THERE’S something about Leicester.
Sounds like the shittest ever film sequel that, doesn’t it? Where a fella pretending to have a disability, one whose face starts to melt the closer he gets to the city and a small-time crook with horrific dress sense battle it out to startup front for them. You can’t rule out the possibility that it is being filmed as we speak, like a cross between Any Given Sunday and the Truman Show, given that Jamie Vardy could quite conceivably play all three roles.
It is one of them places though that we really could do without. Maybe it’s because it takes about a month to get there from any major motorway in the country, or that they have auld monarchs buried willy nilly all over the gaff. Perhaps it is Kasabian. Yer, its deffo Kasabian. Maybe it’s the bullshit “arrgh” they still do. Maybe it’s just that whenever The Reds go there they tend to be absolutely shite.
A boss Robbie Fowler hat trick aside all I can remember is non-descript mings banging goal after goal against The Reds. Reckon that changes over the next two games but then I always think Liverpool are going to win.
Pre-match prediction: 3-1 to The Reds with us all wanting Jürgen Klopp to name the same team on Saturday only for him to go full strength and get beat 2-0 with a possession percentage of 94 per cent, 64 shots with 45 on target and one clear-cut chance.
By the way, what the fucking hell was that trumpet when the players were coming out then? Good lord. Get into these, Reds.
Prediction 1-0 The Reds. Danny Ings sausage dinner and hopefully not a double knee implosion.
It is getting a bit silly now this, isn’t it? All the focus will be on a lack of ruthlessness but the game changes on their lad heading a corner out, going a bit unconscious, them being forced to drag him off and his replacement changing the game, scoring the first and effectively putting it to bed.
You can rightly question The Reds’ response but you aren’t telling me there isn’t an element of poor fortune in there. They played well first half, alright second half and then got beat. As per then. Cop for these ratings and if you don’t like them, well you can either tell us why and back it up with a rationale argument or fuck the fuck off. It’s up to you. Before you start I’m a generous marker. If I was a teacher no fucker would be failing on my watch.
Danny Ward: 7
I can’t give him any higher because apart from pick the ball out of his net he had pretty much fuck all to do — a typical day’s work for a Liverpool ‘keeper at the minute. No chance with either goal followed up by a bit of watching our lads look good. Looks like he makes good decisions which I’m not sure any of the other ‘keepers do so. Would probably play him every game because I’m sick of the sight of Simon Mignolet and he’s better than Loris Karius.
Jon Flanagan: 5
Attacked the ball well. It was nice to see some arl arse defending and looked good first half when the team was a lot more compact. Not sure he is going to be good enough to stay much longer mind you, as his quality isn’t quite good enough when exposed and by Christ he will get exposed in this team. Unlucky for the first goal as Joe Gomez plays everyone onside and Wes Morgan is really, really big you know.
Joe Gomez: 6
The benefits and drawbacks of youth in one performance this. First half he was excellent, strong, quick and aggressive in the challenge, staying tight to his man and alongside Ragnar Klavan and Jordan Henderson helped to set the high tempo. At half time I’m considering sacking Degsi Lovren and making him captain. The goal does for him though. Played the world onside for the first goal (although it was a nice touch for the rest of the team except the back four to fuck off on the charge of the light brigade leaving a lovely big gap) and then seemed to lose all composure in everything else he did.
Ragnar Klavan: 6
I’m determined not to get drawn in any confirmation bias here and maybe I’ve gone too far the other way but I thought he did alright. Like Gomez was tight to his man, neat and tidy doesn’t do much wrong. Possibly a little slow for their goal but I don’t know, the ball goes in off a deflection into the only place it could go.
Andy Robertson: 8
Excellent first half, looks to have everything you need to be a good full back. He can defend, he can cross, his link-up play with Phil Coutinho was great and he was probably Liverpool’s most dangerous player first half. His attacking impact reduced in the second half because Coutinho wasn’t creating space for him anymore but he didn’t do much wrong. Unlucky for the first goal as he reacted a lot quicker than he did on Saturday to a similar situation, which despite not feeling like it, is promising in a way.
