It's been a while since I've had the excuse to run a post about how awesome Lucas Leiva is and that if you don't agree you're a stupid poopy-head who wants to have Andy Gray's love child. I kid, I kid. Sort of. Still, in this generally disappointing season, the question, "So, what do you think of Lucas?" remains the easiest way of finding out whether somebody approaches the game of football from an outdated and stereotypically English need for mindless hustle and bustle and players just fucking running around a bit* so long as it gives the impression of great effort no matter its effectiveness or usefulness to the team, or whether they actually give a shit about team, tactics, and modern football.
*Edit: Apologies, as the originally included video of Lucas' tackles against Everton has embedding currently disabled, so unfortunately I can only link to it. In its place I'll include all his touches against United in the FA Cup instead, but the original video matches the post better and pairs with the second video, so... in the meantime it can still be watched on Youtube itself/Edit*
Lucas was for long stretches under Hodgson the player of the season, and though most assumed he'd have a role to play under Dalglish, it wasn't entirely clear what that role would be or how important he might be to the new manager's plans going forward. It still may not be entirely certain just what job he will be asked to do in the end, but that he will clearly be asked to do a job seems assured after being the only midfielder to play every minute of Dalglish's first three matches back as manager, which perhaps shouldn't be surprising given the desire to get the club back to playing pass and move football and the role Lucas now plays for a Brazil obsessed with pass and move football.
Already he's almost single-handedly controlled the midfield against United in the FA cup after Gerrard got sent off and Meireles began taking up more advanced positions (and sure, single-handedly controlling the midfield at Old Trafford isn't much of an achievement); provided more in defense covering for an aimlessly wandering Poulsen while being more effective in attack than a sloppy Meireles against Blackpool (and if you can't appreciate somebody putting out fires all over the pitch you must hate firemen, you bastard); and again with Meireles misfiring badly ahead of him and paired with Spearing when the later was just back from a long layoff ran the show in the center of the park against Everton (and you'd think everybody would appreciate a player who saves his best performances for the biggest games).
Occasionally some brilliant individual will point out something along the lines of, "Well, if Lucas has been Liverpool's best player, then just look where they are in the standings." Which only goes to prove that some people shouldn't breed (or breathe, I suppose, but I wouldn't want to come across as being too harsh), because when the team is struggling the obvious answer is to get rid of the only part that's looked consistently effective and confident before worrying about all the stuff that actually isn't working like it's supposed to. What's really astounding in the overall circumstances is just how composed and sure of himself Lucas has looked in an otherwise underwhelming season--that he started on the bench behind Poulsen--while so many others are still clearly struggling to dig themselves out of the Hodgson malaise.
So, I guess that's an excuse to ramble on about Lucas' continuing stellar play taken.
*Thanks, Harry, that never gets old.