29 Nov 2009

Yoda, SHANKLY, Lucas, and the contradictory messages coming out of ANFIELD

Following Liverpool's recent home draw with Manchester City, Rafa Benitez was emphatic and postive about Liverpool's chances of finishing in the top four. In an ironic twist, the player in which he seems to have the most faith does not seem to share his faith in the club's league chances.

After the City game, Benitez was clear about where Liverpool would end up in the league this season:

"We will finish in the top four."

We WILL finish in the top 4. Positive, defiant and said with real conviction.

Fast forward 7 days, and one of Benitez's favourites, Lucas Leiva, is clearly not on the same page:

“We are in a difficult moment and it's hard to know if we can be in the top four at the end of the season. We can't make promises about that. We will try as hard as we can, but we cannot promise".

Hard to know. Difficult. Can't make promises...

All evidence of a losing mentality, which is arguably part of the reason why Liverpool's season is in the toilet right now.

Compare Lucas' comments with those of Fernando Torres, who when asked about Liverpool's league chances this season, responded:

“I am convinced that we will end up in the top four".

No equivocation; no doubt; just a strong, positive belief that Liverpool will do what needs to be done. This is a winning mentality, and it's this kind of self-belief that makes Torres so indispensable.

The required footballing mentality of a Liverpool player was outlined by Bill Shankly:

"A lot of football success is in the mind. You must believe that you are the best and then make sure that you are".

It's an oft-used quote, but it sums things up nicely. Torres displays this kind of attitude; Lucas does not, which is a concern.

Another wise footballing philosopher said something once that is equally apt:

"Do or do not. There is no try"

Okay, Yoda was not a football man, but he was clearly a student of the Bill Shankly school of thinking.

And that's what Liverpool have to do today against Everton, and for the rest of the season: don't try and get the job done; just go out there and DO IT.


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  1. It's not often that I find myself agreeing with with you Jaimie but for once i do. Regardless of whether we eventually make it into the top 4 this season, the mentality of all concerned from Board, to Manager, to coaching staff, to player and even fans has to be positive. Self-doubts are no good on the pitch

  2. Imagine what MON would saying jaimie :-D  

    Now imagine a player stating the bleedin obvious! unimaginable eh! Who can gaurantee finishing in the top 4? Lucas has his opinion and Torres has his, as i have mine and you have yours..... Lucas being honest is not him having a losing mentallity he is just being god forbid honest.

    Stop having a go at Lucas!

  3. I am clearly NOT havingt a go at Lucas. I have defended him all season and have not had a bad word to say about him.  Lucas' attitude is cautious; unsure.  He needs to display more of a 'can-do- attitude like Torres.  Believe you're the best, then make sure you are.  Everyone needs to be on the same page.

  4. don't see the problem. one short quote cannot sum up a players mental attitude. judge the player on what he does on the pitch, not what he is quoted as saying in the press, which could be out of context or mis interpreted from portugese. on the pitch, lucas has been one of our best players so far this season, giving 100%. can't ask for more than that.

  5. cautious unsure? not bad for 1 of the better players so far this season, why didn't you comment on the other part of my reply?

    Jaimie i am sure LL is on the samepage as nearly everyone in the dressng room apart from babel Voronin who quite clearly aren't and is the reason they are not playing.

  6. Giving just 100% is not acceptable, if a player isn't good enough he should be moved on, same with kuyt it's ok using players that give 100% but only for a limited time, in my opinion Lucas provides us with no more then any other average central midfielder, this is coming from a kopite who has seen his fair share if home games

  7. Lucas' lack of confidence might be linked to his lack of ability.

  8. wtf are you on about you obviously haven't seen him play then

  9. he gives 100% but has also played really well this season, and has been one of the bright spots on an otherwise dissapointing campaign (so far).

    lucas is there for a reason and is being asked to play a *very* specific role, and he is growing into that role well, i think.

  10. where is this lucas quote taken from jamie? 

  11. http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2558/news/2009/11/29/1654629/liverpool-cannot-promise-top-four-finish-lucas-leiva

  12. Thanks, 
    but Goal.com are notorious for writing what they want without much need for accountability. I take this Lucas comment with a pinch of salt

  13. Yogi -  I'm only interested in what Lucas said. It doesn't matter where the quotes come from as long as they;re accurate, and I sincerely doubt that Goal would make them up.

  14. i know, i doubt a journalist would ever misquote someone, imagine that!

  15. Fine line between confidence and "self-congratulatory fawning?"


  16. bet there is no reply to this post, as usual when an opinion from this site is stunned everywhere.

  17. I'm really not having a go, I just want to know what distinction you can make between the two...for me the biggest difference is that these statements come after poor results, but the "fawning" comes after positive results. Surely confidence is good after both, right?

  18. Lucas is saying an honest thing. He is just one of the players who won't be in the starting 11 once Aquilani is fully match-fit. So, to secure a top-4 finish is dependent on his colleagues for the rest of the season. Unlike Torres, who can influence a game when he is fully fit, can say confidently about a top-4 finish. Hope you are able to discern this fact and don't bash a young guy who is just 22 and is willing to improve.

  19. Embarrassing article. Truly. Poor

  20. Well said mate. 'redpassion', no. bollocks, you don't support the team