The one Liverpool player Brendan Rodgers couldn't do without

ZonalMarking.net's Michael Cox uses FourFourTwo's StatsZone app – now FREE – to applaud the Brazilian Brendan can rely on

When Brendan Rodgers sat down and assessed his Liverpool squad ahead of 2012/13, he must have been hugely grateful for the reliable presence of Lucas Leiva.

Liverpool’s midfield consists of players like Steven Gerrard and Charlie Adam, who must adapt their game to Rodgers’ system, and players like Jordan Henderson, Jay Spearing and Jonjo Shelvey, who can’t yet be counted upon for consistent performances. And while Rodgers has signed Joe Allen, a trusted foot soldier from the manager's old club Swansea, the Welshman has to become accustomed to the added pressure of playing for a big club.Lucas is the only midfielder Rodgers could sit down with and simply say, "Keep on doing what you’ve been doing."

Liverpool face Manchester City this weekend, a repeat of the fixture in which Lucas turned in his best individual display of last season, in a 1-1 draw last November. City arrived with David Silva in outrageously good form, and Mancini handed him a central playmaking role. With Adam and Henderson straying forward, Lucas often found himself isolated against Silva – but it was no problem. He turned in a faultless defensive display, making six interceptions and completing seven tackles. The positions of the tackles shows how well Lucas guarded the whole width of the pitch, as Silva drifted into wider positions, looking for space.

It was equally impressive how well Lucas coped with the powerful forward runs of Yaya Toure. The Brazilian didn’t try to outmuscle the Ivorian – he simply made well-timed, firm challenges to win the ball cleanly. And, as usual, his passing was excellent. It’s particularly notable how many more times he played passes compared to receiving passes, indicating how often he won the ball himself, rather than had it given to him by a teammate.

Sadly, it would be Lucas’s last league game of the season – he suffered a cruciate ligament injury two days later against Chelsea in the League Cup.Happily he is now fit again, and clearly suits the type of football Rodgers wants to play. Lucas was unfairly criticised in his first few years for his tendency to play short, safe, allegedly unambitious passes; now that’s the simple instruction for the whole of the Liverpool midfield.

But has Lucas’s style changed under Rodgers? It’s early days – we only have one game of data to assess, so it’s impossible to make a definitive judgement. But compare his dashboard (a visualisation of all his recorded actions in one game) from last week’s match (left) against West Brom to the corresponding fixture last year (right), and there is an obvious change.

First, look at the types of balls Lucas played – particularly the incomplete passes, denoted by the red arrows. Against West Brom last season, out of keeping with his reputation, he attempted several ambitious through-balls towards the strikers, which generally found an opponent rather than a teammate. Last week, his passing was less vertical, less wayward and took place higher up the pitch, just inside the opposition half.

But it’s also interesting that Lucas is doing less defensive work. There are noticeably fewer tackles and fewer interceptions. The Brazilian might be Liverpool’s defensive midfielder, but even he now plays a very proactive role in the side. It’s worth pointing out that he collected a booking last week, a slightly harsh caution for stopping a counter-attack. As Liverpool hold the ball higher up the pitch, more ‘cynical’ bookings might come his way when trying to halt opposition breaks.

The expected signing of Nuri Sahin will prompt questions about the format of Liverpool’s midfield – Sahin and Allen are new arrivals, Gerrard won’t take kindly to being omitted from the team on a consistent basis, while Henderson needs gametime to develop and Adam could be of use.

Amid the uncertainty and options, we can be sure that Lucas will be anchoring Liverpool’s midfield throughout the season – and Rodgers needs another good performance from him against Manchester City on Sunday.

Stats Zone is a free-download app from FourFourTwo powered by stats from Opta, updated LIVE in-play, and pre-loaded with all data from the 2011/12 and 2010/11 Premier League and Champions League.

Stats Zone is brought to you in association with FFT's bet partners Coral: click here for a free £10 bet

Download SZ • Read more about it • More SZ analysis

Topics

SHARES
1 comment

Comments

POKERSTAR88.com Agen Texas Poker Dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya – Gelandang Manchester City, Yaya Toure meyakini bahwa rekan satu timnya, Sergio ‘Kun’ Aguero selevel dengan pemenang Ballon d’Or empat kali, Lionel Messi. Di mana ia telah merasakan bermain bersama kedua pemain asal Argentina tersebut.

Selengkapnya bisa dibaca di : Master Agen Judi Bola Online Terbaik dan Terpercaya di Indonesia

Toure sempat bahu membahu dengan Messi di Barcelona dengan mempersembahkan gelar Liga Champions pada 2009 sebelum hijrah ke Etihad Stadium pada 2010. Sekarang dirinya menjadi partner Aguero, yang mana sedang menjadi penyerang tersebut di Premier League dengan 10 golnya. Taruhan bola hanya di Padipoker.com Agent Judi Poker Situs Poker Online Teraman Dan Terpercaya Indonesia

“Saya sudah bermain dengan Messi dan sekarang bersama Aguero. Dia adalah striker yang fantastis, sulit memilih yang terbaik di antara keduanya tetapi Aguero sangat kuat, pintar, dan cepat,” ungkap Toure kepada Nissan, Kamis (bola pelangi agen bola sbobet ibcbet casino 338a tangkas togel online indonesia terpercaya).

