WELL that was enough for that. Our young lads might not have proved they were good enough for Liverpool’s first team, but they proved they were better than League Two.
They passed Exeter off the park and then kicked it in the goal three times. The Grecians (oh yes) ran around but couldn’t get in the game. But I hope the 50 per cent of their following who aren’t at Stamford Bridge next week enjoyed themselves.
Simon Mignolet: N/A
When someone quotes his number of clean sheets at you remember this was one of them. We could have had Konchesky’s ma in goal.
Connor Randall: 6
Overlapped well. Showed commitment all night.
Tiago Ilori: 6
Decent run out for arl poppadom legs. No real actual defending to do, but he passed it well and actually managed to stand up for 90 minutes. Progress.
Jose Enrique: 6
I went in really hoping I didn’t notice him and left actually remembering a couple of good things he did. So let’s drink to that.
Brad Smith: 7
Still seems the most likely. Super for the opener and runs all day. Fast! Didn’t see much from the wand, but maybe he’s saving it for Stoke.
Kevin Stewart: 7
Played like the old pro he is. Got rushed a couple of times, but generally impressive.
Cameron Brannagan: 6
Showed more authority. Decent in the tackle and a couple of good efforts on goal, too.
Joe Allen: 7
Opened the scoring and generally looked cool and calm about the whole thing. The kind of midfielder it’s good for other younger players to play with.
Jordon Ibe: 7
Even running at 70/80 per cent he looked the most dangerous player on the pitch by a distance. Really unlucky with a couple of efforts. Not least the one off the bar.
Joao Teixeira: 7
Whatever happens next he’s always scored for Liverpool. Lovely to watch but hard to see where his next start is.
Christian Benteke: 5
Given how good he is for the first, and how terrific he is for the third, it’s difficult to rate him any lower. But he was rarely where you wanted him to be on the football pitch, and 0 goals in 180 minutes against Exeter doesn’t read well. Hates one on ones.
Standing ovation when he came on. Even Cafu was made up. After that it was all about minutes in the legs.
I have a thousand tweets! I guess it's the return of a friend to the field!!! @LFC
— Cafu. (@officialcafu) January 20, 2016
Sheyi Ojo: 7
Yes, lad. Made a mockery of the ‘hard to score’ nonsense. Just put it in the goal and discuss your options later.
Pedro Chirivella: n/a
Not really enough time to show what he is. Although I’m not completely sure what it is.
What does Joe Allen have to do to get an 8? What does he have to do to actually get a proper start?
And where is your sense of romance? No one is going to jail if you bump Flanno up to a 7. Just do it quick before anyone notices.
Is right Walter. Come and join the Joe Allen club with me and Neil. He gets a 10 every week in our friendly eyes. Not like this Gibbo chap who clearly hates him.
I don’t know but that was something of a Sturridgesche finish from Ojo son. I like that.
Yep. Sturridge at home to Sunderland That Season (this is how I’m referring to it till we do another proper one).
He also has his socks half down.
Just thought, if he doesn’t make it maybe they can offer Sturridge a coaching position for the youngsters.
Benteke’s ghastly and even Ibe should probably be a bit embarrassed he started against Exeter at home and (only just tbf) didn’t have a goal in him. Would honestly prefer to see more of Ojo against Norwich for that reason alone. Like the cut of his jib (I don’t know whether this is a thing people still say).
J’allen is lovely so everyone needs to tell their dad to stop banging on about ‘that Rodgers’ as if he’s still the manager and learn to appreciate wee Joe. Imagine if he’s not there to put that first in and it’s 0-0 up until Ojo’s goal… People (me) would want Benteke Robbie Keaned this window.
Flanagan was bitter sweet. Made me think about that season. Y’know, the season.
I like that – Keane him!
Smith & Ojo look the most likely to make an impact on the first team going on the evidence of the cup games,
Brannigan & Stewart were also quietly impressive this evening,
Cameron rarely gives the ball away, granted his passing range at the mo isn’t overly ambitious but still, it takes a certain mindset as a young lad not force it and just keep playing the easy pass,
Great goal from Ojo,
Bit of sense from the lad apart from Benteke. I’d just give him a big kick up the Arse
and a 2.
Was going to ask, in horror, why on earth you thought that would help. Then realized I misread what you had spelled.
