Ben Johnson offers up his player ratings after Liverpool 2 Burnley 0 in the Premier League, with Anfield full of fans once again…


WOKE up at half five. Ping. Like a light switching on.

Paced about a bit. Tried to have a kip on the couch. Nah. Nervous. Paced a bit more.

Watched some programme on an American family who moved to Alaska to live off the grid and are shite at it and a squad of super grid livers turn up like on Changing Rooms. Paced.

They didn’t realise it gets windy there and were fucked when it blew the roof off their barn and all the cows got soaked and freezing. Then they let the chickens out of the coup to stretch their legs and they got fucking yomped by a load of foxes and hawks working in tandem, the soft cunts. They ended up with six chickens hahaha. 

Looked out the window. Seen the rain. The pissing rain. Paced a bit. Fucking 18 months on and still no match coat for when it rains. Fucking roofless Alaskan barn nobhead of a gobshite. 

Ironing gear at 8.30am. Saving heads by 9am. Pacing in between. My bird rolling eyes and saying it’s like I’m fucking playing. Dressed by 10. Walking the ground by 10.30am.

The thing I’ve missed that I didn’t even realise was the smells on the way the ground. The sweet stale smell of pints of lager and ale, brown mix on the floor when you walk past a bustling boozer. The ciggies.

Fucking hate the smell in normal life, by the ground I’m nine years of age holding my dads hand walking up through Walton. The chippies, the horse shite, the general mixture of it all. Pack that in a bottle and give it to me at Chrimbo. 

What a fucking thing this is. This brutal mix of brick, concrete steel and souls. This home of ours. What a fucking thing this is. 

Alisson: 8

Was a lovely round of applause for him at the start. He really is unreal. Couple of smart saves first half and then second half the ones late on were pure brilliance. He is just tremendous. 

Trent: 8

Was knackered by the end but was tremendous going forward. Had the game he always has. What a lovely little dink touch for the second. What a ball. Forming a lovely little partnership with Elliot and Mo down that wing. Seems a proper plan to play the two non-holding midfielders very wide to make some space. 

Virgil: 8

Is so reassuring when you see him just bouncing around next to Joel, a big giant fast fella. Still working his way back to his best but his 7/10 is better than almost anyone else’s 9/10. Everyone bar big Joel, but frankly he is the greatest human to ever walk the planet. so you know. 

Big Joel: 9

Is probably the best centre half in the league at the minute and certainly the best one in our squad, and that is saying something. Knocked himself a bit unconscious heading a ball late on right in front of us, but sort of shrugged it off like a boxer and found his sea legs again. Very hilarious man to watch. Would love to have a pint with him. I mean, we would have a pint and he would just sit off. 

Tskmikas: 8

Always remember however good at footy he is that he fucking loves sharks the mad little fucker. Anyway. Great ball for the first goal, and I mean that. It was great. Pinpoint. Loved the bit when he wrestled with about six of their grocks and kept the ball. Was like the Royal Rumble. Got thrown out of the ring but hung onto the ropes. Then twatted someone on the head with a chair. 

Henderson: 8

Was on his own for a bit in the middle first half when they were getting some joy when we didn’t have the ball. I worry we are a physical presence light without Gini but that’s for another time. Was great. First game of the season for him. Like he had never been away. 

Elliot: 8

Wow. What a find. You can see why they want him in the side against shite at home. The way he views the game and stands the ball up and plays the pass. He is going to break hearts this season. 

Naby: 7

Is he doing that Gini disciplined role? I think he might be, which is sound except I’d love him to be five inches taller. Seven might be harsh there but I’d give everyone eight and something had to give. 

Salah: 8

He might be the best in the world. He is incredible. A superstar. Was great today, had hard lines with the disallowed one, Elliot maybe could have released it a bit earlier. One blocked that was slotting bottom left. Their keeper had give it up. Which isn’t surprising really given that he is, in effect, a willow tree. His limbs don’t work there. Not having that he is an athlete. At all. 

Mane: 8

Great goal, great movement. Fancies a scrap all game. Looks like he might bag 30 this year. 

Jota: 7

He is a mad player, in that he does fucking nothing aside from slot with every chance he gets and causes murder in every defence. Got the knack of pissing off defenders a lot. Everyone wants to kill him and he is a proper nark which is boss. 

Thiago: 7

Gave it away loads when he came on, probably for a laugh. Can’t wait to see him properly. One you need to see in the flesh. 

Firmino: 7

Was great in them half spaces. 

Gomez: N/A


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