12 Nov 2011

GILLESPIE: "If Lucas can score 5 goals this season he'll be worth £40m..."

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva is often accused of being too negative on the ball, but Anfield legend Gary Gillespie believes that there are signs that the Brazilian is becoming more 'adventurous' on the pitch, which can only be a good thing for Liverpool.

Gillespie, who won a shedload of trophies during his time as a player for Liverpool, argued:

"When he's in possession of the football these days, he's better with it. He uses the ball more. He's far more adventurous.

"When he first came into the side he was nervous, and didn't want to make a mistake; he was passing it 5 yards sideways; 5 yards back, but now, he's far more adventurous with his passing.

"He's taking players out of the game, and for me, that's what midfield is all about: the pass should take players out of the game.

"It's not a case of just passing for the sake of passing; you've got to make a difference when you're passing the football, and I think he's got better with that, and he's growing in stature, probably because the onus is a lot more on him.

"Certainly, when Steven Gerrard is missing, Lucas steps up to the plate, but alongside him, Charlie Adam has given him a big touch of confidence as well.

"If we can get him to score 5 goals this season then we've got a 40m player".

People argue that it's not Lucas's job to score goals, but surely expecting him to weigh in with 2 or 3 per season, plus a few assists, is not asking too much?

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. you realise that people can still select and ctrl + c to copy your article...so disabling right click is just making it a worse experience for ur visitors and not affecting plagiarising sites. 

  2. Jaimie you are right it is not too much to ask, but I think his primary role is to protect that back four and break up play, he is by no means a natural at the role as he has more to his game but IMO the way we are now setup the team needs a work horse destroying play and pressuring the oppositions attack to break up play - Lucas is confined to this and especially since we have moved from having two holding midfielders in a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-4-2 - there is simply less oppurtunity for him to get forward.

    I recall Mascherano getting high up the pitch on occasions (but he was very quick at making up ground to track back) and scoring a couple of goals or at least shooting but for me he had a better defensive partner in Alonso to cover him (and vice versa) but the system that was played permitted that. This is no criticism of Adam at all - he likes to get further up the pitch and into the final third (rightly so as he can strike the ball and has an eye to pick a pass out) but then this leaves Lucas exposed. Not making excuses for the lad - nor am I making an argument about who is better Alonso or Adam - just that the defensive aspect of Lucas's game is more significant now that we are trying to integrate a more attacking game through the system that is being used.

    It is questionable as to why we look defensivley weaker then in previous years (could be Carragher's decline post peak years, Aggers injury's so the central pair have never played a sustained period together) but for me it is midfield in general where defensivley we are weaker, Kuyt's pressuring is not there as he is on the bench but also a very good player in Jay Spearing is not featuring so when you look at our midfield from a defensive perspective (Downing, Adam, Lucas, Henderson) there is more emphasis on Lucas as there was for say Mascherano when he had Alonso and Kuyt heavily contribute from a defensive aspect.

    People will argue it is all about attack and we dont need Lucas in home games - I strongly disagree - it is misleading as we have drawn some home games so most fans will argue all that was missing is the goals but for me the key is control. We need stronger control on the games we are playing too convince we are improving (Jaimie your point about the WBA game, we won 2 - 0 but we allowed WBA back into a game they had no right to in periods of that second half).

    I think we are losing midfield battles (Tottenham in the first 20 mins was testament to that as quality and movement of Modric could not be contained), but we have some good tests coming up against Chelsea and City - it would be instersting to see if Kenny sticks with Lucas and Adam but I think that leaves us wide open in midfield.

  3. What the hell is gillespie on...he must be on something serious or men in white coates need to take him away...

    1. How will Lucas score 5 goals when the donkey at front can't score that many.

    2. By scoring 5 goals if you become a 40million player..how much is maxi rodriguez worth who scored over 10 last season.

    3. Why is it that these values only apply to lfc....would any other club pay these prices....nobody else is thick enough to be ripped off not once not twice but three times.

