more direct attacking pass is available.
      The best CMs atm are all tempo setters: xavi, cesc, xabi, scholes, gerrard (by natural drive, I.e. chasing games and by instruction, I.e. disciplined role from the start). This is no coincidence. Tempo setters heavily affect the balance of play. They allow the side to establish themselves in the game and from there the side can look to impose themselves on the game putting the opposition on the backdoor.

My phone battery is running out. This post will be expanded upon.

I'm not sure about this bit though - the side has reverted to hoofing an awful lot - he does not tend to get the ball from the back four as much as he should - Gerrard in particular demands it more and Carra in particular seems to hoof it rather than look for a pass into midfield - he can't set a tempo if he does not have the ball - the fact his team mates dont let him is another factor - why dont they? likewise as you suggest - although he's a decent passer and has put in some nice longer balls on occasion - he's not in the quarterback sphere which means his ability to change play is limited - similarly his awareness in switching play is not always there, he'll more often than not play the way he's facing.

Shame about your battery - interesting thoughts
« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 08:04:52 pm by Vulmea »
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Offline new-red

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1406 on: August 17, 2011, 08:23:58 pm »
Lucas came as Brazilian player of the year described generally as a Dunga style player rather than a typical 'brazilian'

I'm not sure about this bit though - the side has reverted to hoofing an awful lot - he does not tend to get the ball from the back four as much as he should - Gerrard in particular demands it more and Carra in particular seems to hoof it rather than look for a pass into midfield - he can't set a tempo if he does not have the ball - the fact his team mates dont let him is another factor - why dont they? likewise as you suggest - although he's a decent passer and has put in some nice longer balls on occasion - he's not in the quarterback sphere which means his ability to change play is limited - similarly his awareness in switching play is not always there, he'll more often than not play the way he's facing.

Shame about your battery - interesting thoughts

We weren't hoofing last season so I think what we have seen thus far will improve.

About dictating tempo. You are right, Lucas is not in the quarterback mold but that doesn't mean he can't set the tempo. His short passing game is vital to settling the team down and providing a seamless transition to attack. Also, when starting attacks the short, deliberate passing allows the team to move in unison up the pitch which makes it far easier to establish meaningful possession in the final third.

Also, u really underestimate Lucas' range. He can make almost any pass and has shown as much. He just doesn't play long passes for two reasons: he is charged the retaining possession so shorter passes are better. 2) he subscribes to the style that believes shorter passes can be equally as effective.
Your last point is true but I interpret these passes differently. Lucas is always looking to pass the ball quickly and consequently when he is about to receive a pass he is moving and looking in the direction that the bLl is coming from and if he sees a pass that can be made he will play it. When there.are no good options available he switches to the other side via the CBs or farside FB.  Maybe you want him to play more long switch passes but I prefer the shorter passes.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 08:45:52 pm by new-red »
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Offline GrkStav

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1407 on: August 17, 2011, 09:04:23 pm »
for 2 seasons he was an absolute disaster..he used to come on and give away a peno for a 1-1 draw ever week. how anyone can deny that i can't fathom
he has improved no doubt and like i said he played brill at times last season..just for the future i doubt he has enough ability to get into a kenny dalglish team on a regular basis. if we want the league we can't carry players that offer nothing going forward. sentiment has no place in a title winning team

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Offline The 5th Benitle

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1408 on: August 17, 2011, 09:12:52 pm »
Most ironic username ever, that one.

Offline Chakan

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1409 on: August 17, 2011, 09:15:10 pm »
Most ironic username ever, that one.

Gave me some good laughs though.

Offline Vulmea

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1410 on: August 17, 2011, 10:56:43 pm »
We weren't hoofing last season so I think what we have seen thus far will improve.

About dictating tempo. You are right, Lucas is not in the quarterback mold but that doesn't mean he can't set the tempo. His short passing game is vital to settling the team down and providing a seamless transition to attack. Also, when starting attacks the short, deliberate passing allows the team to move in unison up the pitch which makes it far easier to establish meaningful possession in the final third.

Also, u really underestimate Lucas' range. He can make almost any pass and has shown as much. He just doesn't play long passes for two reasons: he is charged the retaining possession so shorter passes are better. 2) he subscribes to the style that believes shorter passes can be equally as effective.
Your last point is true but I interpret these passes differently. Lucas is always looking to pass the ball quickly and consequently when he is about to receive a pass he is moving and looking in the direction that the bLl is coming from and if he sees a pass that can be made he will play it. When there.are no good options available he switches to the other side via the CBs or farside FB.  Maybe you want him to play more long switch passes but I prefer the shorter passes.

we had a tendency to hoof last season under Roy and whenever Carroll played and I dont see Lucas coming to take the ball that often - I'll look out for it more

I'm not sure how you know what Lucas thinks, believes or why he does what he does? His quick release could be because he does not have the confidence to get his head up, or to take a touch, it could be because his long passing needs work and he's been told to keep it simple  - I'm not saying it is any of these,  just how do you know it isn't and rather its a question of his preferred style? I'd want his preferred style to be whatever is most effective at the time.

Alonso used to have an awareness of the players around him, he'd position his body to recieve the ball allowing him to play the ball required (more often than not) - Lucas doesn't really do that - he'll generally play what he see's - but he's a work in progress - he can work on that - I dont really have a problem with the lad just wondering how to get the best from him.

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Offline Dougle

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1411 on: August 17, 2011, 11:09:36 pm »
Interesting posts Vulmea (and others). When we talk about tempo setting sometimes it might be interesting to look at the whole set-up rather than the "Lucas" / "Alonso" player. It depends on the other players, their intelligence and the view of the manager.
To have a fluid passing game needs players to play that way. I've seen it written elsewhere that Liverpool under Benitez and Ged were quite ridged in terms of formation and positioning. I certainly seemed to be forever frustrated by how we gave the ball away so much over the last 10 years or so (I understand this is a generalisation). My point is that perhaps the football culture of the club has been for a static rather defensive minded set-up. The energy went into defense and pressure.
So now how do we play ? I know we have played (under Kenny) at least 3 different styles, e.g high power-pressure = Manchester City and Utd last season. Cagey and clever and circulating the ball = away vs Plastics. Fluid, fast, deadly = Fulham (2-5). So perhaps we don't have a set style yet. We have seen Lucas perform very well in all the differing systems. I believe he can be an excellent, dynamic, forward passer but he needs players to make runs. There has to be space to play into there has to be guys thinking 2-3 passes ahead and I don't think we (in these Islands) produce enough of that quality of player, coach or supporter to be honest. It's a mindset.
For the record I think Kenny is "aware". I also see why Maxi, Miereles, Aquilani, Suarez, even Kuyt (with his first touch) would really compliment a fluid tempo, they are smart, intelligent footballers.
I'm being ironic here but even the "view" from the tv cameras does not allow us an overall idea of what is happening ahead of the ball in the periphery. Too many times we all moan at another Lucas pass to "no great effect". Perhaps part of the reason is there is nothing going on ahead of him ? For those of us in armchair land our ability to understand what is going is conditioned by what we see (and we don't see a whole lot ), also by what we hear and I won't even go into that.

Vulmea you made a point without expanding on it I believe. You mentioned Henderson as being someone no-one mentions as a partner for Lucas. I think actually Henderson might very well find himself in that position. He seems to have a bit of nous. He doesn't seem to need to impress, he's fit, athletic, has a good pass and shot on him. He circulates the ball well. If he has a defensive aspect up to scratch then I could see him dove-tailing with Lucas. I think, it could, over a couple of years really develop for that pair.
For the record, I believe that an unheralded aspect of Lucas game, breaking forward into the box is going to come more to the fore this season. Kenny knows.

