A LIST of things to start.
- Benteke’s performance was mad.
- Enrique really enjoyed himself in the end. And should have been slipped in during that final attack. He’d have buried it and run into the Kop and just got off. Oh Captain my Captain. Feels like there are life lessons to be learnt from him somewhere.
- Kevin Stewart’s got his testimonial to look forward to next year.
- Seriously, pick the bones out of Benteke’s performance.
- Joe Allen could end up being a proper player for someone.
- Clinton Morrison was pulling for more tugs than anyone I have ever seen.
- “We pay your benefits” is a dreadful shout. Though Devon and Cornwall vote Tory on the whole so, you know. One of them. Have you had a look at the Beckett Report? Christ.
- Teixiera should have had the last half an hour through the middle.
- Liverpool never got dragged down to Exeter’s level.
The last one on that list is the most important.
When Jürgen Klopp arrived he mentioned dragging sides down and killing them. Exeter had their chance at their place and Liverpool weren’t having that at Anfield, though the second and third could have come sooner.
Instead, the Reds decided to play well right through the side. Every Liverpool player looked a division minimum above Exeter’s level.
In games like these you too easily end up playing the “predict the career trajectory”, which is never entirely fair.
What is worth pointing out is that across his two cameos Ojo has looked a front three player in a way Adam Lallana, James Milner and Jordon Ibe all arguably haven’t recently.
Does this mean he will be better than them or have a career at the level they have either had or will have?
Not at all.
He could end up a front three player in the Championship. But he is a front three player and immediately you see the difference.
And Ilori can centre half. What was he up against? Not enough, that’s for sure. And you worry he could be bullied by the grocks of the Premier League. But the lad will have a top-flight career in a country somewhere. Just don’t see it being here; we’re too agricultural.
He is though an object lesson in the madness of these loans. Because what is the value of Granada when you could be dealing with the Ighalos of the world putting you in a headlock?
Why spend £7million on a lad and never even try and inoculate him against alehousery when you play in a league where it is endless?
The Reds now have West Ham United to look forward to. Which will leave the manager with a selection quandary.
I hope he gives Brannigan and Smith another go. Both deserve it though both could struggle. They show and show and show. The thing you want more than anything.
Elsewhere, it will be difficult. Liverpool shouldn’t lose to a side three times in any season and West Ham will want the cup run. The selection will tell us a lot.
In the meantime, this match tells us something — the shape will always be good under Klopp. Benteke is a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a secret. Enrique can come for a pint whenever.
One of them.
A list to finish:
- Joe Allen
- Sheyi Ojo
- Joao Teixiera
Because goals. But you know that by now. They take football matches away from alehousery.
Long may they continue.
Up the younger Reds. They’ll do for me tonight.