Could more games lead Liverpool to see the real Rickie Lambert?

Lambert said he wasn't particularly sharp on his first start for the Reds against Middlesbrough, where he captained the side.

Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert said he wasn't fit or sharp enough for his first start for his boyhood club since joining from Southampton for £4 million in the summer.

The 32-year-old captained the side against Middlesbrough in the League Cup but said his performance overshadowed that honour a little.

But in the same interview in the Daily Mirror, Liverpool fans should take comfort from this quote: "I’m more than confident I can get myself right and start contributing the way I know I can contribute.”

Liverpool's first recruit of a busy summer quite clearly wasn't signed to be a first choice player, but one can't help his lack of sharpness the other night was because of a lack of game time. 

Lambert seemed to be signed as a player who offered an alternative threat, and was a man who was prepared to be rotated - maybe as the third choice striker. 

At the early stages of the season, it is concerning he isn't getting more starts - but after the international break in October, with games likely to come thick and fast - maybe we'll see more of Lambert in the starting line-up.

There's no doubt he has provided Liverpool with a different option, notably in the opening two games of the season against Southampton and Manchester City where you could trace a goal the Reds scored back to his introduction. 

But more starts, and more time on the pitch would help with his sharpness. However, Daniel Sturridge, Mario Balotelli, and seemingly Fabio Borini [given that he started against West Ham United] are all ahead of him in the pecking order, it does seem hard at the moment to see where the games are coming from for Lambert.

As the season goes on, injuries may strike again, as may suspensions, and Lambert may get more opportunities. Hopefully, for him, his action isn't limited to just the League Cup from the start, and he gets the opportunity to find the net for his boyhood club - and provide the contribution he feels he can. 

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