Lebih lanjut, gelandang komplit asal Pantai Gading itu menilai bahwa Olb365.com Agen Judi Bola Online, Agen Judi Casino Online Indonesia Terpercaya memiliki filosofi permainan yang berbeda saat ini jika dibandingkan saat masih dilatih oleh Roberto Mancini. Ia juga menyinggung target tim saat ini.

“Dulu bersama Mancini, kami bermain lebih bertahan dan saat ini bersama Pellegrini kami total menyerang. Setiap pemain memiliki pendapatnya masing-masing, tetapi saat ini dengan Pellegrini, setiap pemain di sini sangat menyukainya,” tambahnya.

“Untuk kami, skenario yang sempurna adalah memenangkan keduanya (Liga Champions dan Premier League) tetapi kami tahu target tersebut sangatlah sulit dan kami akan mencobanya,” tuntas adik dari Agen Ibcbet ini.

 

Ibcbet Seiring berjalannya periode senja karier, David James malah diterpa krisis finansial. Bekas kiper tim nasional Inggris itu mulai mengalami kebangkrutan. Terpaksa, beberapa barang memorabilia nan berharga masuk daftar lelang.

Kiper berusia 44 tahun yang juga pernah membela SBOBET – Liverpool dan Manchester City itu sedianya masih menyambung kariernya, sebagai pemain sekaligus pelatih di sebuah klub ISL (Indian Super League), Agen Bola Terpercaya.

Akan tetapi gajinya di Agen Bola nampaknya belum bisa menutupi krisis keuangan pribadi sang kiper yang punya 53 caps bersama The Three Lions itu.

Sebagaimana dikutip Taruhan Bola Online Agen Bola, Rabu (5/11/2014), James mendaftarkan sekitar 150 barang untuk dilelang yang sebagian besar merupakan memorabilia berharga sepanjang kariernya.

James memasukkan 150 barang tersebut ke HilcoIndustrial, situs lelang onlineyang berbasis di Kota Napoleon, Ohio Taruhan Bola– Amerika Serikat.

Beberapa barang yang coba dilelangnya adalah sejumlah jersey kiper timnas Inggris yang pernah dipakainya, serta beberapa jersey pemain lawan yang pernah bertukar dengannya.

Ada pula sejumlah jersey klub Premier League yang pernah ditandatangani rekan setimnya, ditambah berbagai barang yang tak ada hubunganya dengan olahraga, macam sepeda klasik Raleigh, sampai sebuah mobil Rajamerah.com situs judi Poker online terbaik terpercaya.

Pulaujudi.com Master Agen Judi Bola Online Terbaik dan Terpercaya di Indonesia – Arsène Wenger kini tak perlu lagi dibikin ribet oleh masalah resleting jaketnya. Problem ini sedianya sepele, tapi kadang membuat nakhoda Arsenalitu kesal setiap kali kesulitan mengancingkan resleting jaket lamanya.

Musim sebelumnya, Sbobet sering terlihat kesulitan, baik saat berdiri di pinggir lapangan, maupun sedang terduduk di bench, hanya untuk mengancingkan resleting jaket Nike-nya (Indomasterbola.com Agen Judi Bola, Taruhan Bola Terbaik dan Terpercaya).

Kerap kali, rekaman Wenger itu bahkan dijadikan candaan dan bahkan pem-bully-an di beragam media sosial.

Tapi kini problem itu sudah terpecahkan. Puma sebagai apparel baru Arsenal musim ini, menyediakan jaket dengan resleting yang lebih inovatif. Kini, Wenger tak lagi harus kerepotan mengancingkan resleting jaket panjangnya hingga ke leher demi menahan udara dingin.

Jaket baru dari JagadPoker.com Agen Texas Poker & Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya ini sedikit berbeda dalam hal resletingnya. Tak seperti jaket-jaket pada lazimnya, jaket yang disediakan Puma ini punya kait resleting ganda.

Kait bawah untuk menyatukan dua rel resleting, sementara satu kait di atasnya yang saling tersambung dengan kait bawahnya, berguna untuk memudahkan Wenger menaikkan resletingnya.

“Di BOLAWIN88.COM BANDAR TARUHAN AGEN JUDI BOLA CASINO POKER DOMINO BOLATANGKAS DAN TOGEL ONLINE TERPERCAYA INDONESIA, kami tahu bahwa sepakbola tidak bisa diprediksi. Anda harus siap untuk hal apapun, baik itu lawan yang berat maupun cuaca yang buruk,” papar Puma dalam komersial barunya.

“Ada banyak macam hal yang bisa mengubah pertandingan. Jika Anda seorang pelatih, Anda butuh fokus. Anda tak bisa membiarkan apapun memecah fokus Anda, termasuk masalah resleting,” lanjut pernyataan apparel asal JINPOKER.COM Agen Judi Poker Online dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya itu.