    4. Lucas is a top player but his true value is 10-15million

    5. why are some lfc fans so deluded that they believe any bullshit someone tells em.

    6. What do you expect from gillespie who reckons Adam is better than Alonso .

  4. Lucas is capable of getting 5 goals easily, he used to play off the striker for Gremio!!  Gillespie is right. When you play a 4-4-2 the onus is sometimes on defensive mids to spring an unsurprised attack the way Keane and Viera did.  When a big goal was needed and it wasn't coming from elsewhere they would take the game by the scruff of the neck and make something happen.  I have no doubt that Lucas will add this 'take charge' attitude to his game in the near future, he clearly has the technique and belief, so it is just a matter of time.

  5. unsurprised?

  6. Lucas is an attacking midfield player that is what Rafa brought him for to score goals, he was to light weight so Rafa played him in a defensive role so he could work on his upper body strength and the sort of tackles and challenges made in the Premier League which are n't made in Brazil because they are more bothered about taking the ball then the man!
    He has shown in games he his capable of picking a pass when he pushes up the field but we do need to see some goals from him now.

  7. Even if he doesn't score we now have Charlie Adam

  8. We'd have to play Havant and Waterlooville on a regular basis tho

  9. surely just one of them?

  10. who also doesn't score....

  11. Unfortunately for us, Lucas will never be worth £40m!!

    He's matured well into the DM role, but the team don't help.  Hendo doesn't cover his fullback, Adam can't position himself correctly and I'm not sure if Downing can tackle.  

    It's been interesting to see him further forward in the new 442 setup, so he might get chances (eg swansea).  But it's not his natural game so not holding my breath.

    I'd rather see him become a top playmaker, his passing is better and it can improve further and the formation means he needs/has opportunity to make killer passes.  If he shows that, which isn't far off, he'll be a £20+m player.

    Let Spearo develop into his understudy.

  12. Mohammad Yullahstan1:10 am, November 13, 2011

    hopefully skrtel doesn't play then

  13. Thats bullshit! Theres is no way in lucas is ever gonna be a 40 million player. That guy must have been on crack or something really serious when he stated something as ridiculous as that! Lucas is the week link in our midfield, the reason we are struggling to win matches... The idea behind playing as central midfield in football is to link the players at the back to those playing upfront. You should normally be able to help the defense behind by blocking the attack of the other teams as well as orchestrate attacks by distributing the balls to the strikers or wingers and even scoring some goals also. Its one of the most important position on the field. That guy fails in the attacking aspect of his game and he is not even that great for defending also. He is not worthy enough to play in such a crucial position. He is weakening our midfield since we have one player who can`t attack. Our likelihood of scoring a goal becomes greatly diminished and thats why we struggle.

    Lets take a fictitious example:

    adam- can create 3 occasions per match and score 2 goal per match
    maxi- can create 2 occasion per match and score 2 goals per match
    downing- can create 2 occasion per match and score 1 goal per match
    henderson-can create 1 occasion per match and score 1 goal per match
    lucas-can create 0 occasion per match and score 0 goals per match

    Now imagine we are playing 442 so we should drop one of them

    Without                            adam   maxi   downing   henderson   lucas
    chances created                   5        6         6              7            8
    goals                                  4         4         5             5             6

    You get the picture? without lucas we get to create more chances and score more goals than if he we would have played him...Now obviously the real stats about each player are not like that. The fact however remains that without lucas a relatively more creative player can be fielded who will increase the total of occasions or goals for us.

  14. I told you guys taht he"s a handicap. With him, Liverpool dont win anything.

  15. That guy must have been on crack for stating something as ridiculous as that...If lucas is worth 40 million then suarez who is at least ten times better than him should be worth 400 million! Lucas is a liability in our team. Anyone not realising this is a fool!

