Football FanCast guest columnist Luke Bryans feels that it is time for supporters to back Lucas Leiva.
Lucas Leiva was always going to be find life tough at Anfield this year, given that he has had to step in to a midfield that not only was missing the highly popular Alonso, but because the disdain that he is held by a large section of the Liverpool faithful already.
It is hard for the Brazilian, because he was never a direct replacement for Alonso and is merely filling in until such time that Aquilani becomes fit. I have to admit that I am not Lucas' biggest fan as a footballer; however I do believe that supporters are simply waiting for him to make a mistake, before barracking him and showing their disapproval. He rarely gets any credit for anything positive he may do and unfortunately the media choose to jump on his case at every opportunity; I actually feel the player is generally improving week on week, although you do sense that it will never get noted.
It is clear that Rafa has a lot of faith and has made attempts to build the bridges with him and supporters by bringing him to press conferences to signify Lucas' importance to the first team squad, although it doesn't appear to be rubbing off. Watching the game in Florence on Tuesday it was Lucas that seem to be getting the grief from the supporters, despite being one of many underperformers on the night, however I guess that is simply the way it has to go here on in, where any decent performance is seen as the norm and what is expected, while any bad performance will be highlighted and only add fuel to the discontent towards him.
The bottom line is Lucas is and will never be a playmaking midfielder in the mould of Alonso, therefore it a little harsh to have that expectancy from his game. I really feel that we need to lay off the guy a bit, show some belief in him, because Rafa is going to keep on playing him so we either embrace it and look to get the maximum out of him, or continue to barrack him, which is only guy to drain his confidence even further. Maybe a bit of faith will go a long way, although I expect a lot of Liverpool fans may not be prepared to give it to him.
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