I’d like to make some brief comments:
1) Scouse Cafu is back, 10;
2) Ojo, get in lad, as Ian Salmon alluded to, sometimes you just need a Dirk Kuyt kind of guy on the pitch;
3) Genuinely hope Teixeira gets a proper go at it, although, I agree with the author not sure when; and
4) How gutted must poor young Jordan Rossiter feel right now with that injury right now.
I know i’m likely to be in a minority of 1, but i thought Benteke did OK, in fact, i’d go so far as saying that’s the best, or at least, the most involved, i’ve actually seen him in a Liverpool shirt. Granted, he didn’t do any of the stuff we actually wanted, such as scoring goals, but he did have a hand in a couple. And if he’d been a little bit more aware (or less selfish) which is something we generally want in a striker, he could have had a hand in a couple more.
I wish the prick would smile once in a while and look like he’s actually enjoying playing football for $$$$$$$$$ every week.
Delighted for Ojo and Teixeira to get a goal each, and the Cafu twitter thing was brilliant.
Agree with this. Benteke set up two and made 2 what looked to be pretty important defensive headers from a corner and a free-kick which, without him, could have gone anywhere. No, this is not why he’s picked, but it’s churlish to rate him as if there were no contribution. If Lallana or Ibe or Firmino provide two assists, they are looking at 7s or 8s even though their records show they are less likely to score than Benteke.
Thought Benteke put in a shift and looked a lot more involved.
No way he was as bad as some on here are saying [ ahem Mr.Gibbons Sr] and I’m not his biggest fan.
Realize he was not bought for this but his defensive ability in clearing corners is the best we have right now.
Wish the real defenders we have take note.
Flan looks like he could push Clyne – or even Moreno.
Great to have him back.
I agree, I think a lot of people are jumping on the Benteke is useless bandwagon, half of them did even watch the game. He is on a hiding to nothing at the moment, guilty of playing his game … the game we brought him to the club to play which we are not adjusting too. I like him, hes a goal scorer, his very gifted on the ball and has the confidence to get the job done. He is adjusting to a new manager and a new team, I for one think he will get there in the end.
For me, Benteke only started to show once the Exeter side tired, which is not what you want from a 30m international striker.
Yes great he won a defensive header and played one pass in but overall especially against that opposition, for me he was poor.
Considering that one decent defensive header would have stopped us dropping 3 pts to the Mancs I don’t think that should be underrated. People complain we concede at set pieces. He was the main reason we didn’t look like it last night. People complain we don’t score more than a goal at home. He was involved in 2, brilliantly. People complain he doesn’t try hard enough. He looked like he was putting in last night. People complain he didn’t score any goals – his record suggests that is a confidence thing.
His movement is weird as everyone says but he didn’t deserve the constant crap he got last night from the turncoat.
brilliantly in one instance I meant. Edit button would be handy on this site lads
Nice summary, spot on.
Though I think a 5 for the Big Fella is a bit harsh. Sure, his finishing is clearly lacking confidence, he ought to have had two or three for sure. But he showed much more movement than previous games, I watched him carefully all night. Plus he tried and tried (mostly failed) but he’s giving it his all even in his current state of mind. And he set up goal one (via Smith), and it’s a great slaloming dribble and pinpoint pass to Texeira for the third. Just needs that one-on-one in added time to go in and I reckon a potent(-ish) striker for us will have been born. Maybe next time
There’s the one on one at the end but then there’s the headed sitter first half which was just disgusting to watch. 5’s fair imo.
Again, it’s Exeter at home. £30m for a top flight striker. A brace minimum, ta.
Come on. Striker who is barely getting picked shows some rustiness and a little lack of confidence in front of goal, shock! Coz we’ve never seen that before, have we?
At least he does a passable impression of someone who *might* score, as opposed to our false nine triumvirate who – despite all being good players – have demonstrated time and again that they can’t (at least not consistently).
His movement is downright peculiar, though. Don’t know how he expects players to read him (apart from the one consistent move he makes whilst pointing to the ground). And he really doesn’t get the old pressing thing.
The one on one’s are a bit embarrassing too.
Agreed on the movement.
Look, I’m definitely not saying we’ve got another Torres on our hands. Or even another Anthony Le Tallec. The Benteke experiment might crash and burn terribly. It’s probably no better than 50/50 that it will even marginally succeed. But we already know that the 3 number 10s approach doesn’t work (other than for the odd game where everything clicks). The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing and expecting different results.