Jordan Henderson: 7
At his metronomic best first half but lost impact as the game wore on. Set the tempo well, tried to keep the team working and playing despite the obvious frustrations. Wasn’t helped out much in midfield second half but was one of the only ones who still had any composure left at the end.
Marko Grujic: 4
To be honest, I couldn’t remember his first name which probably reveals a lot. Not quite neat and tidy. Deffo wasn’t when he tripped over his own feet in their box. Extra point earned for giving their lad a bit of a clout in the grid, telling him to fucking get up and then realising where he was and patting him on the head. Immediately lost the extra point for the shite tackle on the edge of his box and subsequent lunge second half that had me convinced he was sent off. Think he might need to lend someone’s brain before he is any good, which might prove a tad tricky.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 6
Full of energy first half, breaking well but made a couple of poor decisions, chewing the ball when in space and picking the wrong pass a few times. Looked like he had been asked to impose himself a bit more in an attacking sense and nearly pulled it off. Got kneed in the arse and they hurt them. There is a bit of insight there for you. Don’t say I never teach you anything.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 4
Neat and tidy first half, aside from when he is trying to set someone up where he likes to take turns between twatting it out and under hitting everything. Linked up well with Coutinho from time to time but then as the game started to fall away from The Reds he turned into a chicken with no head.
His decision making needs some work and I’m trying to convince myself that Liverpool haven’t bought an absolute pudding. Took a point off for his sock game. Ludicrously overcomplicated. Three layers of tape, no layers of sock. End result was his legs ending up like Bubs off The Wire’s arms.
Philippe Coutinho: 8
Rusty, rusty, rusty, sublime, rusty. Made to look all the better after the match given the impact his removal had on Liverpool’s attacking play. His ability to create space for others was the pivotal reason for the difference between the two halves and his constant showing for the ball and threat was missed second half. Hopefully a pre planned change as he is so important to everything Liverpool do going forward.
Dominic Solanke: 8
The high point on a weird night. He looks a player. A proper centre forward, his movement was excellent, a couple of early turn and snapshots were unlucky and very difficult to defend against. He has got something about him – Big Paws on a Pup as your man Marlow (off The Wire) would say. Star in the making and how mad is it that it was his first professional start in England? I read that on Twitter somewhere so it could be pure bollocks. Don’t tell me I don’t research these things enough. He was unlucky not to score at least one as The Reds are every week. A perfect fit.
Ben Woodburn: 7
He is another one who is going to be brilliant. Fine margins this game, isn’t it? His cut inside and shot to the top bin goes in and The Reds win the game. Meanwhile, some crab runs the length of the pitch after touching it twice all game and lashes one top bin for them. I want to see him play, every week because he is a joy to watch. Could lend Grujic 60 per cent of his brain and still be intelligent on the ball.
Danny Ings: N/A
Got about 10 minutes, but handicapped by his hair which was like a Tudor monarch’s. Worked hard as always, good movement, unlucky with the one that span away from him.
Jürgen Klopp: 7
Looked like he might thrash someone after the game with a boot. Good.
Not sure where we go from here but I think I want to win on Saturday more than any other game in Liverpool’s history. Strap yourselves in for another dominating defeat then, eh?
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo
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These rating are all at least 3 too high. We just got beat by Leicester 2-0.
Just saying like.
That’s the ludicrousness – how is the question? This season we have conceded 12 goals from 25 shots on target, I think – 2 shots a goal.
Strange game that, even though we’ve seen it dozens of times before. Strange in that I thought we played well – 8/10 first half, played some great footie – and 6.5/10 second…and so many good things to come out of it, Woodburn, Solanke, Gomez (yes I know, Gomez) and Robertson was excellent. He has a brain on him that lad, as well as pace, good instincts and a sweet left foot. Ditto Woodburn – not the quickest lad but sheesh, he’s yards ahead of anyone else up top and has the skill to make that count. A massive prospect. And Solanke – Drogba-esque? Felt he won 8/10 of his aerial duels, though didn’t check.
Absolutely don’t get the fume about Hendo from most keyboard warriors on [email protected] – how is it that he’s become the lightning rod for our fanbase’s fury exactly??? Thought he was everywhere, tireless, snappy, solid. McMahon-esque, nearly.