Sorry for rambling, I've enjoyed the recent discussion and the efforts of posters to go a little deep into the subject.

Offline GrkStav

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1412 on: August 18, 2011, 12:23:46 am »
we had a tendency to hoof last season under Roy and whenever Carroll played and I dont see Lucas coming to take the ball that often - I'll look out for it more

I'm not sure how you know what Lucas thinks, believes or why he does what he does? His quick release could be because he does not have the confidence to get his head up, or to take a touch, it could be because his long passing needs work and he's been told to keep it simple  - I'm not saying it is any of these,  just how do you know it isn't and rather its a question of his preferred style? I'd want his preferred style to be whatever is most effective at the time.

Alonso used to have an awareness of the players around him, he'd position his body to recieve the ball allowing him to play the ball required (more often than not) - Lucas doesn't really do that - he'll generally play what he see's - but he's a work in progress - he can work on that - I dont really have a problem with the lad just wondering how to get the best from him.

Alonso didn't always or invariably "have an awareness of the players around him" etc. This he had and did during his last, best season with us. He STILL gets caught in possession, even whilst playing with RM (see today's 2nd El Classico).

The notion that Lucas "generally plays what he sees" is a bit far-fetched. To me, it bespeaks a lingering bias.
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Offline Vulmea

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1413 on: August 18, 2011, 12:27:21 am »
Vulmea you made a point without expanding on it I believe. You mentioned Henderson as being someone no-one mentions as a partner for Lucas. I think actually Henderson might very well find himself in that position. He seems to have a bit of nous. He doesn't seem to need to impress, he's fit, athletic, has a good pass and shot on him. He circulates the ball well. If he has a defensive aspect up to scratch then I could see him dove-tailing with Lucas. I think, it could, over a couple of years really develop for that pair.

I think Hendersons future is in the centre if he continues to develop as a player- he also looks like he'll have the temperament to sit and control games (just not sure yet whether he'll have the ability) - Hamann gave Gerrard license to roam whereever he wanted, whenever he wanted - it would have been interesting to see how Gerrard would have developed if he had not had that anchor in midfield giving him that freedom - oddly for one of the greatest midfielders in the world I think he could have been the greatest right back in the world if his career had taken a different route but I digress.
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Offline Vulmea

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1414 on: August 18, 2011, 12:41:06 am »
To me, it bespeaks a lingering bias.

 'bespeaks' ??

ye doth proteste too mych laddie - I said 'more often than not', only you have said 'invariably' and I'm not sure why? I liked Alonso but the lad had his faults. Every player does, every player can improve. Whats the problem with that?

On here a player is either fantastic or shite, everything they do is either great or crap - the truth is everyone of them is somewhere in between.

Lucas I think is a good player - dont remember slagging him off, at the same time I do remember wondering whether he was good enough and getting frustrated by the silly fouls he used to give away when he tired in games and saying he needed to cut it out - he did and he has. To improve further imo he needs to show greater awareness, learn to switch play and dominate games in doing so. Not sure whats far fetched about it?

so what lingering bias are you refering to?
The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.

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Offline new-red

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1415 on: August 18, 2011, 06:06:47 am »
I would agree with your post but your characterization of Lucas' game is inadequate.

First of all, Lucas possesses a few attributes at world class level because of his game intelligence - if he didn't have it from the start, Rafa would have never even attempted to develop his all around game. He came as a natural attacker and after years of hard work he has developed remarkable defensive ability exemplified by the following:
                 - positioning - goes hand-in-hand with game intelligence. In developing a defensive game Lucas' positional awareness reached a world class level. He understands where to move, when to move, how to move, and most importantly he fully understands why he is moving. This trait is the most influential factor in being a good defensive player. It has taught him how to expend his energies on the pitch in the most economical fashion evidenced by his indomitable work rate in the closing stages of matches, (see chelsea away). Furthermore, he never has to go to ground when tackling. His positioning allows him to make standing challenges which rarely draw yellows and therefore allow him to maintain his aggressiveness for 90 mins. Also, his commitment to standing challenges is a hallmRk of his game intelligence. He is able to be a strong, combative presence in midfield, never having to compromise in his tenaciousness.

         Work rate and mentality - no one, including dirk, works harder than him on a football pitch. He genuinely gives his all for the side. An invaluable trait that is a rarity in players nowadays. But more importantly, he has possesses a perfect attitude. Every obstacle he has faced, he approached with unyielding determination and commitment. No one has ever even heard him express any discontent while at the club and that is beyond incredible considering the daunting hills he had to climb to even be accepted as an LFC player. But with benitez behind him, he showed everyone and anyone that he belongs at the club.
       The ubiquitous fan sentiment towards Lucas was that he wasn't fit to where the red shirt, greatly influenced by his unbrazilian style and original physical weakness, and this put Lucas through a trial by fire which has made him what he is today.
      They say the hottest fires forge the hardest steel. This encapsulates Lucas story at LFC. Because the fans looked to deride him for any performance falling short of exceptional, Lucas was driven to surpass expectation and gain acceptance. The Lucas that you watch now never shits out of tackle, instead, he goes in full-blooded because LFC fans expect nothing less. He never feigns injury or stays on the deck after being fouled, no matter how hard, because LFC fans wouldn't tolerate it. He had to show them that he wasn't a typical Brazilian and that he was a proper prem player who could handle any physical battles. Lastly, he demonstrably gives everything to the side and is still driven to prove his worth to fans. Every new step in his progression validated his hard work and continuously strengthens his resolve and determination ensuring that he never stops striving for perfection.   

         Being a steadying influence - I know a section of our support maligns his simple passing style but his short passes are essential for ball retention. But more than that, his deliberate passing out of defense allows the side to reorganize in attack as well as controlling possession affording us the ability to impose our style in the match. The best supporting evidence is not any game he has played in but the games where he was absent. In those games we weren't able to establish any fluidity or rhythm evidenced by disjointed and dysfunctional attacks that wasted possession and left.us in a war of attrition.
       Alonso dictated the tempo of.matches at a masterful level through his ability to play any pass with equal ease. With his impeccable range and accuracy he could have opted for more direct passes but he eschewed that for a more deliberate passing game because it was more beneficial to the side. Lucas subscribes to this philosophy and while he can't replicate alonso's influence, he has assumed that role in the side. No one else in the side exhibits this mentality. Adam partly does but he diverges from this when a more direct attacking pass is available.
      The best CMs atm are all tempo setters: xavi, cesc, xabi, scholes, gerrard (by natural drive, I.e. chasing games and by instruction, I.e. disciplined role from the start). This is no coincidence. Tempo setters heavily affect the balance of play. They allow the side to establish themselves in the game and from there the side can look to impose themselves on the game putting the opposition on the backfoot.

My phone battery is running out. This post will be expanded upon.

Ok, I am back to finish this post.

If you don't feel like reading it the essence of it is that Lucas has some world class traits that all stem from his excellent game intelligence: positioning and tactical awareness, mentality and composure, steadying influence.

IMO, these are his best attributes but he has a lot of other quality traits that are currently in development. One of them is his tackling, which has become a real strength.

Some people still erroneously believe he gives away 'silly fouls'. Truth of the matter is you could probably count on one hand the amount of 'silly fouls' he has given away in the last year or two. Also, the term 'silly fouls' is so fucking ambiguous and subjective which makes it the perfect goto line for those lazy, football illiterate posters who can gerrymander the definition of the term to suit their perspective. They use it as stick to beat him with which is hypocritical because if you really want to identify players who give away silly fouls, you wouldn't have to look any further than mascherano.

