Friday, August 13, 2010

Well, it's just you and me now buddy

At some point after Brazil started turning the screws on the U.S. in the first half of their friendly this week, my eye turned to Lucas at every opportunity. How would he handle a low-pressure friendly against the U.S.? Would he do anything well?

Lucas did fine. A sustained period of effective play that got lost in the unavoidable, eyeball-grabbing force that is Neymar's hair. Seeing Lucas succeed at even an innocuous level is important because Liverpool fans need some active signs of, well, goodness - on the pitch - to back up the general late summer happy fun vibes everyone has been feeling. For example, just as soon as I looked at my checking account balance to decide if I could absorb the ultimate impulse buy that would be a David Amoo home kit from the official team site, I read a blurb on Twitter that Fabregas and Van Persie still might be available for Arsenal come Sunday. Wenger hasn't decided yet.

Jumpin' Jehosaphat! F*$!in' Arsenal! Almost forgot about them. I'd been busy reading the same Kenny Huang press release re-worded 19 different ways by 19 different media outlets, trying to parse some useful bit of information or subtext that would mean a billion pounds or more firehose stream of cash is available to buy players. You mean these guys actually have to go out and play the matches to find out if they're any good?

Which brings me back to Lucas. There's a reason I declared 2010 would be the year I quit smoking and/or support Lucas. Conquering two monumental demons like that in one pass around the sun is challenging. Maybe it could be done on one of those Saturn or Uranus trips around the sun, but on Earth, no way. As soon as I finish this post, and another cup of coffee, I'm stepping out onto the balcony and sucking straight through a heater like Ponce de Leon stashed the Fountain of Youth at the end of that filter.

But I'm a man of my word, so it's you and me Lucas. We're in this for 2010. The thing is, he's actually a nice player of a certain type. He provides a lot of side balls and short passes, taking care, usually, to maintain possession. He likes to venture up to the edge of the final third and just kind of observe from there. Makes himself available to the more forward players in case they're getting pressed and need to go back with the ball. He has a knack for falling over in the area 25-40 yards away from goal in just the right kind of way that it looks like he was fouled, so the referee will award Liverpool a free kick.

There are things to like about Lucas. Sure, I'm being a tad silly in my description of his positive attributes, but the last thing you want to do on the eve of the new season is to break down what Lucas does for Liverpool with all the seriousness of the Kennedy war room during the Cuban Missile Crisis. We're having fun in the 2010-11 season, and the obscenity-laced tirades can come later, if ever. Lucas is where it's at. He's going to feature in that Liverpool midfield. This is what the fans have to go with - against Arsenal, against Blackpool, against Trabzonspor, against whatever plucky, Magic-of-the-Cup lower-league side they get drawn against.

Good lord, they're actually going to play these games, aren't they? It seemed for a while there everyone would just spend a bunch of time talking about Joe Cole being really good/not as good as anyone thinks - and, again, combing through contradictory press releases from the Far East and Canada to see if anyone has any real money to buy the club. Well, if they're going to play, might as well see what's in 'em. Lucas, get on out there buddy. I got your back. Unless you really mess up and ... no, no. That's the wrong approach. I'll take the risk and say I belong to Lucas. Last season was for self-loathing. This season is for Lucas and Liverpool. Let's have some fun.


Kuba said...

With one of the highest passing and tackling completion rates in the Premier League, having Lucas around on the team is great. He may not have the creativity going forward that Aquilani or Gerrard have, but I think he's grown in to that holding roll sitting in front of the back four.

casey said...

He's the reverse Samson. I swear he didn't start getting better until he got his haircut.

Elliott said...

Quitting smoking and supporting Lucas at once - I predict lots of sleepless nights and the coldsweats.....