As you engage with your chosen media sources this morning, you will be assailed by a barrage of grim tidings in relation to Luis Suarez. Everyone, it seems wants to stake out their territory on the landscape of scandal and outrage. From the sickening moralising of David Cameron to the one-eyed hatchet-jobs by the likes of James Lawton and the stark warnings of FA compliance officer Graham Bean, it is hard to calmly go about one's day without encountering a stunning amount of hypocrisy, finger wagging, bile and overblown faux-outrage.
It behooves us, then, to avert our gaze and stave off the nausea when possible, for this will be a long and slow form of psychological torture. On Monday, swimming valiantly against the tide of negativity, we tried to accentuate the positive and yesterday, when faced with a surfeit of gloom, our favourite arboreal mammals made a distracting appearance. In this spirit, let us now reflect on the steady return to form and general magnificence of Lucas Pezzini-Leiva, for no other reason than it pleases us -- and that is good.
After reluctantly revelling in the cheesy comeback narrative spun in the otherwise execrable Being: Liverpool, I was thrilled to see our Brazilian midfielder begin the season strongly and then doubly shattered by his quick return to the treatment table. It was a privilege to see his second coming in early December, when Brendan Rodgers inexplicably gave him nearly a full match against Southampton at Anfield. He was simply magnificent, given the circumstances, and it was thrilling to lustily sing his song and chant his name on The Kop. I watched the adoration and respect wash down onto the pitch and reflected on how far this humble but determined man had come.
Much discussion, of late, has centred on whether or not Leiva can recapture the form that placed him squarely in the elite group of holding midfielders, with some suggesting his pace has deteriorated and others pointing out a reduced influence on matches.
I beg to differ but I understand where such gloomy appraisal comes from. Too often in recent matches, rivals have driven straight at our 18 yard box, with a one-paced Leiva trailing in their wake. This is where an element of rational thought must enter the equation. Give the man a relatively mobile, defensively responsible partner in the centre and the benefit of a full pre-season and then we will see a fine footballer morph back into one that is truly special.
So, courtesy of MrBoywunder and for no other reason than it's pretty ugly out there, sit back, zone-out and watch the tenacious magnificence of Lucas Leiva set to the mellifluous sound of The XX. Now that's therapy.