I am currently going through every 0910 game to see how Lucas and Masch performed in each and I think it is fair to say that the statistics, at least, show that Lucas performed better consistently. He gave away far fewer free kicks in far less dangerous areas while also making at least as many if not more successful tackles than masch in most games. I will say that masch had some monster games that season he made 15+ tackles on like 4-5 separate occasions. But with that you also get so many conceded free-kicks.

Now I interpret silly as needless or unnecessary and based on that there is no denying he has had his fair share and unlike Lucas' fouls, masch's usually resulted in yellows and cumulative reds. He led the league in 0910 in carded infractions. (side note, C. Adam was like top 5 last year in this category. I think Sunderland (H) kinda showed why). Now, I am sure some of you will point to Lucas' challenge through the back of a sunderland player last weekend as evidence of silly fouling. I, on the other hand, don't mind that challenge. IMO, it seems that Lucas was anticipating that the attacker would turn towards goal and so he committed to the challenge only to find that the player hadn't actually made a move in any direction. Lucas tried to wrap his foot around to where he thought the ball would be but that was made impossible by the player's position who had his back to lucas. He wasn't shielding the ball from him but there was no way for Lucas to make a play on the ball. As a result, he goes through the back of him.

But back to Lucas' tackling. When he is closing down an attacker or in pursuit of an attacker he practically always wins the ball. I believe the majority of the fouls that Lucas commits are when an attacker is running at him and he is charged with stopping his progress from a stationary position, very very hard to do. A lot of these challenges will result in fouls. However, as a DM, Lucas' job is stop the attack from getting to the backline and that means that some times he is going to have to commit fouls and give up free kicks in our half, all to save our defense from far more dangerous open play attacks where the defensive organization has lapsed.

The stats suggest that he had the busiest defensive job in Europe last season. He won the most tackles and he also lost the most tackles. Obviously, if he is making more challenges than anybody else he will find himself in precarious defensive positions far more often. Inevitably, fouls are going to happen. Nevertheless, his success rate was around 2 out of 3 which I think is definitely a good percentage.



Overall though, Lucas has become a very good tackler. He may not be Mascherano but I really couldn't care less. (The way posters on here respond to what they perceive as a deification of Aquilani, is the same way I react when I here people talking about how Mascherano is so great and world class. He is world class in one fucking dimension of football. Yorky's fucking law on full display). He is very strong in the challenge, just ask bolatelli. He is very clever in the challenge as he is always looking to either win the ball out right or poke it away to a teammate. He is very adept at turning defense into attack. (I'm not saying he launches counters like Gerrard here, I am saying that when he wins possession he gets the attack started immediately). He commits to every challenge and always gets up right away regardless of how hard the challenge is.


Another quality trait is his passing. (Vidocq, Breitner stop laughing). Of course, some posters want him to be more adventurous with his passing and take some risks but that is just a stupid, stupid idea. His major roles are covering the back 4, ball retention, and initiating attacks. If he played more like Adam we would be in a dogfight every match, regardless of the quality of the opposition. Going for those 50/50 through balls wastes possession and directly leads to counters for the other team. If Lucas played that adventurous game we would never get out of our own half because the attack would never be given time to establish itself in the opposition half. WBA (A) is case in point.

Lucas uses his passing game extremely well. He allows our side to gather itself and get forward as a unit. Also, when the tempo of play is higher Lucas performs better and better. He is at his best when players are available for one-time passes. Fulham (A) couldn't be any better evidence. People have to realize that he is a natural attacker. He has those displays in his locker, it is just a question of whether the side will allow him to play at his best. Lucas strictly adheres to the maxim "no individual is bigger than the team". He trusts his teammates equally and expects them to have the same trust in him. If they provide him with movement, he can elevate his game to higher levels but the team has to develop this synchronicity.

Holy shit, I really don't want to finish this post. This is gonna take way too long.

Other good traits:
- off-the-ball movement
             - late runs into the box
             - runs that take oppos away from congested areas so teammates can have space to use
- Defensive heading - Some one name me somebody better. Not only is he excellent in the air for his stature, he is unique among footballers in that his headers are always directed towards teammates. It is a valuable, valuable attribute and saves our attacks while stopping theirs. Really can't figure out why this doesn't translate to goals in attack. Boy needs to sort out his composure.
- fights for teammates

im done
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 08:12:29 am by new-red »
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Offline Believe

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1416 on: August 18, 2011, 06:32:04 am »
dont know to be honest -  what does top tackler mean ? most tackles, highest % success in tackles?

tackling is only one way of winning the ball back - but you'd hope if we were deploying a pressing game tackling would be more evenly distributed wouldn't you?

does a player with a high tackle suggest a poor team more than a good dm - like a keeper making lots of saves?

I think Alonso led the prem in no. of tackles as well one year and he was playing is the same side as Sissoko or Mascherano at the time...........

I'm not sure what such a stat actually means or what constitutes a tackle - does it include interceptions? collecting  a loose ball?

Wouldn't a better stat for a dm be around restricting chances. clean sheets, defensive record, forcing high balls rather than playing through midfield, to say he made lots of tackles therefore he must be good isn't right imo - it might suggest some of our other players aren't making the tackles they should be or our formation put more onus on Lucas than it should umpteen reasons why? 

Finding it hard to discuss Lucas in normal terms without coming across as being critical of our player of the season and sounding like a twat - as I said I like him I'm just struggling to see how the midfield fits together.

I was going to clarify via edit - but got distracted! The stat I mentioned is based on number of tackles successfully made. If you look at other related stats - interceptions being the prime example, he is always miles ahead too. He is simply great at breaking up play and swiftly distributing the ball. I wasn't suggesting that making lots of successful tackles alone makes a great player, just responding to the assertion that he isn't a 'master' of any one aspect of the game.

The way our midfield 'fits together' - in my opinion - is that Lucas provides the security for the full back and other more attack minded (tactically indisciplined) players which is always vital. He is our 'water carrier' and bloody amazing at it he is too. This isn't meant as a slight on him in any way, it's a vital cog in any great football machine.

Also, his passing is massively underrated by many.

Offline Felipe in Rio

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1417 on: August 18, 2011, 09:43:41 am »
what is it with the Lucas brigade?....is it necessary to persistently throw the toys out the pram just because someone doesn't entirely agree that the player is not  the be all and end all of CM's?....

as Ive said previously, Lucas was a relatively poor player who took a long time to adapt to the Premier league - but who has matured and reached a stage where he is consistently good...he's the most improved player in the squad and Im looking forward to seeing him with the new boys ..as Im sure their arrival will spur him on to improve even further.......however the deification of him on here by certain posters is quite preposterous and the uber-defensive petulance actually nullifies any critical discussion - and leads to the ridiculously arrogant, patronising, self-aggrandising tosh as posted by 'new-red'...which does no-one any favours..not even Lucas



First of all, what was supposed to be a small explanation, ended up being one of the biggest posts I've written in my entire life. So I will divide it into sections so that you (meaning anyone reading this) can skip some stuff if you can't take it anymore or if you wanna come back to it after taking a nap, eating, taking a shower, Christmas or something like that. The sections titles will be in BOLD (if i can make it work).

Oh yeah, in case you don't want to read this, I suggest you at least take a look at the video I mentioned as one to watch in "Chapter" 10. You won't regret it, I bet on it.

Anyway, let's go:





1 - WHAT'S THIS ALL ABOUT?


That's the problem you (now it's really you Pistolero) see, you seem to understand Lucas' qualities very well, but you don't understand his role, he is not the be all and end all of CMs simply because he is not a CM, even if he has the technical ability to be one.

Let me explain something about Brazilian tactics, it may be long and a bit boring, but I think it will help understand who was the player who arrived at Anfield 4 or 5 years ago.