We are so close to being really, really good. So close.
Now sure what we need to become that really really good team but hope the lads and Kloppo has some answers soon. The shout from Paul S about us fans staying bright and positive right now when the media-driven narrative is already taking shape is absolutely spot on.
Stay strong Reds. We’re not far away. I think we’ll batter Leicseter on Saturday. Truly.
I like it. Well said and I agree, I think we will beat them this weekend. Ice and fury will do. I love this article too. I rate the rater and the ratings a 9.
Well put mate. I concur that this team is really good, just that something undefined to make them winners. Klopp looked properly MAD at the end. That’s good!
“We are so close to being really, really good. So close.” Agree. Sadly I think that distance is measured in missing players – two centre backs with the ability to organise a defence. First goal a case in point, Hendo goes up to press, they chip it over him and it is knocked down into the space Hendo has vacated. Next thing it is a corner. Even at the crappy level I used to play we had defenders who would call someone in there, and defenders who could call an offside line. That is not down to “the way we play”. Not getting at Gomez, who is just young. As Adrian suggests, he is going to be boss, like Woodburn, Didier Solanke, Robertson and maybe Ward. Think Oxlade Chamberlain will fit in well too once he gets his bearings, sorts his socks out and stops trying so hard.
4 was about 3 points too generous for Oxlade-Chamberlain but pretty much agree with the others
Good Lord! Ben did you base these ratings on the first half or the whole game?
My ratings: a -4 points for each player and the coach
Rationale argument: watch the replay of the 2nd half
Don’t like my argument: You can fuck the fuck off too :)
Now that the Mickey Mouse cup excuse is out of the way, Jurgen and the Reds can go back to Heavy Metal Football or Heavy Mental Football or whatever you want to call it this weekend and do one on this ale-house bastards!
So up the Reds!
No emojis, anyway that has cheered me up :)
The young kids did do well, and as a performance it wasn’t half bad half of the time. Put away your chances and yer 3-0 up at half time, and in the hat for the draw in China at 4.00am on Thursday.
At least I don’t have to set my alarm again for that one!
Ward, Robertson, Woodburn & Solanke (particularly Solanke) looked good and are set for a career at Anfield.
Need a big result (or scrape an ugly win) on Saturday to get the season back on track.
“Have you ever seen Gerrard win the league?” sang the Leicester fans. The cheeky bastards!
Jordan Henderson got a seven. A bloody seven. SEVEN?!?!? I had no idea the definition of “metronomic” was “tap it backwards to Klavan before running and hiding.”
Ratings pretty much spot on for tonight and I think first half we were actually really good -apart from the finishing. There were some positives from tonight – Robertson/ coutinho axis, Solanke looking like he would gorge on the combined service of Mane and Salah, and flashes of better, solid football during the game from Woodburn, Ward, Gomez and Klavan. Worryingly,again though , the midfield, as it has majorly this season, has failed to turn up and either win the game for us. Or defend the game for us too. An engine room of perceived experience and talent has (other than Arsenal & for spells v Hoffenhiem at home) been guilty by their absence. They have neither steadied a game or dominated and won a game to date and their collective inability to protect a continually rotating back 5 is very alarming. For us to get back on track and start winning again, the midfield selections , whoever they be, have to all step up to the plate and win ugly/ tough it out
Starting at Leicester on Saturday !
Play like my sons D1 team here in Florida – looked good for 45 minutes and then end up loosing !!! Embarrasing to be honest so little pride among players in this day and age.
That Bubb’s sleeves comparison almost cheered me up.
Ward: 7,5. Looks better than Karius in everything he does, although he didn’t have that much to do. Controlled he area very well.
Flanagan: 5. Looks miles off the player he was in 2014. Almost two years of sidelining have seemed to kill the brilliant young lad in him, unfortunately. With Liverpool out of the League Cup, it could have been his last game for the club, I’m afraid…
Gomez: 7 (first half)/5 (second half): had it all under control in the first half, like he had against Seville. Sank a bit with the rest of the team after conceding (as he did against Seville). Those things happen with 20 year olds. Still a young kid that is coming back from a long injury spell and looks like a raw talent to me. Play him next to Matip, Jurgen!
