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Bev's Good News

17 May 2017

Liverpool Lies: Debunking spurious fan misinformation and falsehoods about Lucas Leiva

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It's a sad state of affairs, but ignorance, unfairness and deliberate misrepresentation of the truth are the defining characteristics of many football fans these days. Sadly, Liverpool fans are amongst the worst when it comes willfully spreading misinformation and/or twisting reality to fit their immovable views.

The deliberate and/or negligent dissemination of false information is something I constantly battle against, and one of the reasons this site exists is to debunk - with cold, hard facts - the endless stream of spurious, agenda-driven fan/media 'theories' about LFC (and football in general).

In my experience, a dispiriting number of fans have rigid, inflexible views, and instead of being fair (and moderating their views based on performance levels) they endlessly twist the truth to fit their personal view, and back up their 'alternative facts' with false info.

Prime example: On Tuesday, I posted an article about Lucas Leiva, wherein Steven Gerrard praised his 'talent', and urged him to stay at Anfield next season. As expected, Lucas's detractors came out of the woodwork, spouting unfounded nonsense about how he's always been 'bang average' 'horrific' and 'mediocre'.

I challenged these fans to provide some evidence or rudimentary factual basis for these accusations, and here is one of the replies I received.

"In the past 10 years, the only time we won something (League Cup), Lucas was out injured. In 13/14 when we challenged for the title, Lucas didn't get a game. Lucas was not a part of the EL campaign last year where we reached the final. He didn't play at all in the first part of the season this year, 43 points. He featured a lot in the second part of the season, 30 points! I hope that's enough evidence for you".

This is a prime example of what I describe above: this person has a rigid, inflexible view about Lucas, and instead of assessing him fairly and/or providing a credible fact-based argument, he decided to spread a series of falsehoods. Here is the proof:

* 'In 2013-14 when we challenged for the title, Lucas didn't get a game': Blatant falsehood. Lucas made 27 appearances in the league that season (1900 minutes of game time, at an average of 70 minutes per game). How does this equate to 'didn't get a game'?

* 'Lucas was not a part of the EL campaign last year where we reached the final': Another blatant falsehood. Lucas made 7 appearances during the Europa League run last season.

* 'In the past 10 years, the only time we won something (League Cup), Lucas was out injured': This says it all, really. Ignorance of the highest order.

* 'He didn't play at all in the first part of the season this year [and Liverpool got] 43 points': Untrue. Lucas made 10 apps in the first half of this season, and Liverpool won 8 of those games, and lost only ONE. Moreover, the team was unbeaten in 9 of Lucas's 10 games (90%). He didn't play more because he was injured (or recovering from injury), but the point is, when Lucas played, the team did well.

* 'He featured a lot in the second part of the season, [and Liverpool only got] 30 points!': The implication here is that Lucas has had a negative impact on Liverpool's results in the second half of the season, but this is untrue. Since January, Lucas has made 13 appearances, and the record with him in the team is 77% of games unbeaten (7 wins, 3 draws, 3 defeats). This is significantly better than the team's record without Lucas in the 2nd half of the season (two wins in 9 games, 4 defeats, and 3 draws).

* Liverpool's overall league record this season with Lucas in the team: 15 wins, 4 draws, 4 defeats (80% of games unbeaten). Clearly, Lucas has had a major positive impact on Liverpool's league form this season.

This kind of rank deception is a plague of modern football, and just illustrates how some fans are so rigid and inflexible with their views that they'll choose to lie and twist reality. In this case, the poster doesn't rate Lucas, and rather than assess his impact fairly, he prefers to spread misinformation in a bid to cling onto his outdated, inaccurate opinion.

I have no issue with fans criticising Lucas, or indeed any player, but the criticism has to be fair, and if statements are phrased in an emphatically factual way (like the Lucas comment above), there has to be some genuine factual basis (like my views on Lallana, which are always based on fact).

Seriously, how can this poster's view on Lucas be justified? He could've easily checked his facts, but chose not to, and the reason is obvious: he's not interested in the truth; in his mind, Lucas is rubbish, and that narrative must be perpetuated at all costs, even it if includes spreading lies. After all, in the egocentric minds of many football fans, their views are absolute, and they live by the mantra: 'I think, therefore, it is', or: 'I see, therefore, it is'.

Even after 10-years at the club, some fans still don't have the decency to be fair about Lucas. Clearly, the Brazilian deserves a better class of fan, which is he should quit Liverpool ASAP.

Donald Trump eat your heart out. Football fans were revelling in fake news and alternative facts decades before you even decided to run for office.


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