2 - AN OVERVIEW ON THE BRAZILIAN 4-4-2 (AND A BIT MORE)*
*By the way, this is in no way a full explanation on Brazilian tactics, this is only a part of it, a part that really only started in the 80s, and even then, it's not complete on that, I just talked about the stuff I though was relevant to the topic... which shows I have no idea what "relevant" means.


In here, the most used formation for a long while is the 4-4-2, but our 4-4-2 is completely different from yours (even in the other formations like 4-3-3 for example, the roles are quite different from the ones you have there), it works likes this:


----------------------1-------------------------
--------------3---------------4----------------
------------------------------------------------
---2----------------------------------------6---
----------------------------5-------------------
------------------7-----------------------------
------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------8--------------
-----------------------10-----------------------
------------11---------------------------------
------------------------9-----------------------




Now, the names we give to these positions are (in between braquets are the literal translations):

1- Goleiro (Goalkeeper)

2- Lateral-Direito (Right Side)

3- Zagueiro Central (Central Furthest Back)

4- Quarto Zagueiro (Fourth Furthest Back)

6- Lateral Esquerdo (Left Side)

5 - Primeiro Volante (First Steering Wheel)

7 - Segundo Volante (Second Steering Wheel)

8 - Meia-armador (Attacking Midfielder-Playmaker)

10 - Meia-atacante [or "Ponta-de-Lanca"] (Attacking Midfielder-Attacker) [or Spear-Head]

11 - Segundo Atacante [or simply "atacante"] (Second Attacker) [or simply "attacker"]

9 - Centro-Avante (Center Forward - yeah, that one is the same)





3 - SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN IN ENGLAND?


Now, as you can see, some of those names in English don't really say much of what they do, so, if we try to find their respective positions in English tactics here is what we would have:

1 - GK. That's exactly as it is up there, except for the rare technically gifted enough goalkeeper to play the sweeper role.

2 - RB, RWB, RMF. Yep, that's right, that's why the word we use, "lateral" means simply "side", he is both the wide player in defense and in Midfield. in the 4-4-2 he even does the job of the Winger and of the RWF too (just so you have an idea, the only criticism Maicon has here as a Fullback, is that he is too defensive, I'm not kidding). That's just in 4-4-2 though, in our 4-4-3 or 4-2-3-1 we also have the "Pontas" which were basically WFs. In 3-5-2 our "alas" are more similar to Wingers.

3 - CB. Our number 3 is Carragher. He is big, he is scary, he hoofs and he screams. He is Lucio.

4 - CB. Our number 4 is also a CB, but he usually the more technical one who goes for the second challenge or to collect the loose balls, David Luiz is an example of that. Most of our CBs though can do both jobs as they are similar, Thiago Silva for example excels at both.

6 - LB, LWB, LMF. Exact same thing as the Number 2, just on the left side.

5 - DM/Sweeper/CB. Now is when things starting getting confusing, the number 5 role is very similar to your DM or holding midfielder, but not exaaactly the same, I will explain more of this later. This is the position Lucas plays in the Brazil National Team now.

7 - DM/CDM/CM. Now this is the most difficult one, he is more offensive than your DM, but he is more defensive than even your most defensive CM, that's the role Lucas played in Gremio, which as you can see has nothing to do with an AM as people claimed, Anderson was the AM in that team (until he left). Again, I will explain more on this later.

8 - CM/AM. It's the playmaker, whose job you know very well, but this playmaker doesn't play behind the midfield as in there, he plays near the opponent's goal area. Zidane was almost like this (he had a bit of a number 10 too), as was/is Riquelme (this one was a 8/10 halfbreed to be fair) or maybe Nedved (haven't watched him enough to be sure). But the more classical examples would be Socrates, Gerson or Didi. Veron is the only pure Number 8 in the modern game I can think of right now. Don't worry about this too much though, this position is a little blurry even for us  ;D

10 - AM. This player is Pele, Zico, Maradona, Kaka (when Milan Played two strikers), Seedorf (when Kaka played as forward), Gerrard (under Benitez), Lampard, Ronaldinho (in the 2002 WC winning team), Deco (in the Barcelona team Ronaldinho played in), Messi (when he has the ball, when he doesn't he is a number 9, we call that here a "false number 9", it's an European invention from (I think) the Dutch, or maybe the Hungarians, i'm not too sure, so you may know it), Sjneider (has a bit of a number 8 too) etc. As you can see, it's hard to find a pure example since they play under different tactics in Europe, but mostly this man's job is to receive the ball from the numbers 5 and 7 and to create a scoring opportunity with swift runs and dribbling from the middle, and then either shoot it himself or create a 5-10 yards pass to a free teammate (usually number 9) as the defenders come at him. Exactly what Gerrard was doing with Benitez. Of course, since this player is usually the most technally all-round gifted in the team, he can do pretty much whatever he wants and is often given free-reign of the team in the field.

11 - SS. This is the support striker. This one should be easy as you guys have more names and divisions for it than we do. A Number 11 for us includes fairly diverse players as Cristiano Ronaldo (can be number 9 or a "Ponta"), Luis Suarez (can be number 9, but best as 11), Aguero (can be both 9 and 11, I like him more as a 9), Pato (I'd like him as a 9, but he needs better finishing and area presence), Rooney (who could also play number 10, I believe), Di Maria (could also be a "ponta"), Kuyt (seems like he can play wherever people put him), Henry (can be Number 9), Villa (can be number 9, but not as efficient), Pedro (could be a "ponta"), Forlan (can be an AM and used to be a number 9, he has brilliant understanding of the game, as does Suarez btw, that's why he likes Lucas so much) and plenty more. If you want to know what a number 11 should do, just watch Suarez for 10 minutes, there's your answer. By the way, that's why Suarez plays from the sides so much even when he is theorically being played behind Carrol, his instinct as a number 11 is to look for the weaker side of the defense and to try to break in from there.

9 - CF. Pretty much the same. The way they play may change a little here since they are more involved in close range passing with the numbers 10 and 11, but as in there, they stay in or close to the box, they must score a lot, hold the ball for the players coming from behind, take in headers etc. Romario was the perfect 9, Ronaldo had less number 9 qualities than him (still way more than pretty much anyone) but also had plenty of number 11 skills, not to mention that beautiful shooting technique that allowed him to score buckets of goals without ever having to shoot a ball hard in his life. Aguero has some of Romario's qualities, but he is still far from that level obviously. But talking about players who are not from another planet, we have Torres, Drogba, Benzema, Adriano, Diego Milito, Carrol, Adebayor, Van Nistelrooy, Luis Fabiano etc.



Now, from 8 to 11 it's not so different so it should be easy to get it, as are numbers 1, 3 and 4. But the whole point of me talking about all of this was to discuss numbers 2, 6, 5 and 7.





4 - THE TACTICAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO 4-4-2 FORMATIONS


As I said, we have two "Volantes", which are somewhat like DMs, and two "Laterais" who do a hell of a lot of stuff.

The "Laterais" have the winger's job of creating width in attack, but they also have the job of the English CMs of building-up play. Yeah, I know it seems weird, but just watch one Brazil match and you will see it. Weirdly enough, this is also the job of the DMs. These four are the guys who bring the ball from the defense to the attacking players (numbers 8, 9, 10 and 11). They are not responsible though, for the creation of scoring opportunities as CMs also are in England, their job is only to take the ball there, and then, if opportunity arises, to join the attack as a surprise man (with crosses for laterais or through passes and forward runs from the volantes).

That's also the reason we have two "AMs", since there are no CMs trying to score and dribble their way into the area, those 2 players, the numbers 8 and 10, are the ones who create chances for numbers 11 and 9.

