Rickie Lambert is quickly becoming the cure to what ails you. No matter what the reason, if you're feeling down in any way, shape, or form, Rickie will fix you right up. It's rare for a player of his vintage to maintain the enthusiasm of a recent academy graduate trying to break into the first team, but Lambert's excitement at the prospect of playing for his boyhood club does not look to wane any time soon.
Pulling on the Liverpool number 9 shirt for the first time versus Preston North End on Saturday, the 32 year-old embarked on the first of many watershed moments for himself this season and he's relishing each and every one of them.
"It was special," Lambert said of his friendly debut. "I had to get a few moments in check at the beginning, but it was special. Obviously I'm professional, I'm 32 now and I'm able to get my emotions in check, and now it's all about my fitness. That's all I was concentrating on, trying my best and trying to get a goal. I was a little bit disappointed not to get a goal but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
"I was nervous before kick-off and I probably haven't been that nervous for a while. I've played in a lot of big games in my career and that's the most nervous I've been before a game for a while, but it was a special moment for me and one I'll remember."
Pre-season friendlies are often written off as shameless self promotion at best, but aside from the very real experience they give players trying to catch the manager's eye, it's easy to forget that every once in a while a friendly can have great meaning to a veteran player too. That Lambert was this nervous before facing the mighty Preston North End is endearing, and one can only imagine how the poor man might feel ahead of his Anfield debut in August.
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