Rickie Lambert’s dream move to Liverpool has not started in the ideal way, as he still searches for his first goal for his new club.
Although there is a danger of reading too much into pre-season performances as it is a chance for players to improve their match fitness and sharpness, Lambert will be frustrated that he has not managed to score for his new club yet.
The 32-year-old completed his dream move to the team he supports, from Southampton, earlier in the transfer window and would have been hoping to make an immediate impression.
However, he is yet to find the net in his new team’s colours and will have very few better chances than the one he had last night.
Liverpool took on AC Milan in a pre-season friendly in the United States and Lambert was presented with a chance to score his first goal for the club after Raheem Sterling was upended in the area and Brendan Rodgers’ men let him take the ensuing spot-kick.
Lambert, though, usually so reliable from 12 yards, fluffed his lines and saw his shot saved by Christian Abbiati – leaving him bewildered by his profligacy.
The target-man centre-forward scored all of his 34 penalties for Southampton, but has already fluffed his lines from the spot for the Merseyside club and it has left a few Liverpool fans worried that he could be a flop.
Thankfully for him he didn’t matter too much in terms of the match result, as Rodgers’ team ran out 2-0 winners to complete an unbeaten group-stage campaign in the International Champions Cup tournament.
The England international was originally considered to be brought in as back-up to Liverpool’s forward line-up of Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez.
However, the latter’s departure has meant that his chances of playing a key role for the side, who managed to get back into the Champions League last season, have increased and he will have to hit the ground running when the competitive matches start.
There are concerns that this won’t be the case starting to arise now, because of his failure to hit the target so far – with Liverpool fans hoping he won’t be a failure at Anfield.
Here are some of the best reactions from Reds supporters on Twitter after Lambert’s performance last night.
We need another dynamic striker. Lambert offers an option but is very static.— LiverpoolSpares (@Kopitetickets) August 3, 2014
Rodgers therefore needs to go out and buy a striker who scores goals. Remy was ideal but Sturridge/Lambert not enough for our ambition.— Ryan (@Passology) August 3, 2014
Lambert missing a pen. the pessimist in me can see him being a flop. Of all people though he deserves succeed with this move.— Kenn Rushworth (@attheharbour) August 2, 2014
You get the impression Rickie Lambert just doesn't believe he's a 'Liverpool' player. Deep down, he thinks: "I'm just not good enough".— Cian Carroll (@CianByName) August 2, 2014
@LFCTransferNRS so agree I would be seriously worried if we went into the season with just Sturridge & lambert— kelvyn milburn (@Redluv11_LFC) August 3, 2014
I think LFC should try playing Sterling as a ST. Lambert hasn't exactly impressed me in this Pre-Season..shame cos he's a good player— Özden Eratlı (@Ozzie_Eratli31) August 3, 2014
We need to find a couple of strikers ASAP Sturridge is injured already, although not serious & Lambert has been pretty unimpressive so far— Michael Parker (@comberalchemist) August 3, 2014
Can Lambert make the grade at Liverpool?