Simon Mignolet: Frequent readers of this blog will know that I have long lamented the fact that Migs fails to deliver a performance that is better than the minimum expected. I am glad to report that today Simon delivered when it mattered. Liverpool won a point, and 80% of that point was earned by Simon Mignolet. A stunning save from Clinton ‘Bob’ Njie in the first half was followed by a second superb save with his legs from Harry ‘Light Breeze’ Kane. Added to these saves was the fact that there was a significant absence of flapping from crosses and corners, good distribution when required, and my Pacemaker didn’t need to kick into action throughout the 90 minutes. Best performance of the season for me. 9/10.
Nathaniel Clyne: Liverpool Football Club arrived at White Hart Lane with 14 senior players realistically capable of delivering a performance in a tough Premier League match. That 14 included Kolo Toure, Joe Allen and Adam Bogdan. As the match progressed, several Liverpool players tired significantly. However, some players rose to the occasion and led from the front. Stand up Nathaniel ‘Patsy’ Clyne, who delivered a performance of poise, confidence, energy, stamina and downright awesomeness. A rare gem for Liverpool this season seemed that bit more polished today, and emerged as a real leader when the chips were down. Wasn’t as advanced as previous games, but helped contribute to a clean sheet, so his role has been tailored to suit the current requirements. 8/10.
Martin Skrtel: WhoScored.com are a respected website and ranker (yes, that says ‘ranker’ you dirty pervert) of football players, and they have rated Martin as the best Liverpool performer of the day. Who am I to argue with them, eh? Oh right, yeah, I’m a member of ByTheMinSport.com, a far superior website in every single way, so I’m going to tell you that while Martin was very good today, he wasn’t the best player on the pitch. He was joint 3rd best. Trust me, stats are overrated. A very solid performance today from the scary looking shitehawk with numerous crucial tackles and interceptions. Hopefully this is the beginning of a solid long-term partnership with Mamadou Sakho. That would make sense y’see. Something lacking at Melwood recently. 8/10
Mamadou Sakho: Superb. Excellent. Accurate. Composed. Expansive. Steady. When given a solid, sensible role as a centre-back in a back four, suddenly Sakho shines and the Liverpool defence keeps a clean sheet. I would say it’s not rocket science but this kind of common sense was as rare as rocking horse shit for two years. Jurgen has made a very simple realisation: Skrtel and Sakho are the best two centre backs in the squad and that’s the way it will stay (until January comes and he can go shopping…to replace Skrtel). Sakho is here to stay people, get used to it, enjoy it and wallow in it. About f*cking time. 9/10.
Alberto Moreno: Bertie was asked to play in a conventional left-back role today, and he did it reasonably well. Unable to bomb forward as much as he has recently, and he has been asked to concentrate on the defensive side of his game more than usual. He gave me more than one coronary incident during the game by executing a move I will now christen ‘The Bertie Butt’. When in possession and closed down by an opponent, he stops in his tracks, sticks out his arse towards his opponent in a very homoerotic way, and waits to be slammed from behind (stop giggling), and falling to the ground howling (seriously, stop it, you’re embarrassing yourself). He got away with it today, but he won’t against other opponents, some of whom may enjoy it. I’m not naming names. Yet. 6/10.
Lucas Leiva: A typically solid performance from Lucas: Understated, effective, efficient and a booking. Textbook. Yet there were signs of something else too – a series of forward passes that looked to be penetrative (you have one more chance, now stop it) were played by Lucas seeking to create a goal scoring opportunity. I believe this is a sign of the confidence that Herr Klopp is bringing to this squad – an ability to break out of the monotony that Brendan had instilled in the team – so that players can emerge from their pupa and spread their wings as beautiful butterflies. Yes, I’ve been drinking. Sue me. 7/10.
Emre Can: A central midfielder playing in central midfield. It’s a radical, sensational move by Klopp and I am taking some time to get used to the idea. So is Emre judging by his performance today. He was full of his usual energy, bursts and tackling, but he seemed unfamiliar with the positions that he found himself in. That is not a criticism of him, it’s a criticism of Brendan who failed to play him in his natural position. Emre has a couple of months to establish himself in the Liverpool team before Captain Hendo is back to fitness and you suspect that Emre and Lucas are competing for one place. Good. 6/10.
Adam Lallana: *Sigh* Yet another ‘almost’ performance from Adam who is looking far more suited to the lower level of the Europa League Group Stage than the hurly burly of the Premier League. Which is odd, as he impressed in the Premier League first. Anyhoo, Adam repeatedly got himself into good positions today, but repeatedly failed to create anything really dangerous. He had a decent shout for a penalty in the second half, which I’ve seen given, but if given against Liverpool would result in a family pet needing medical treatment (Relax RSPCA, it’s just a joke…). It will be interesting to see how Klopp rates him when the injuries clear up: Will he get a game ahead of Firmino/Ings/Sturridge etc? 6/10.
James Milner: Jimmy Milner waved goodbye to central midfield for a top level team today, and said hello to his new role (and old role) of ‘Utility Player’. He was largely ineffectual today on the right of the attacking midfield, and he is another who will be looking over his shoulder as the injured players come back to fitness and seek a place in the starting eleven. I predict that Jimmy Milner and Adam Lallana will end up spearheading our bid for Europa League glory. Splendid. 5/10.
Philippe Coutinho: POTENTIALLY CONTROVERSIAL MOMENT ALERT: If Philippe doesn’t start upping his contribution (by that I mean effective assists/goals), his position in this team is under threat. Today, when the LFC squad was seriously depleted by injury, all eyes were on Philippe to step up and put in the kind of performance required to lead the team through tough times. It didn’t happen (again). He’s an undoubted talent, with flicks, tricks, shimmies and goals that sometimes take the breath away. However the key word there is ‘sometimes’. He needs to deliver consistently or else he’s in danger of being moved out of the team for someone less ‘flashy’ but more dynamic for this new team. The pressure is on Phillipe, time to deliver. 6/10.
Divock Origi: Liverpool’s fourth choice striker has been thrust into the spotlight in October. How’s that for injury luck, eh? I was impressed by Divock today – he led the line well, constantly running the channels and providing an out-ball for the team in the first half. His pace is a threat to opponents, and after half an hour today, you could sense that the Spurs back-line were worried. He is young and needs to work on his finishing, but as a 4th choice striker he did a good job today. 7/10.
Joe Allen: It’s probably a good job that Brendan Rodgers has departed from Joe Allen’s point of view. Where he was once known as ‘The Welsh Xavi’, he’s now known as ‘The Beardy Tramp’ under the new regime. That should take some pressure off at least. Joe came on for Adam Lallana and he performed…..alright. Enough said. 5/10.
Jordon Ibe: ‘OOJ’ replaced Philippe Coutinho. I know, I gasped too. Yet he injected life into the Liverpool team late in the game, and led the charge on at least two attacking moves. It made me wonder how effective he could have been if introduced 15 minutes earlier – lets face it, Philippe contributed the sum total of f*ck all in the same period. He should now be released from his Brendan Hell of LWB/RWB/RAM/LAM position roulette, and should flourish. I’m excited. 7/10.
Manager: Jurgen Klopp
How do I rate Herr Klopp in Week 1? Easy. He gets 110/10, just by virtue of the fact that he’s here. He is the manager of Liverpool Football Club. *quivers*. He plays midfielders in midfield. He plays defenders in defence. He plays forwards up front. He’s a revolutionary thinker. VIVA LA REVOLUTION!