With Liverpool's pre-season done and dusted as of Sunday evening, both Brendan Rodgers and fans alike are quickly scribbling their report cards assessing who shone brightly, who performed as expected, and who underachieved. There were high expectations for Rickie Lambert to score at least one goal, in part to satisfy the final act of his narrative arc since arriving on Merseyside, and in part because a back-up striker should be able to score goals.
Lambert came away from the tour without having opened his Liverpool account, a fact that did not go unnoticed by many of his naysayers. But Brendan Rodgers says there's no reason to fret just yet, nor is there any reason to put undue stress on the player to quickly break his duck.
"Don’t put pressure on Rickie Lambert to get goals," Rodgers cautioned after the goal fest against Dortmund. "Rickie Lambert has been brought in here to be a very valuable member of our squad. He has proven it all his career. He has got goals at whatever level he has played at. He came on for internationals and he gets goals, with Southampton for the past couple of seasons he gets goals.
"So there is no need for him to be under any pressure, he needs to come in at 32 years of age and contribute to the history of this club. He’s a big supporter of this club, he is past that now, he is here to do a job. I trust him to do the job and he will do a great job for us."
Lambert has a long season ahead of him and unlike fellow striker Daniel Sturridge, he won't be expected to break the twenty goal threshold nor lead the league in scoring. In a pre-season filled with injury and late arrivals, it's natural for Lambert to still be finding his place in the line-up amongst an ever-revolving group of players. That he hasn't scored yet within that context is perhaps not quite the crisis situation it's being made out to be.