Klavan: 6: Not all over the place as recently. But simply not good enough to be a long term Liverpool centre back.
Robertson: 8. The kid can defend, the kid moves well going forward, the kid links up well with our midfielders, the kid can put a cross in… The kid has all the skills you need in a left back. Alberto who?
Henderson: 5. I want to see more from him, I really do. He is Liverpool’s captain, he should play like one. Lacks leadership, lacks a bit of intelligence sometimes. Did well in the first 45, faded away with the rest of the team in the second half. Happens too often with him, being our skipper…
Grujic: 4. Totally agree he needs to grow brain. Was looking for a booking all night long and got it eventually. I really want my inner self to convince me he is a young raw talent, but I haven’t seen it yet.
Wijnaldum: 6. Gini is a player I still don’t quite understand what exactly his role is in the Liverpool team. And sometimes he plays like he doesn’t know either. Wasn’t awful, but wasn’t outstanding either. What exactly was he than?
Oxlade-Chamberlain: 7 (first half)/4 (second half): feel a bit sorry for him, to be honest. Coming into a team even the manager still doesn’t kow his best eleven, must be a bit confusing for him. I understand why we bought him in Lallana’s abscence, but with Coutinho going back to his best form, I just can’t see him fit in the starting eleven. Did well first half, looked lost when Phil was gone.
Coutinho: 8. Best man on the pitch by far. Still not at his absolute best, but at least he gave the impression something could happen. Looks only a brilliant free kick/goal away from the Phil I’d like to see and this team desperately needs. Why Klopp took him off at half time and didn’t keep him on the pitch for 65 minutes, is beyond my belief.
Solanke: 6. A bit of a ‘hit and miss’ night for him, but as for Gomez: these things happen with 20 year olds. Worked very hard and was trying to show how good he really is all night long. A goal would have boosted his confidence, but was unlucky. Despite that: promissing to say the least.
Woodburn: 7. Can someone sign him ’til 2025?
Ings: 10. Just for being a Liverpool first player again. Difficult to enter a game like ours in the second half and judge him just right now. But for a player that didn’t have first team football for about two years, he didn’t look out of pace at all. True professional and I hope he gets the award for that in the near future. Welcome back, Dany!
Klopp: 5. Rotating players in the League Cup seems understandable. But he needs to find his strongest eleven and he needs to find it quickly. Brought in a team that was strong enough to win and probably should have won it at half time. But questions need to be asked about our lack in leadership and mental strenght. Showed his frustration post-match in the way his team defends. We all do, Jurgen. Sort it out!
What did we learn? Our 2nd 11 is not as good as Leicester’s. If it was better we would have won. There was no one there who could force their way into the “first” 11 whatever that is, and it was only in the last week the first 11 failed to beat Burnley and Seville. Potential is great but we have to keep up with our rivals by winning not playing pretty footie and drawing or losing. I hope our CBs grow some bollocks before they have to play Vardy on Saturday.
PS Amazed that Markovic is still on books, a cushy number for him to see out his contract. YNWA
That game sums up every thing that’s good bout Hendo and everything that’s bad. When we’re in control of games high pressing winning ball back early and being compact hes great. When we lose control defence drops off the teams not compact he still follows ball , trys to win when not possible doesn’t followrunners .Sometimes you’ve got to just sit in front of back four protect back four and get control of game again. Nzonzi last 20 mins for Saville great example . For me that can be taught and needs to be taught as we’ve got no one in squad who naturally does it . Bit of wok in training ground between holder and back 2 witch Klop will get right, not panicking yet .
Never rated Oxface Chamberlain at Arsenal but tried to convince myself I was wrong when we signed him. I fear that I was right first time, he was shite!
I think it’s unfair to be writing Oxlade-Chamberlain off after his first game, as bad as it was. Admittedly I was never a huge fan of his at Arsenal because I don’t know what position he plays but am hoping that a fresh start at a new club will spur him on.