On the other side, for these two players, numbers 8 and 10, to be effective, they must ALWAYS be part of the attacking play, so they don't defend. that's why you get so many Brazilian midfielders groaning about how managers want them to tackle, in Brazil tackling is not the job of the creative midfielders, we'd never have a Gerrard or Xabi Alonso MARKING someone (although numbers 11, 10 and specially 8 do come back to fill up space and help a bit, but they are not expected to tackle or to steal balls, they mostly try to not allow the laterais and volantes to get the ball to the attackers and meias).

So, we have 2 players (numbers 3 and 4) who mostly only defend and 4 (numbers 8, 9, 10 and 11) who mostly only attack. While in England you have 4 who mostly only defend (the two CBs and two SBs) and 2 who only attack (AM/SS depending on what you wanna call it and the CF).





5 - WHY THE **** DID I WRITE ALL THAT? or THE TACTICAL THING THEY HAVE IN COMMON somewhat


Now, every team must have it's balance, and in both countries, the 4 players remaining (Numbers 2, 6, 5 and 7 in Brazil and the pairs of CMs and Wingers in England) are the guys with the responsability of providing this balance, all of these guys do both things, ATTACK and DEFEND. But since in Brazil, there are more offensive "fixed" players than defensive ones, these 4 will focus more in defense than in offense, while in England, since there are more "fixed" defensive players than there are offensive ones, they will focus more on offense. It's about 70% to 30% in both cases. The main point here, is that laterais and volantes as a whole, are more defensive than CMs and Wingers.





6 - HOW THAT BALANCE WORKS IN BRAZIL (INCLUDES LUCAS AND THE NATIONAL TEAM)



In Brazil, to achieve the 70% defence to 30% offense balance, there are a couple of ways to go, you can use two fairly offensive volantes, that would be ALMOST( I said ALMOST) CMs to pass the ball in the middle, while keeping the laterais in the defense. With the volantes playing in a more advanced position, the numbers 8 and 10 would have to move a bit to the wings to give them the space in which to work, thus providing the width lost with the laterais staying back (when this is done, it becomes very similar to the English 4-4-2, which shows that they are indeed closer to each other then one would guess at first, considering that only 4 players have the same role in both - the GK, the 2 CBs and the CF). Or you could do exactly the opposite, keep the Volantes at defence at all times and have the laterais blast towards the opponent's flanks all game long, the AMs would then play very centrally while the Volantes would become almost CBs (that's why I put "CB" as the third option next to number 5). Or you could of course use any other mix of these factors.

The second option (marauding laterais and CB volantes) has been the most used BY FAR in Brazil though for a long time for two main reasons:

Number 1 is the success of 1994's National Team who played just like that.
Number 2 is that this was the time when we started losing our stars to the European Clubs.

Every one wants to copy a champion, and that explains number 1. Number 2 is easy too, with less quality left for our clubs to use, they couldn't have a player like Dunga or Mauro Silva to use as a "DM almost CB", those were extremely good defensive players with decent technique (for Brazilian standards, btw there were considerable differences between the two, but let's not get too much into that), they could only have either those two player's decent technique, OR they had their defensive ability and NO technique. They chose the second option and more and more our laterais became almost pure attackers and our DMs almost pure defenders, since they couldn't pass the ball, taking away the options we used to have for balance. And that's why Gilberto Silva played 3 World Cups (he was a CB until he was 20 years old in case you don't know).

Only since 2005, when Sao Paulo beat Liverpool in Japan with 2 volantes with some technical ability (Josue and Mineiro, who scored the winning goal in that match by the way, something he really rarely did) did people start to rethink that, and then some technical volantes started to reappear, the very first of them, being your very own Lucas in Gremio, who was soon followed by Hernanes, Ramirez, Sandro, Cicero and others, which are now the ones that Mano Menezes wants to use in his team.

What the Brazil side is now TRYING to do, is to get back to the old times of having options for balance, like we did in 1982 when our 2 volantes were simply Falcao and Cerezo and our 2 laterais Junior and Leandro (damn I'm getting goosebumps just thinking of it lol, these 4 defensive players had the technique to make Kaka look like Terry). Anyway, what I'm trying to say, is that, although Mano is using 3 strikers (but neither Robinho or Neymar are wingers, something that Man City coach couldn't understand, and that's coming from someone who hates Robinho), the idea of balance between the two DMs and SBs is still there, we still have Maicon/Daniel Alvez and Andre Santos (ugh) going up, but the DMs, Lucas and Ramirez, even if still more defensive than the laterais, are also a part of the attacking play, Lucas mainly doing what he does at Liverpool, although from a deeper position, while Ramirez supports him with that providing option and doing forward runs into space when they open up in the opponents defense. They are not Falcao and Cerezo obviously***, but they have been great until now, unfortunately, our attacking quartet hasn't quite found it's best way to play together yet, because, as you can see in the Paraguay match, the ball arrives in their feet from Lucas and Ramirez time and time again.

*** Btw, just thought of something, I read a lot of people in the British media at the time saying that they were told Lucas was similar to Falcao.... so how the hell did people come to the conclusion that Lucas was an AM??? He was a Primeiro Volante, in fact, he played EXACTLY how Lucas is playing now, with more quality obviously, but still at the exact same role, in the exact same position in the field, doing the exact same thing (get the ball, start the new attack, receive the ball back if the forwards can't find a way to goal, move the ball around, repeat.) Want to know how Falcao was? Watch the Lucas match vs Fulham and you will know. The only difference is that Falcao played like that week in week out.


And that's a DM's role, he makes sure the balls gets to the feet of the AMs and Strikers as often as is possible, and then move into space so that if those players can't find any space into which to create an opportunity, they can give the ball back to the DMs so they can do it again.





7 - HOW THAT BALANCE WORKS IN ENGLAND (LUCAS HERE AND LIVERPOOL AS A WHOLE)


Obviously in an English tactics it's a bit different, but not too much, let's see that:

In England, they can also use their 4 players in different ways to achieve this 70% offense to 30% defense balance, they can have one winger be more offensive while another stays back more to protect the back of both fairly offensive CMs, or they can find whatever other solution (that's the coach's job) they prefer for this.

What Kenny has done in the last match, was to have one winger play almost as an striker (Downing), the other winger in a more reserved manner but still fairly offensive, the same with Adam. So, having the other three players in a more offensive role, he kept Lucas back to give that balance, even when he was namely a CM, in this formation he acted as a DM (and any formation that wants to get the best out of Lucas will do that), playing almost like he does in Brazil (in Brazil he is a little more defensive though). This is similar to how in Brazil we would make the number 5 into pretty much a CB so that the laterais could go on an all out offensive.

I don't think this is the ideal (I at least believe that, only my opinion) though, I'd have Lucas playing in this exact way he has in the last game, but as officially a DM, with two classic style CMs (you guys understand that role better than me) who could be two of Gerrard, Aquilani, Adam, Henderson or Raul ahead of him in a triangle formation. up front I'd leave Downing as a pure offensive Winger (maybe make he even MORE purely offensive) and add another one to the other side (who could be Kuit or Suarez, but only if they are REALLY purely offensive) with Suarez or Carrol as Target Man. They are completely different players I know, but both can work there, Suarez played as the only striker for Uruguay in Copa America and you know what happened (Forlan was more of a Number 10 than anything else, as you can see from he only scoring in the final even though he played an awesome tournament). It would be down to "What is better? Kuyt as an Attack Winger or Carrol as a Center Forward?" unless Kenny prefers one style or the other, both could work so it's his choice really.

