12 Sep 2014

Confidence Boost: BR reveals some great news for 'struggling' £4m LFC star. Confirms he'll definitely start cup game

After a dream summer transfer, Rickie Lambert is yet to start a game for Liverpool this season, but Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has guaranteed the £4m striker some much-needed pitch time during LFC's upcoming game in the Capital One Cup.

When asked on Friday about Lambert's chances of starting the Aston Villa game, Rodgers told reporters:

"Ricky's been very good since he's coming in.

"He's working very well, and if he doesn't get a start [against Aston Villa], he'll definitely start against Middlesbrough in the Cup.

"His game-time will come"


With Balotelli in the squad, it's doubtful that Lambert will start against Villa, and his chances of regular starts in the Premier League/Champions League will probably remain slim for the rest of the season. I'm sure he knew that when he signed for the club, though.

Having said that, it's possible that Lambert may start a few games over the Christmas period. As a rough and tumble English striker, he's built for the tougher conditions in December/January, and he'll bring much needed fight and endeavour to tough fixtures during that period.

Lambert - who cost LFC £4m - barely made an impact during pre-season, but that is not a true indicator of how a player will perform during the actual season. As a comparison, consider Iago Aspas - the Spaniard had a fantastic pre-season last summer, but flopped when it mattered in the Premier League.

I suspect Lambert will be the opposite: poor pre-season, but effective in competitive games, and that's generally been the case already.

In August, England legend Trevor Francis claimed that Lambert is struggling at Anfield, but for me, he remains a good signing. As Rodgers previously notes, he's at the club to perform a 'specific' role in 'certain games', and as a back-up striker, it's hard to argue with the deal.

On a related note: the comparative lack of enthusiasm in Rodgers' description of Lambert sticks out like a sore thumb. For a manager renowned for gross overpraise of players, describing the striker as merely 'very good' is hardly a glowing endorsement.

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63 comments:

  1. Rickie said himself that it takes him time to get his body in shape, his fitness to top gear. He's not a young man and the work required of a Liverpool striker is significant. He'll face up to the same issues that Aspas had in that he'll have to do quite a bit more running that he's used to. The difference should come in that Southmapton last season were a pressing team too and the shift in style should be less dramatic for Lambert. He just needs to do what he's always done but at a slightly higher level. He's had quite a few weeks now to get up to speed and the Carling Cup should be the perfect time for him to put together 70-90 minutes of competitive football. A goal or two would be perfect. I would also expect him to pick up some minutes against Villa, depending on how the game goes. If Liverpool need a score with 10 minutes to go Lambert has already shown that he's capable of changing games, even just by being on the pitch.

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  2. He will serve his purpose, BR must have seen something in him, to bring him home. I reckon he is way ahead of Borini, who I would be very disappointed to see get a game this season, unless in an emergency, he was told by BR his future lay elsewhere, but has dug his heels in, and is happy to be in the squad, earning big bucks, whatever happened to ambition, ??
    Also looking to pick a team this week, my god, no Suarez or Sturridge, Last season I would be hoping for a draw in any game without one of them, now i'm confident we will get a win, amazing how we have moved forward under BR.

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  3. I just realised that we have two Italian strikers in the team. The one you didn't mention is good to have. The one you did ... well, I don't begrudge him being around. He's not a bad football player, he's just not yet shown anything particularly special. If he works hard in training he might force Rodgers to change his mind and give him a bit of time on the pitch.

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  4. But think of his mindset, settling as a number four or five striker.
    If he rates himself so high, why not go to Sunderland score a shedload of goals and then go to Barca or Real. He did'nt turn down Sunderland flat, they could not agree terms (financial I presume) and there lies the lack of ambition.

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  5. Lambert is to us like Klose is to Germany. We bring him on. Our style of play changes and with his power in the centre we can force some goals in (like vs Southampton).

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  6. Who knows. His tweets after the window closed were all a bit too cryptic, I'm not sure what's going on. I do think, however, that Rodgers would be wrong to go out of his way to not use Borini, perhaps as trying to prove some kind of point. Everyone should be able to get past any residual issues they have over the situation and just accept that Borini is here and, if he's
    needed and deemed to have trained well enough, he should play. No point in wasting him, even if it did turn out to be his own fault.


    One thing I'll say Borini has as an advantage over Lambert is his age. If Lambert doesn't prove that he can play the high-tempo pressing type of game that Rodgers needs then Borini has a chance to usurp his place in the pecking order. He'll have no shortage of energy, which is why I'll say again that it's all about the hard work he's willing to put in. If he slogs his guts out and still manages to put away a few goals in training it will be hard for Rodgers to ignore that. He'll have to pick these guys on merit, not whatever plan he has when the season started.


    Lot's of "ifs" in that equation. I really don't know what will happen. For now Lambert deserves to have some time on the pitch and show what he can do. Borini will have to work pretty bloody hard to get past that. As you say, his mindset will be very important.