  16. It's reverse psychology, mate.

  17. you said liverpool could come second look whos talking

  18. charlie adam is sh***t

  19. Please do not post pointless derogatory comments like that. If you think Adam is not a good play then explain why.

  20. wow lucas is most underrated player in premier league look what lfc fans have to say about their team
    Gerrard- too old and is now finished unfortunately 
    Carra- gives everything for team and was top defender but not anymore
    agger- too many times injured but definitly when fit is a top top defender
    skrtel-????????????????? dont even get me talking of him]
    carrol- will come good eventually but a waste of 35 mil and doesnt fit the lfc way when u think of liverpool u dont think of a team of carrols punting it up to him u think of pass and move with players like the caliber of suarez and gerrard

  21. I was being sarcastic...we no hope of making top 6 never mind 2nd

  22. agree the lad adds nothing to the team in fact he takes the place of a decent player imagine if henderson had played all the games lucas had played in centre midfield this season and bellers kuyt or maxi had played the wide position lots more goals/wins we paid 20mil for henderson a central midfield player then play him out of position to accomodate lucas then again stevie gets asked to play out of position to accomodate him then has to do two players jobs no wonder his body is,nt what it was imagine if we,d have given shelvey all the games lucas has had he is not worth his place in the team fact too slow fact never scores fact cant tackle fact one more thing just watch how many times he aks for the ball from a throw never or even watch him at the kick ins before the game everyplayer  knocks it to the trainer then hits the return first time 9 tmes out of 10 he has to take a touch he is not good enough a footballer end of story and he is costing us big time

  23. Spot on Deaththekid, kirk dale, Ashfah,...Lucas is just not good enough for Liverpool to make top 4, we need a playmaker to partner Adam come this January transfer window.

  24. Ok, so it's Lucas's fault that Carroll can't score? Lucas is doing the job he is being asked to do. He was our player of the year last season. He is also a regular for the Brazil national side. Funny that he is good enough for Brazil, but isn't good enough for us. The role of a midfielder is to control the middle of the park, which includes tackling, which Henderson, Adam and Downing simply do not do, and we don't have anyone atm who defends from the front, which has always been the Liverpool way. I have always liked Lucas, not one of the fans to jump on the bandwagon, hell, when he first arrived, I bought a shirt with his name on it and there is a reason why in recent times, against Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea that we have controlled the games, and that is because of Lucas doing his job and breaking down the attacks before they get too deep. He is class and probably in the top 2 or 3 in the league in his position right now, not bad for a player who's natural position is a box to box attacking midfielder.

  25. You must be on crack for stating something as ridiculous as that. Suarez is a striker who's job is to score and create goals. Lucas is a defensive midfielder, who is very good at his role and defensive midfielders who can score goals are very rare, so for a defensive midfielder who can score 5 goals a season would indeed up his worth. You, like a lot of "fans" who hate Lucas hate him for no valid reason, you jump on the bandwagon of Lucas haters.

  26. Then you must be a fool...You are just jumping on the bandwagon of lucas lovers. Don`t you realise that for the added "security" that lucas provides when he covers the back four in front, we are losing in the attacking respect of our game. Afterall whats important in football is creating the maximum chances possible per match and trying to convert as much as we can, isn`t it? do you think we win games by tackling balls like lucas does, huh? Meditate on that bro...

  27. The new owners have no idea of the value of the players they are buying anyway --- but then again I'm not sure that some managers and Directors of Football have any idea either - Going by some of the Cr-p thats being brought in!

  28. Ive never heard such rubbish in all of my life.

  29. 1. gives away too many free kicks
    2. goes for an ambitious he cant execute
    i have to admit though his corners are fantastic and is a great penalty taker
    and maybe im judging him too early but he seems to me like a one season wonder played great with blackpool one season but so far im not convinced he is a signing that has improved our team. i prefer hendo or spearing to him

  30. wow so adam is good enough for top 4 but lucas isnt? lucas has been great in my opinion lucas is one of those players whom fans take for granted coz u dont know the value of something once u lose it

  31. finally a fan who knows what he is talking about most posts on here are clueless

  32. you like most people sadly underrate the best dm in the league

  33. you bought a shirt with his name on it oh dear