Rickie Lambert deserves an apology from his critics for ever doubting him, and I hope Balotelli’s watching

Okay, ignore Tuesday night, when he was starved of support and became a scapegoat for poor tactics.

When Liverpool Football Club confirmed the signing of 32 year old England forward Rickie Lambert back during the close season, I came out with an article to express my displeasure with the signing. Lack of ambition was basically what I complained about stating how signing a 32 year old who might just be on the cusp of a downward spiral was not the direction our club should be heading in especially after the success of the previous season. It just didn’t seem right that the club that narrowly missed out on the Premier League title after blasting through whatever came in their way decided to sign someone like Rickie Lambert. I mean, the guy is…Rickie Lambert! Karim Benzema, Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao were the names that I was expecting and I’m sure that signing any one of the afore mentioned players would have sent shockwaves throughout England. Signing a world class forward like the ones I mentioned would have been taken as a statement of intent to replicate the same tremendous attacking form we showed last season. The only intentions that the signing of Rickie Lambert stated were that we were content with finishing in the top four. It has however, taken me almost five months to realize how wrong I was. Firstly, I need to admit that I have been served with a generous helping of humble pie and secondly, I would also like to give Rickie Lambert the apology that I owe him. The former Southampton forward came to Liverpool after a good season where he scored 14 goals and notched up 11 assists in 39 appearances in all competitions. That figure is certainly not close to the tally that Luis Suarez or Daniel Sturridge notched up for us last season but it’s also something that cannot be considered as any mean feat. In fact, Lambert’s combined goals and assists tally of 25 is very close to that of Mario Balotelli’s who managed 26 in a league that is surely not as competitive as ours. Now when you add the fact that the Englishman cost just a fourth of Balotelli’s transfer fee and comes with no excess baggage like the maverick Italian, it is not difficult to see which one of them has been a better deal. Lambert has not seen too many opportunities to display his skills here on Merseyside as Brendan Rodgers chose to stick with our number 45 as his only out and out striker, but after the former Italian was sidelined due to a groin injury, the former Liverpool youth player got the call to finish some business. The way Lambert has integrated himself into this Liverpool squad is very commendable and the way he has gone from being a benchwarmer to Liverpool’s lone targetman is another achievement. His performances in our last few games have been very good and it is not surprising to see that he has in fact already scored the same number of goals this season as Balotelli. Very simply, the way Rickie Lambert works for the Liverpool cause without grabbing too much attention is a breath of fresh air for us Kopites and I am sure that I am not the only Liverpool fan who had doubts about him and I am also sure that all of us would like our number 9 to keep on proving us wrong for quite some time at least.

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