This formation would put a lot of defensive strain on Lucas since Gerrard and Aquilani are not the most defensive guys around, BUT I think he can pull it off. Actually it would be a great test for him, only a World Class DM could do an effective DM job (tackling/intercepting and moving the ball around) in a formation like this, and if, while playing this formation I mentioned, he still manages to do his job, I'm 100% sure Liverpool can win the EPL. Just imagine if he can keep a considerable flow of balls arriving at the feet of the likes of Gerrard, Aquilani, Downing, Suarez and Carrol all at the same time, all in the opposition's half. I know only of one guy who does that in a similar formation and that guy is Busquets, who helps make sure that Xavi, Iniesta, Villa, Pedro/Sanchez and Messi keep getting the ball all the time (although those 5 steal lots of balls in the attack as well, which is why they are the best by far, Liverpool won't become that this season, probably not even in the next one, but if Lucas can pull it off, in some seasons, depending on how much is spent on transfers and how well the money is spent, it could become an outstanding force capable of making the mancs look like fools just like they did against Barca).

Lucas is confident now, looking better than ever, maybe this could be the time to take the next step, I'm sure Kenny would love this to happen, I hope he's thought of it.




8 - I FINALLY GET TO THE POINT


Well, anyway, I got terribly side-tracked, the reason i wrote all of this was to say:

Lucas is a DM, a player who needs to have an incridible rate of stealing the ball, who must understand the big picture of a match very well to know when to fool, which pass to pick (thinking ahead some 2 or 3 moves so that he can analize which way is the better one to attack through). He is not perfect at those things, but he IS very good at them as you have mentioned yourself, you just thought that wasn't enough to make him a really outstanding DM, but that's really all his need.

Because his job isn't to score goals, dribble defenders or even place pinpoint passes inside the opposition's defense, his job, the end product of the DM game, is to allow the ones who are most capable of doing these things (ie. Gerrard, Suarez, and the other attacking players) to have as many chances of trying them as possible.
And that's important because even with Gerrard being as good as Gerrard is at long shots for example, if he only has the opportunity to try it 2 times a game, he will rarely score, but if Lucas does his job well and the ball keeps getting in good conditions to Gerrard, he will be able to try it 10 times instead of 2, and the chances of 1 in 10 being a goal is MUCH greater than 1 in 2.

That's why people rate Lucas so highly, his attributes are perfect for that job.




9 - I EXPLAIN WHAT I JUST DID THERE WITH A SHORT STORY ABOUT VALUE AND RESPECT. Seriously, it's short, I wrote a 30 pages one as an answer for a youtube comment once, it obviously didn't fit though.


PS: Just a weird exercize on getting the importance of this support. Imagine you are in an archery duel, you and your assistant against an opponent and his assistant. These assistants are crafters who make arrows. Now, the goal of the duel is to shoot a particular deer before your opponent does it.

As you both set on into a forest you both find the deer, now, thing is, you are MUCH better than your opponent, really, by far, you take the first shot...

Chance is, you probably hit the target, because you are great, and great people are great for a reason. But there's a chance of you missing (a fairly small chance in archery -when you are REALLY good- , not so much in Football -even for the best players- ). Your opponent then shoots and misses too.

Thing is, each one of you only had one arrow, (because we were talking about football and football only has 1 ball in the field at a time so I will arbitrarily say you only had 1 arrow or the whole story would be pointless) and that's why you brought your crafters with you.

After both of you missed your shots, both crafters went to work into making new arrows with the wood's trees. You were still very confident, you were MUCH better than him after all, the chances of you missing again are minimal...

You look to your opponent and he is shooting his second arrow, and he misses again, again with the third. and with the fourth.

And your crafter is still making the second.

Your opponent shoots the fifth, sixth and seventh arrows, missing again. On the eighth one, he hits the target. You both go back to town, where they greet your opponent and proclaim him the best archer ever, they give him free beer at the local pub and he gets free service from every one of the cities' huh... working ladies.

You are on the verge of exploding in anger, you tell everyone that he is not really so good, that he missed 7 shots while you only missed one, and that he only won because his crafter was much better and faster than yours. Everyone laughes at you obviously, because everyone knows crafters don't decide matches.

You fire your crafter, hires your opponent's crafter who was annoyed that no one was congratulating him and you tell him:

"Don't worry mate, everytime I win a match from now on, I will tell them of how important you are, and from now on, neither me nor anyone else will ever say that - He who doesn't shoot the arrow, can't be the one who kills the deer."

And so may it be that one day, no one else will say that - He who doesn't score the goal, can't be the one who wins the footbal match.




10 - WANNA SEE THE 4-4-2 THAT I HAVE MENTIONED AT IT'S BEST?


By the way, try searching for this in the youtube search engine:

"Brasil 1982 - The 11 Greatest Goals of Brasil 1982's Magic 11"

You may want to look at this one too, but it's sad  :'(  ... You will see what I mean.
"Brazil 1982 - A tribute to the art of football"

That's the perfect Brazilian 4-4-2, the greatest team ever that didn't win, if only Reinaldo or even Careca was fit to play Number 9...
Anyway, there will never be any build-up play like the ones performed over and over again dozens of times in every match by Leandro (Number 2), Junior (Number 6), Falcao (Number 5), Cerezo (number 7), Socrates (Number 8 ) and Zico (Number 10). Not even the 70 team had that (but it was better in the front).

PS: The numbers there are their positions in the team based on my explanation on the 4-4-2 up there, not their actual numbers, I'm not sure of which numbers were Socrates and Cerezo wearing.

PS2: Junior, Leandro and Zico played for my club, maybe someone here remembers these players and their club.




11 - AKA - THE END - WHO THE **** AM I?



Oh yeah, this may be a little weird, you know, me writing a God knows how many lines post considering it's my very first post here on rawk, but I first read the old Lucas thread about 2 years ago I think, and I have been following it since the Argentina x Brasil game last year (I read the whole thing... seriously, it took me like 2 weeks to catch up with it the first time). It started with me wondering "hey, how is that Lucas lad from Gremio I liked so much doing in Liverpool? I bet he's their captain already by now!". So I did a little research and well... let's just say I was surprised, and VERY pissed, murmuring stuff about stupid Brits and their hoofball (btw, reading this was the first step into opening my eyes into the good sides of English Football, and there are plenty of good sides too! Although I still hate hoofball). So as I tried to find someone saying anything GOOD about him, I ended up in that thread.


COMPLETELY OFF-TOPIC, YOU MAY WANT TO SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH AND COME BACK WHEN THIS SECTION IS OVER. I WOULDN'T THOUGH, IT'S ABOUT HAIR:

Btw, what was your problem with his hair? Maybe the Brazilian League is not exactly a standard, but his hair was among the most normal ones we have here! Don't believe me? Look at this (if you are worried if these links are safe or not, let me explain from where they are: The first one is from Terra, one of the biggest internet portals in Brazil, kind of like The Sun but without the newspaper. The second one is from Editora Abril, Brazil's biggest publisher with magazines that sell over 10 Million copies a week. So I'm pretty sure they are too rich to rob people. Anyway, if these sites aren't acceptable by the forums rules, please feel free to delete these links and for God's sake don't ban me in my first post, I swear I will read the rules again 3 more times and paying more and more attention each time if that's the case) : http://img.terra.com.br/i/2011/07/21/1960411-7968-atm14.jpg or this http://clubalfa.abril.com.br/top-10/futebol/10-piores-cortes-de-cabelo-do-brasileirao-2011/).



BACK TO LUCAS

Well, there was a lot of crap about him there too, but some very smart comments, and I ended up getting caught up in it and the rest is history.

End of story is, I know some guys here, like sangria, leivapool, red_new etc, better than I know most of my friends, at least when it comes to football obviously, just from the sheer amount of great stuff I've read from them.

