Stoke City v Liverpool: LFC Player Ratings

Simon MignoletSimon Mignolet: Unflappable – in that he didn’t flap at anything for once. Dealt with a couple of short back-passes well, as he shrieked like a girl while twirling his arms running towards the ball. He can pick out Christian Benteke’s head from 5 miles with his foot. Handy. 8/10

Nathaniel ClyneNathaniel Clyne: Glen Johnson who can defend. Outstanding clearing header with 10 minutes left as Diouf was about to head Stoke into the lead. Think about that, a late Stoke header to win the match. That’s fate. Destiny. The normal order of the cosmos. Nathaniel Clyne changed that. He’s a GOD. 9/10

Joe GomezJoe Gomez: Enthusiastic, over-excited, picked on by bigger bullies (I’m looking at you Jon Walters). Typical of the life of an 18-year-old. He did well though, apart from one clearance that would have had him grounded for a month by Brendan if Stoke took advantage of it. Needs to develop an old head on young shoulders. If in doubt, boot it fecking out. Oh, and he got the assist for Phil’s goal, but that’s a statistical anomaly in a goal of such class. 7/10

Martin SkrtelMartin Skrtel: He waited over 70 days to kick Diouf for what he did to him in May, and he took his chance well. Got a yellow card for it but that didn’t matter to him. Or me. Good man Martin. A few ‘teasing’ back-passes to Mignolet, but that may have been designed to keep Simon awake during such a turgid snore-fest. Clean sheet. Job done. 8/10

Dejan LovrenDejan Lovren: When you’re playing for LFC, and the whole world groans when your name is read out, you’re under pressure. He did well. Won the aerial battle, decent distribution, and didn’t create a clusterf*ck that is typical of his LFC career so far. In fact, he gets at least a 6 when he plays and doesn’t cause a calamity. So today, he gets 8/10.

James Milner: Played exactly as I thought James Milner would play for LFC. Did some nice things. Did some simple things. One great ball into Jordan Henderson almost led to a goal. Apart from that he was neat and tidy….a bit boring really. 7/10

Jordan HendersonJordan Henderson: A performance similar to how The Hulk acts when released from his cage. He was stunted and blunted in the defensive midfield role, but upon the introduction of Emre Can, he burst forward and caused devastation. A bit too unselfish when played in by Milner, crossing for Benteke who wasn’t there. His runs from deep looked threatening and he should never, ever, be played in the DM role again. It’s a bloody waste. Like putting the Duracell Bunny in a small box and never letting him out. 8/10

Adam LallanaAdam Lallana: Oh Adam. When the pace of the game is slow, and the game is boring, your neat turns and flicks don’t really float my boat, you know what I mean? LFC needed DYNAMISM. They needed ENERGY. You gave them immaculate facial hair and smooth moisturised skin. You get the impression he’s 10% short on pace and 10% short on ruthlessness to become the player he could be. Just a bit too…meh. 6/10

Jordan IbeJordan Ibe: He’s young. He’s dynamic. He’s good. He knows it. He’s seen what Raheem Sterling has achieved and he wants some of that (with LFC hopefully). Played a little bit like the ‘best kid in the playground’, constantly trying to take on that one player too many. You get the impression that he’s willing to learn though, and that Roberto Firmino could become his ‘mentor’. Could keep his place when Firmino gets up to speed, ahead of Lallana. 7/10

Philippe CoutinhoPhilippe Coutinho: Awful. Off the pace. Slow. Poor passing. Leggy. Then he scores the bloody winner with a goal of such beauty that I would leave my wife and children, date it, wine it, dine it, propose to it, marry it and then have babies with it. I might even do that with Phil, if he’d let me. Coutinho with 15+ goals a season is better than Hazard. A bold claim, but I’m sticking with it. Now he needs to score 15+ goals a season. Do it for me Phil. xxx. 9/10

Christian BentekeChristian Benteke: He did well, considering the fact that 9 of his teammates kept kicking the ball about 20 yards over his head, and the one teammate who was able to find him was playing in goal. I get the impression that the work on the training ground is going to be vital to get Big Ben working effectively with his teammates. I also get the impression that if Daniel Sturridge gets consistently fit again, he becomes a Plan B. An expensive Plan B, but a Plan B all the same. 7/10.

Substitutes:

Emre CanEmre Can: BEAST MODE was deployed just in time by Brendan Rodgers. As the game was petering out into the dullest drabbest drawn since….ever, Brendan unleashed the beast to run the midfield and release the Duracell Bunny forward. LFC dominated after that and got the winner in due course. Get him up to speed in terms of fitness and let him run the Liverpool midfield for the next decade. It’s as simple as that. 8/10

Roberto FirminoRoberto Firmino: A teasing cameo. Nice boots. Bright yellow. Nothing else to report, but I can’t wait to see him link with Coutinho. I’m putting on record here that a front-line of Firmino, Sturridge and Ibe will win the Premier League for Liverpool. Bookmark this. Print it out. Hell, get it tattooed on your arse. I’m right. 7/10

Manager:

Brendan Rodgers: He picked Henderson in the DM role, and that was a bad move. I don’t think Emre Can was ready for a full 90 minutes, so that’s a mitigating factor. Yet, Lucas seems to be fit and played in pre-season, so he should have started there. Credit where it is due however, his changes worked. Bringing on THE BEAST to release THE DURACELL BUNNY worked. He also stuck with Countinho JUST long enough. Alright, he was moments away from hooking him, but that’s the kind of luck that managers need. He also said, with a straight face, that Liverpool won at Stoke today as they had different ‘character’ compared to when they lost 6-1 to the same club 3 months ago. I really think he believes his own shite. Remarkable.

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