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  7. Personally I think you're wrong about his attitude and ambition :-). IMO he priced himself out of moves elsewhere because he is wants to give it his bast shot at Anfield. Don't forget Rodgers will have said to him do well at Sunderland and there will be a role for you here. It seems to me Borini is holding him to that and I respect him for it.

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  8. Would you rather £14m to choose a replacement, (e:g Remy was £8.5m) or Borini.
    After all, it is a business, us fans like the football end, FSG and BR have a business to run and maintain,
    IMO Too many tossers sitting on the bench, to collect their wages every week, all through the leagues.

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  9. I'm not suggesting we should plan to keep him in the long term, just that he's here now and there isn't anything we can do about that. Clearly it would be better for the club to have the transfer fee in the bank, but there isn't much point worrying about that any more. I'm sure we'll offer him up for sale again in January. It doesn't change the fact that he's a Liverpool player now. If he's available and shows he's good enough then we should use him. If he trains better than Lambert and impresses the manager then there is no other reason to not use him ahead of his older team mate.

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  10. Phil I respect your opinion, but,
    Rodgers told him it would be better for his career if he moved on, and also said it in public. How specific does he have to be. ? before someone gets the message.

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  11. If, he turns things around fine, if given the chances.


    But if my Wife tells me she does'nt love me anymore, she has better options, I am number 4 or 5 in her list, and it would be better if I moved on, I would move on.

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  12. Have you seen him in FIFA 15 though! BEAST! Some where along the line the developers clearly thought he got super hench.

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  13. looking like hulk (the green one) ;)

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  14. i get what you mean mate. I liked it when beckham got frozen out at Madrid then fought his way in and ended up being a major reason why they won the league that year. Also, he is a good option given how injury prone Studge is. I think he deserves a season to proove himself

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  15. NeverGonnaCrackTheCode, I hope you're delighted that BR slammed England!

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  16. And if you were option number two?

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  17. Nevergonnacrackthecode12:31 pm, September 12, 2014

    this is what i asked rodgers to do and he done it
    now i will ask him to win the league

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  18. I'm sure most would have thought the same of a certain Mr Henderson when BR first came in. Admittedly Henderson didn't even get to the stage of discussing wages with another club as Borini apparently did, but if he does improve in the same way as JH then he could become a valuable member of the squad. I've always liked his work rate and determination and he hasn't really had many opportunities to play for us in his correct / main position.

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  19. Have a word about the Champions League too mate. Been a while since we done a double.

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  20. He heard you mate!

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  21. That made me laugh

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  22. Over the course of a very long season I suspect both Lambert and Borini will get game time. I don't think Rodgers is a petty manager and I'm sure he won't freeze Borini out. It would be fairly irresponsible to do that. Brendan will have made his place clear but if he's happy to try and force his way into the first team then I'm sure he'll have as much chance as everyone else.
    If Balotelli was to get injured/suspended against villa we would be very grateful we still have Borini. He's not a bad player by any means and could end up being important for us this season

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  23. Ever think Jamie that because Lambert is now 32 and has been thou the mill a few times that he doesn't need the kind of confidence building a 19 yr old might need?

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  24. AndWithSuchSimplicity4:01 pm, September 12, 2014

    You can never have too many brazilians full-stop. Certainly MY favourite hairdo........

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  25. Full-Back is not a position of our primary concern. We should buy a backup GK asap.

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  26. Midfield hardman and keeper still required.

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  27. That's why we are 'supposedly' getting Valdez once he recovers from injury on a free transfer.

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  28. Man oh man... I don't care what you say, Alves will be an awesome buy for us for under 10 (more in the region of 5 mill). This is some serious quality and experience you are bringing into the squad. All this aside, Alves is class, he still seems to have the pace (watch his vids from last season), he has vision, he is a very good defender and he has played most of his life in a system that is not all too different from ours.


    DO NOT KID YOURSELF, ALVES WILL BE A QUALITY ADDITION!!!


    Way better back up than Johnson or even a first teamer should manquillo not sustain. Yes a keeper is a priority, but damn it... Get both Alves and Valdes and there is a support and experience structure coming from one of the best teams ever to grace this planet.


    Imagine the guidance these boys could bring to the team.


    Further than these two I would not like to make too many bold claims about who else to get, although I do think that maybe Song was an opportunity lost. DM would be the next step...


    Jose Enrique to be tested in the DM role anyone?

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  29. I would prefer someone who can play as a 'hard man' (CDM) and as a box to box CM as well. Someone in the mould of Kramer

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  30. We have a Can do man ;) albeit an injured one :'(

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  31. Not gonna happen IMO, were getting rid of Johnno bcas he's overpaid, poor defensively and is 2 old, alves is older will want higher wages and is as bad defensively, can't see us doing much next summer to b honest, I see us promoting from within in a big way to fill out d squad, I'd expect Enrique to b replaced by flanno toure by ilori Johnsen by wisdom Lucas by joao tx jones by ward (as our number 3, hopefully valdes joins in d nxt month) and ibe to add competition out wide to Marko and sterling, could see us maybe signing a centre mid and a left footed attacker in d Kramer and shaqiri mould but wouldn't expect much more, who knows doe. On a separate note thank god were back 2moro, international breaks make me want to stick my gonads in a blender

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  32. It would be really great if liverpool can have the option to flex their muscle in the market, but also be able to just promote amazing youths challenge in the squad. Ibe, Rossiter, Flanners... we need some strikers though. How is that guy Samed Yesil doing?

