Adam Bogdan: Conceded a goal, at his near post, to a Fourth Division team (stick your League 2 nonsense up your arse, it’s the Fourth Division and always will be). A mitigating fact is that he was playing behind a Lovren/Skrtel defensive combo, which would put the fear of God into Thor himself, even if Iron Man and Captain America were by his side . He then saved three penalties in the shootout, against a Fourth Division team. Two of those penalty saves were very good. One of them, I could have saved, and I’m about as athletic as that poor pig that David Cameron seduced, allegedly. Adam is also very, very ginger. 7/10.
Dejan Lovren: My mother said if you can’t say anything nice about somebody, then don’t say anything at all. 4/10.
Martin Skrtel: Decided that tonight was the night that he was going to ‘do a Lovren’ and launch shots at the Carlisle goal from 35 yards. The fact that there is anything at all about Dejan that Martin feels is worth replicating shows him up to be perhaps the dumbest creature on the planet. Dumber than Jeff Bridges deciding that ‘Dumb and Dumber Too’ was a good role to take on, despite wowing worldwide audiences with his cerebral annihilation of American Tea Party loonies on ‘The Newsroom’ (if you’ve not seen it, you should, it’s very good). 4/10.
Emre Can: I’m going to give Emre an extra 3 points because he worked his arse off all night, made some important interceptions, showed more energy than most, and showed that he really cared. I’m also going to deduct 25 points because he executed a ‘Panenka’ against a Fourth Division team and then celebrated like it was the World Cup Final. Emre, lad, what the hell are you doing? Play it cool, dude. Play it cool. -17/10.
Nathaniel Clyne: Bewildered. A one-word summary of his play. Understandable considering he was asked to turn out against Carlisle United in a League Cup match. I guaran-damn-tee that he had made plans for last night, probably with a lovely looking lady, and was then informed by Brendan, with a blinding white smile, that he was part of his plans to take down Carlisle Bloody United. I’m on Patsy’s side on this one. The poor fella is going to be broken by next summer if we keep doing this to him. 5/10.
Alberto Moreno: On the contrary, Bertie would have been delighted to get some more action against Carlisle. Heck, even when he’s off-duty he’s tearing up and down the nearest patch of grass he can get, tongue lolling in the wind, scampering after anything spherical in his vicinity. He just loves to run that boy. Up and down, down and up, repeatedly. That’s why he’s banned from the ‘Liverpool ONE’ shopping centre – nobody else could get on the escalator. So Bertie duly scampered all night long to no great effect…against a Fourth Division side. However, did you notice who was first to Bogdan when he saved the final penalty. Yep. Classic Bertie. 5/10.
Joe Allen: The Welsh Xavi. Whoever came up with that nickname is the funniest man or woman in the history of the world. He’s not even a Welsh Mark Bowen at this stage (Yes I’m aware Mark Bowen is Welsh, leave me alone). He just exists. He’s…there. He doesn’t do anything. This was a chance to announce his fitness to the world – to press for a place in the first team (let’s face it, he’s got Lucas and ummm, Rossiter as competition for his spot now). I believe that if he was playing in a kick-about down the park with his own family he’d be picked last, behind his 4-year-old niece. 4/10.
James Milner: I was harsh on Jimmy Milner last time. After all, he was playing against a Premier League side. I was wrong. James did well against Norwich. In fact, he played out of his skin! I mean, last night showed that he’s a Conference Player masquerading as a Liverpool Premier League Captain, such was his level of ineptitude against Carlisle. Therefore, his performance against Norwich was spectacular. Liverpool have replaced Steven Gerrard (admittedly a Gerrard whose legs had gone) with James Milner. That’s like replacing an old Amstrad CPC 464 with an abacus. 3/10.
Adam Lallana: Created a goal. Missed a penalty. Yet his skin is superb. So soft, so moisturised. So smooth. Pity his football isn’t as smooth. He huffed, and he puffed but he couldn’t blow the Carlisle house down. In fact, he could barely make the Carlisle wind chimes move. Part of an attacking trio that helped Liverpool have 289 shots on goal, 176 on target, but scoring only once. Iago Aspas scored a couple of belters against Barcelona last night. #JustSaying 4/10.
Roberto Firmino: Came off ‘injured’ after 35 minutes. In Portuguese, that translates to ‘What the hell am I doing playing against this shite, with this shite, I didn’t sign up for this, I’d rather be anywhere else right now, oh I think I may have grazed a hair on my left leg, yep, I’m outta here, so long suckers’. The Portuguese language is so succinct, don’t you think? 3/10.
Danny Ings: A rare golden ray in a dark, dark storm. Hey, that sounds almost lyrical – someone should write a song about that. They could be walking through a storm, but manage to stay proud and full of hope or something. Anyway, I digress. Another appearance, another goal. Nailed on that he’ll be on the bench when Big Ben sorts his hammys out. Poor Danny. I like him, a lot. He should play every match right now, and he should do so alongside Sturridge. It’s this thought that gives me just an inkling of hope for the game against Villa. Imagine, I need something to cling to for a home match to Villa. Woe is me…8/10.
Philippe Coutinho: In case of emergency, break glass. That’s what Brendan did after 64′ when he hauled off Joe Allen and threw his star man into the fray. The first thing that Liverpool need to do as a club is to measure the goals at Melwood. They are clearly about 3″ x 3″ too big, because I can’t believe that Philippe has the same success rate of shooting in training. He couldn’t, could he? If he did, he’d be sent out with instructions to pass, always pass, and never, ever, ever, ever, don’t even think about it, never, ever shoot. It’s the only explanation I can come up with. I mean, a player of that talent having 4,298 shots since his last goal? Including a penalty? Bonkers. Oh, and did you see his face after the penalty? All confidence and hope is gone from poor Philippe. I wanted to hug him (and strangle him). 4/10.
I’m almost sure that Brendan does not send his team out to deliberately miss the target or not score. Almost sure. However he has to be in charge of morale, of team spirit. I mean, if not him, then who? The biggest issue is that he seems to get the lads up for the match to start with, but as soon as anything goes wrong, at all, the heads drop. All confidence is sapped immediately. This usually happens within the first 30 mins of a game these days, so you’re left with an hour (and more last night) where the team just don’t believe they’re any good. Whether they are or not is a moot point – they should certainly believe they are. That’s where Brendan is failing badly. 2/10.