So I'm sorry if I - have gone/will mostly likely go - over the top sometimes since to me it feels like I've been taking part in these discussions for over an year  ::)

Oh yeah, about who the **** I am, my name is Felipe, I'm 20, live in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil and my club is somewhere on the post and on my photograph.

Now let's see if I can post this in one shot...
Football is a World's game. You can't fully understand it until you can look past your own League or Continent.

Offline -RedTilDead-

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1418 on: August 18, 2011, 10:12:13 am »
Hi Felipe. Thanks for taking the time to write all that up,  it's really impressive. It's good to get a perspective from someone who has watched a lot of brazillian football.

I think you are right that some people judge his performances outside of the context of his role.  You wouldn't judge a keeper on his heading ability or shots on target.  I have a poor memory but there have been a few games in the past couple of years where Lucas has been asked to play a more attacking role further up the pitch and an opportunity to show his versatility,  and he did very well. 
"I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are." - Homer Simpson

Offline joezydudek

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1419 on: August 18, 2011, 10:21:58 am »
pfffff...lucas is the best tackler?? wow what was i watching during the liverpool matches o.O

Judging by your avatar and signature, you don't watch a lot at all!
He completed more tackles than anyone in the top five league in Europe last season so if you haven't noticed he completes a lot of tackles, you tell me what you were watching. John Henry's missus perhaps?

Offline The 5th Benitle

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1420 on: August 18, 2011, 10:23:24 am »
Felipe in Rio - thanks mate, welcome to the forum and you're already becoming a great addition. Very interesting stuff.

Offline The 5th Benitle

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1421 on: August 18, 2011, 10:24:51 am »
pfffff...lucas is the best tackler?? wow what was i watching during the liverpool matches o.O
Only you and your shoes can answer that.

Offline carling

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1422 on: August 18, 2011, 10:31:06 am »


I'm a bit speechless after reading that.  Good read though!

Offline greenone

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1423 on: August 18, 2011, 10:40:42 am »
pfffff...lucas is the best tackler?? wow what was i watching during the liverpool matches o.O
The ball instead of the game? and listening to Andy Gray of course.
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Offline Felipe in Rio

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1424 on: August 18, 2011, 10:44:52 am »
Is it as for quite a while there we were asking our wide men to act as cover sometimes when the full back broke down the wing? If we had flying wingers with no defensive ability and full backs like Alves who spend most of his time in the opposing half then yes a holding midfielder might be key but there is always a balance out there....one full back gets forward the other has to stay back thus still allowing 3 defenders covering 1 forward. Anyway the team looked pretty handy in the 1st half and once they get the rust off their legs we should see better performances over 90 minutes.

Agree somewhat, seems like some people here think it's impossible to play without a player like Lucas, it is VERY difficult, the only way I know of effectivelly doing that is by playing 2 VERY offensive Fullbacks (who will do something similar to what Lucas does with taking the ball to attack, and 2 very defensive midfielders, like 2 Mascheranos to protect the sides.

But that old view that some people have that you can have a midfield like Downing/Gerrard/Aquilani/Henderson for example is crazy, that worked in England when people couldn't even tell what tactics they were using, there are some unforgivable defensive holes in a team like that, which any decent side with some tactical knowledge would easily take advantage of.

And there are some sides like that in the EPL, even if most fans and media continue to be ignorant to these aspects of the game.


PS: Just to not say it's impossible, sure, you COULD have that midfield that I mentioned.... with someone played the Lucas role, which I don't think any of them can do. You just need someone to start the attacks, usually, specially in Europe, it's the DM, in Brazil the fullbacks are used a lot like that too. But someone ahs got to do it
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Offline Felipe in Rio

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1425 on: August 18, 2011, 10:55:32 am »
Hi Felipe. Thanks for taking the time to write all that up,  it's really impressive. It's good to get a perspective from someone who has watched a lot of brazillian football.

I think you are right that some people judge his performances outside of the context of his role.  You wouldn't judge a keeper on his heading ability or shots on target.  I have a poor memory but there have been a few games in the past couple of years where Lucas has been asked to play a more attacking role further up the pitch and an opportunity to show his versatility,  and he did very well.


No problem, who need such trivial things as sleeping anyway!  :D

About he playing a more attacking role, yeah, he is capable of doing it, next time you watch a Brazil match, watch what Ramirez does, that's what Lucas used to do when playing for Gremio, although I believe he lost some of that attacking ability in order to get the muscles to play in the EPL. Muscles make you less agile, there's no avoiding that, sure he can get those skills back, no one forgets how to play football, but it's not easy, and it shouldn't be his focus when he is playing DM, specially when in Brazil he is playing the Primeiro Volante (which, I repeat, is basically the third most defensive spot in our tactics, more than the fullbacks).

Anyway, I think he could become a great box-to-box midfielder someday, but he could become more than great if keeps at working as a DM, and honestly, he has no interest in becoming a box-to-box midfielder since here in Brazil no one knows what the heck is that. Here you are either a DM, or a AM. The position "CM" simply doesn't exists, that's why Anderson almost never got into the National Team, and when he did people here complained, because no one understands properly if he is still an AM or if he has become a DM. And they will never understand since he is neither.

Lucas, even if his position changed, is still a Volante. A different kind sure, but still a Volante, so it's easier for him to fit into a Brazilian side.

I can guarantee you, no matter how good Anderson gets, if he doesn't start playing as an AM, he will never be a Brazil First XI. And that isn't just some xenophobic stupid view, it's just that we don't have that position, how could we possibly have a position in our National Team that doesn't even exist in our language? What would people call him? How would the coach explain it to the people and media? They would end up being called "volantes" and then the coach would be sacked for playing a dozen volantes, as usual  ::)
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Offline reds9

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1426 on: August 18, 2011, 11:11:17 am »
Very interesting read Felipe in Rio, I learnt more about Brazilian football from your post than I ever had known.

Offline IndianKopite

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1427 on: August 18, 2011, 11:19:26 am »
@Felipe-Good post man!.Must have taken ages to write.Very informative.I knew about how the roles of full-backs and volantes are perceived in Brazilian football,but not about other players.I thought for other players,it was coach's prerogative how to play them.

I hope people will now understand what Lucas' exact job is and won't expect him to play like Gerrard and then get back in time to tackle.

Anyways there is only one part of your post I disagree with.


That's the perfect Brazilian 4-4-2, the greatest team ever that didn't win, if only Reinaldo or even Careca was fit to play Number 9...

Problem with that team was its defense,not who played number 9 IMO.You could have Drogba in his prime playing in that team but it still would have shipped loads of goals.Just look at some of the goals that defense conceded.I don't know why brazilians still blame that guy who played number 9 in that team(forgot his name).That guy was a lot like Kuyt,trying to give that team some balance with his work rate.


Disclaimer:I did not watch '82 world cup because I wasn't even born then.But, I did watch some videos after reading about '82 Brazilian team in some site about tactics.


Offline mercury

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1428 on: August 18, 2011, 11:22:52 am »
Phenomenal first post, Felipe!  Thanks so much for the explanation :wave

My whole town worshipped your 1982 team and cried.....
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 11:24:39 am by mercury »

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1429 on: August 18, 2011, 12:23:12 pm »
Presumably covering the back four is a key part of the job? Well how does he do that? His stamina is ok, his pace is ok, his positioning is ok, his tackling is ….ok, his strength and protection of the ball is ok, his physical presence – is ok – neither tall, nor small, neither lightweight nor ponderous…….