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  33. Spirit of the Shadows4:22 pm, September 12, 2014

    awesome player, probably the best attacking full back now, but he might ask for unrealistic wages and psg have been chasing him for some time now. But that being said he isn't the best defensively.

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  34. Spirit of the Shadows4:26 pm, September 12, 2014

    wisdom doesn't look like a full back, more like a cb every time. McLaughlin though might be good,and alves isn't the best defensively but certainely better than glen johnson. otherwise agree with you mate

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  35. Should have had the guy who chose QPR instead! - But on the other hand perhaps his decision making has been shown to be somewhat lacking.
    Trouble is we may be vanquished by the time Valdez is or is not available!

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  36. We have origi next season doe which will b a top replacement for borini, yesil has been so unlucky with two cruciate injuries, it will b hard for him to come back at a high level IMO but hope he proves me wrong, he turned down a move to trabz in d summer so d club are probably open to offers, Sinclair looks a baller, looks like a mini studge in his style of play

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  37. Tommy are you saying he's somewhat akin to Johnson? Cannot understand why all the managers he (Johnson) played for didn't recognise he was a right sided midfielder and not a full back.

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  38. Ye I agree with wisdom, I fear he will slip down d micah richards and martin kelly route at right back, I don't like big full backs at all I only say it because he's playing der for west brom, hopefully he gets a chance at center back because he has all d tools, McLaughlin or young Randell cud b an option at full back

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  39. Origi will be awesome... looking good over in France. I haven't been convinced as of yet, but alot of my friends are keen on him. playing in Europa, just missed out on CL. Easily looks Lille's best player, but then again Joe Cole was good for them lol.


    Borini I hope he can prove himself so I'd like to leave it open ended for him. He is being quite stubborn about staying and this has to be admired. hopefully he can translate that belief onto the pitch. He's got great mentors and experience around him...

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  40. Spirit of the Shadows4:46 pm, September 12, 2014

    Is benteke fit for the villa game? that lad always scores at anfield..

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  41. Achilles injury,



    Just like Michu, Benteke is looking more and more like a one season wonder.

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  42. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:22 pm, September 12, 2014

    not good enough
    maybe 4 years ago but now he is just a Brazilian john glenson


    jaimie i really hope we are looking at better options i want to buy pablo zabeleta for right back

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  43. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:23 pm, September 12, 2014

    no rodgers said he has never been interested in valdes


    why would he lie when the guy is a free?

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  44. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:25 pm, September 12, 2014

    no he is too old
    he played in barcas loss to bayern munich


    plus he could not displace maicon

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  45. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:26 pm, September 12, 2014

    alexis sanchez has the best hair
    he does it with such simplicity

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  46. Exactly. And where does this Jon Flanagan?

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  47. Come on... that Luiz mop has to get some credit! Or how about the Pinto...thing. Sakho mini mohawk?

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  48. Someone posted a good list in a comment section somewhere else: "Carvalho, Scheiderlein, Wanyama, Kouyate (Even though WHam just bought him), Kondogbia, Kramer(but he's on loan), A Bender brother, Gustavo, Malanda, Capoue..."

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  49. no no no no and no maybe 5 years ago but not now what are we some kind off retirement pay day club for has beens

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  50. borini thinks he is better than he is end of....i dont think hes a prem player let alone a Sunderland player hes garbage pure and simple

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  51. the difference is beckahm is an icon who has achieved a different levels borini has done nothing of any note any where

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  52. if we had to play a lone striker tomorrow would you pick borini or lambert its riki 100 times out of 100 for me ,

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  53. i still cant believe they where willing to pay so much i followed him last year and he was garbage for me..its just he grabbed goals against chelsea ( penalty ) and there local rivals and there was a media frenzy

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  54. i hope so to but for me hes no better than say spearing was in his position.....infact spearing is a better midfielder than borini is a forward

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  55. Agree zabeleta stands out

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  56. Borini's motives for staying are far from clear. I for one will want to see what he does on the pitch if called upon.

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  57. I don't get the notion of him suddenly becoming good business, just because he's free. That's hogwash. He will either contribute to the quality to the team or not. You don't just buy a shitty player because the fact he was free made it 'good business'. This is a football club first, and a business second.

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  58. Number one would have to be female for me to stay.

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  59. Lambert has made an impact in the Manchester City and Southampton games as a sub and he's been unlucky not to score an goals

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  60. I'd love to see Dani Alves in a Liverpool shirt. Always been a huge fan. Top player

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