Sturridge is still 10 days away from training with the squad, apparently. For my money you say to Benteke that he is playing the next 4, 5 games come what may and we try to find a way to get the best out of him. Last night was a classic case of a striker bereft of confidence playing in a manner that suggested he knows he has 90mins to produce a stellar performance or he is out on his arse for the next game. That’s not conducive to getting the best out of any player.
Let’s give him the run that his goalscoring record suggests he deserves. If that fails, well at least know more about the player than we do currently. And as I say, given the current alternatives, it’s not just the best plan, but the only one.
I’ll say it. I like Illori, I think you can see that there is a good if raw defender there.
So to see Caulker brought in, a player who was terrible at Cardiff, Southampton and QPR must be disheartening to say the least.
Definitely like to see more of him
Benteke is just poor, he still cannot bring himself to go near the 6 yard box, even a vampire would give going in the sunlight more of a go!!
Agree re Illori, problem is he can’t head the ball either…
Have to say thought Stewart was top draw tonight granted it’s only Exeter but really impressed me. Shame he’s 22
At a similar age to Stewart,Steve Heighway y was a student playing for Skelmersdale United.. if you have the talent age is no barrier.
Maybe back in the day but don’t see as much these days with the exception of Kane & co at Spurs
I thought Brannagan, Stewart, & Teixera were most impressive. Smith & Flanno should be putting the heat on Moreno’s place. Agree with the earlier post re: Ojo’s goal – I thought it was very Sturridge-like too.
Had a good laugh at this because it’s so true…
Mignolet: “When someone quotes his number of clean sheets at you remember this was one of them. We could have had Konchesky’s ma in goal.”
Call me old fashioned, but I really like the fact that Brad Smith has two actual feet.
I was interested in Klopp’s post-match comments about loan players. He clearly doesn’t like the idea much, and he’s right. You can’t absorb a club culture and ethic by playing for another club. As has been pointed out elsewhere, returning players seldom shine and possibly take longer to re-establish themselves in their parent club. Even Ibe is taking longer than I think he would have taken if he’d stayed home. You are not going to learn gegenpressing at Norwich or even tikka frigging tikka at Wolves.
Actually thought it looked like Benteke has been working on link up and build up play. Unusually for a striker (and early season him) He seems keen to play one two’s etc instead of just looking for the goal.
I actually though his all round game, build up and set piece defending was excellent (and he got 2 assists lest we forget) but sadly Micheal Owen is right, his box movement is more than bad, its weird.
This season I thought it strange he always heads for the back post but last night to run out of the box………
Mention for Allen, MOTM for me, thought he was excellent again, must be near first team start.
Not sure about the raving of Ibe, he looked like Ibe to me. Runs around a lot, beats a man, rarely chooses the right option, time on his side obviously but he’s frustrating and so predictable/readable.
This team showed the talent the seniorS lack and that is why (in addition to the opposition) most they did came off. The likes of Milner, Lallana and Firmino would have been sore thumbs had they played in this game in creative positions. In my book they ain’t as good as Tex, Allen, Branagan or Stewart. I say we help this young team with a support cast of the seniors and not the other way round and a brand new team will be born for us.
Please tell me you don’t get paid for this tripe. Please.
You must be gutted, Gubbins, that Moreno didn’y play. You missed out on giving him 2.
Next time you feel like vomiting on the keyboard, go for a walk instead. Positive endorphins cheer you up.
I’m surprised you could rate any of them, you had that fella to the left of you shouting down your ear the whole game.
I’m surprised you could concentrate long enough to rate anybody, you had that fella shouting down your ear the whole game. He just wouldn’t shut up talking nonsense.
Reminded me of Lads v dad’s with the dads a lot older than the previous game and the lads playing a lot better and realising it.
Quietly impressed with our kids/lads/young men they controlled the game virtually throughout which is a good sign. It was noticeable they played with pace and purpose and weren’t scratching around for ideas.
Big decisions who stays who goes who can and who could make it.
Brilliant to see Flanno back whilst nowhere near match fit he purred like a Rolls Royce Cafu.
I’m sick of Ibe. Fur coat no knickers. I’d play play Ojo, with his big frilly knickers, over Ibe every time.
Poppadom? They’re just big crisps! The AI brigade are gonna finish you lad.