If his role is to get the ball and lay it off – keep the team ticking over – well his passing is ok, his awareness is ok……

Hamann’s positioning was exceptional, Mascherano’s pace and determination were exceptional, Sissoko could tackle two people at once…..other parts of each players game were not so hot, Didi’s pace was poor, Masch’s judgement was debateable, Sissoko’s passing atrocious etc

So is Lucas a jack of all trades and master of none?  He does not seem to excel at any given element of the defensive midfielders trade – if he’s not an out and out dm then does that cause problems for other players – the likes of Adam and Gerrard have to share those dm responsibilities when in reality neither would want to

Football is all about combinations does Lucas’s lack of specialisation mean to compliment him we need another player who is a generalist capable of playing all roles to the same or higher standard  - are we looking for Gerrard to extend his career and drop back into a more defensive role become a more mature all-round player and play with a defensive 6? Adam’s lack of stamina/discipline (demonstrated largely at Blackpool) does not seem particularly suited to a partnership with Lucas, neither does the light weight Meireles or the delicate Aquilani,. Spearing is a similar player to Lucas imo – neither one thing or another but for me he lacks the quality of the Brazilian – if Lucas scores a 7 at everything Spearing is a 6 imo.

I don’t think I’m disputing Lucas’s quality (unless people think he’s an all round 8 I suppose) just how that fits in with the team dynamic and the personnel we have?

I would say that Lucas is not like Mascherano nor is he like Busquets etc. He has elements of both in his game but he can also do things that neither can do as well as he can.

I would rate Lucas' skils as being considerably higher than you give him credit for. Lucas' tackling is different from Mascherano's - not the spectacular going to the ground stuff for him, but just as effective in robbing the ball from others. Again he is not like Mascherano who will pursue the other players like a guided missile, but he will materialise so to speak at the right time in the right place. In terms of speed, he is fast enough to get to where he needs to go.

In terms of passing, he has great accuracy and seldom misses. Positioning is impecaable. To summarise it all up = my conclusion is that Lucas is not a jack of all trades at all, but a master of the defensive midfielder position who can be compared to the best in the world.



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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1430 on: August 18, 2011, 12:32:45 pm »
Felipe in Rio's post should be stickered permanently - it is a gem of insight!

My favourite quote from his post :-

"And that's a DM's role, he makes sure the balls gets to the feet of the AMs and Strikers as often as is possible, and then move into space so that if those players can't find any space into which to create an opportunity, they can give the ball back to the DMs so they can do it again."

Basically sums up why Lucas is indispensable to the team.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 12:37:01 pm by subroc »

Offline Rohit

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1431 on: August 18, 2011, 12:40:19 pm »
Felipe and new red have just posted some great stuff long may it continue.

Offline Marko B

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1432 on: August 18, 2011, 02:16:07 pm »
Great read Felipe in Rio. I love reading about the differences between the Brazilian game and that here and trying to work out the issues in adapting one to the other like Lucas has had to. It certainly gives a context to the subtle differences in his game and how they have evolved over time and potentially how it may evolve into the future.

The Brazilian game sounds so fascinating, I just wish I was able to watch more of it.
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Offline fowlermagic

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1433 on: August 18, 2011, 03:34:59 pm »
Agree somewhat, seems like some people here think it's impossible to play without a player like Lucas, it is VERY difficult, the only way I know of effectivelly doing that is by playing 2 VERY offensive Fullbacks (who will do something similar to what Lucas does with taking the ball to attack, and 2 very defensive midfielders, like 2 Mascheranos to protect the sides.

But that old view that some people have that you can have a midfield like Downing/Gerrard/Aquilani/Henderson for example is crazy, that worked in England when people couldn't even tell what tactics they were using, there are some unforgivable defensive holes in a team like that, which any decent side with some tactical knowledge would easily take advantage of.

And there are some sides like that in the EPL, even if most fans and media continue to be ignorant to these aspects of the game.


PS: Just to not say it's impossible, sure, you COULD have that midfield that I mentioned.... with someone played the Lucas role, which I don't think any of them can do. You just need someone to start the attacks, usually, specially in Europe, it's the DM, in Brazil the fullbacks are used a lot like that too. But someone ahs got to do it

Some first post sir and probably way too insightful for most including me in regards to certain tactics Brazilian fans have seen. I was 11 when I first saw the 82 side and nearly cried when they got knocked out by Italy. Memory is so fuzzy as that was 30 years ago nearly wow but that side played like they had the wind in their sails at times. Amazing to think that the 1970 side was probably twice as good again but obviously never saw them live.

I do disagree that you need two flying full backs and two Mascheranos to fill in if you did not pick Lucas. Teams that will park the bus against us when we reach our best, ie teams that already give UTD three points before they turn up will greet us with wine, package three points in satin and send us on our way ….will probably have 11 guys behind the ball when we cross half ways. The midfield will be like sardines so I see a need for 3 “CMs” but two Mascheranos covering space in front of the central defense will be like bringing a six pack to a keg party….totally unnecessary.  Lucas could start in most of these games maybe all of them but in ideal world a team like the below would have done for me

…………………Reina
Johnson Sami Agger Riise (at his best)
……………..Alonso
…..SG……………………Downing
….Kuyt……Torres….Suarez

We currently are a long way from fielding a starting 11 that will match the above on their best day but personally think the above gives you enough strength, height and speed in the back to cover the rare attack from sides that fear the best (yep hate saying this but Utd the past decade & more have won more points against less hearted sides that I want to remember). Alonso has the ability to win the ball for you and so does SG when he falls back and both can set a tempo…a pendulum with two pairs of hands setting the beat is better than what we have now, Adam will try and so will Lucas but neither is a master clocksman. Up front is what I like most as you have threat both in the air and on the ground and in a heaven like world Kuyt would be replaced with a Barnesy, our greatest ever wide attacking striker / winger.  Obviously he would have started on the left more often than not but with current trends allowing wide men swopping back & forth he & Suarez woul dhave toren Fergie & Co a new hole.

Currently I am not in love with a couple of things we are doing attack wise but with SG coming back we will get a little closer to the goal threat / creativity we need inside & outside the box.  Lucas still has time on his side so definitely hoping he shines for us, ideally in a central midfield partnership of 2 or 3 players who are the best in the league. The past two seasons we have dropped our standards where our best midfield song can only be sung in memory of other CMs who were the best.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 03:37:59 pm by fowlermagic »
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Offline Scorpio68

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1434 on: August 18, 2011, 03:45:20 pm »



Good enjoyed, very good points put across
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 04:46:42 pm by Scorpio68 »

Offline RedRush

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1435 on: August 18, 2011, 03:45:58 pm »
First of all, what was supposed to be a small explanation, ended up being one of the biggest posts I've written in my entire life....

And so begins one of the best posts on here. :)

Nothing to add for me except that I come to RAWK for gems like this! Welcome!

Offline Chakan

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1436 on: August 18, 2011, 03:51:13 pm »
Good enjoyed, very good points put across

Did you seriously have to quote the entire thing?

Offline kelevra

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1437 on: August 18, 2011, 03:52:14 pm »
Did you seriously have to quote the entire thing?
Exactly what I was thinking.

Great insight though from Felipe
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Offline Vulmea

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1438 on: August 18, 2011, 04:02:10 pm »
cheers Felipe - nice thoughts - but how does a brazilian formation and role translate into a premiership game when the ball spends a long time in the air and sometimes defence switches to attack in one big hoof?

what characteristics does the player playing alongside lucas require and who at the club has those in order to work well as a pair?
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Offline Scorpio68

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Re: Lucas’ critical role for Liverpool
« Reply #1439 on: August 18, 2011, 04:47:10 pm »
Did you seriously have to quote the entire thing?

Fixed, apologies for that