Adam Bogdan: Adam is a very brave man. Fearless, in fact. Any man who is that ginger, and chooses to grow more ginger facial hair, has to be admired for his self-confidence. It’s this level of self-confidence that was evident last night as Adam had a fine game, didn’t put a foot wrong, and made an outstanding save early in the game from The Cherries first attack. Claimed every cross, good distribution, and didn’t he look well in that kit? I like that kit. Why doesn’t Migs wear that kit more often? 8/10.
Dejan Lovren: Look who’s back…back again…Dejan’s back…Tell a friend…Dejan’s back, Dejan’s back, Dejan’s back, Dejan’s back, Dejan’s back, Dejan’s back, Dejan’s back…nanananana…Marshall Mathers would struggle to rouse himself to proclaim the comeback of Dejan Lovren. Yet the big Croat wanted people to notice he was back (apparently we’re all so used to the clusterf*cks that we might not notice those), so he wore luminous yellow boots. It worked. I noticed Dejan Lovren. My counsellor is delighted – we’re now booked for another 9 sessions. Cheers Dejan. 5/10.
Kolo Toure: Oh KOLO, You are a broken man. Not literally. You’re actually a broken man. This season you have hobbled off the pitch 3 times, and I’m sure I only recall you starting 3 games (I’m not a stats nerd, so if that’s incorrect, you are one). Your hamstring decided to twang early in the first half, and as a result you left us with that most frightening of sights, just three days before Halloween – a CB pairing of Skrtel and Lovren. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is no joke Kolo. My counsellor is rubbing his hands with glee. 5/10.
Connor Randall: Meet Connor Randall. He looks a nice chap, eh? But look at those eyes…look deeper. See? The eyes of a killer. A cold-blooded assassin. I know these are scurrilous accusations, but I have proof. Last night, Connor Randall carried out a ‘hit’. He assassinated the LFC career of a Mr. J. Enrique, who is believed to be of Spanish origins. Mr. Enrique had been hoping to get a chance at full-back under the new manager, due to the lack of depth in the LFC squad in the full-back roles. However, Mr. C. Randall stood up last night and plunged a dagger deep into the heart of Mr. Enrique, all the while smiling that lovely cheeky smile. That’s cold, Connor. Stone cold. Great performance though. Good to have you on board kid! 8/10.
Nathaniel Clyne: Patsy was the match-winner. While playing in an unfamiliar role. Playing yet another match this season. Playing alongside Lovren/Kolo/Skrtel and in front of Bogdan. The man is nothing short of miraculous. His goal is also further evidence of what Herr Klopp wants from this team. PUSH UP AND STAY UP. This was a slick, quick attacking move by Liverpool, featuring the centre-forward and two attacking midfielders. Who was furthest forward to score? Yep, the left-back. I like this. I like this a lot. 9/10.
Cameron Brannagan: Neat. Tidy. Organised. Solid. Composed. Aware. All positive traits for a young player making a rare start. Now take these traits and recognise that he achieved them when playing alongside Joe Allen. Yeah, good work Cameron. Very good work. 7/10.
Joe Allen: Joe got a cuddle from Jurgen at full-time on the pitch. He seemed to be uncomfortable with the cuddle, if truth be told. He seemed to be squirming, wanting to get out of the clutches of the hirsute German. It seemed odd. Jurgen seemed to be congratulating him for completing the full 90 minutes, for contributing to his first win, for avoiding a second yellow card and for staying on the pitch. But no….Jurgen was not giving him love. He was whispering ‘I know who you are now. That beard no longer fools me. You’re Joe Allen. I know about you. I know what you’re like. I know….’. Poor Joe. 6/10.
Jordon Ibe: Welcome back Jordon Ibe! He’s free! Free from the mental prison that Brendan Rodgers had enslaved him in. This poor young man had been robbed of his innocence. His spontaneity. His soul. Jurgen has now set him free! Rejoice! Ibe was asked to play on the right of the 3 attacking midfielders behind Origi. That was it. Nothing complicated. No convoluted roles to ponder. Get at ’em, press ’em, run past ’em, find a teammate, and enjoy yourself. It’s the happiest I’ve seen Jordon in a long time, and he played superbly too. His flicked pass to release Connor Randall in the second half made me groan…in the way Kelly Brook makes me groan (in my dreams)…8/10.
Roberto Firmino: I hate people who say ‘I told you so’. I really do. That’s because it’s rarely me. Today it is me, so hang on to your hats ladies and gentlemen: I TOLD YOU SO. See the following extract from my last but one blog:
“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.
Roberto Firmino is fit again. I’ll just leave that thought with you for a while”
Yeah, so Bobby F is fit. He was played at No. 10. He was Man Of The Match. He was outstanding. The pressure is on young Coutinho more now than at any time in his LFC career. Football, eh? Bonkers. 9/10.
Joao Teixeira: A rare sighting of a player that has, for the past 9 years, been ‘the next big thing’ to break through into the Liverpool first team. Alright, 9 years is an exaggeration, but it feels like it. We’ve been hoping and praying that Teixeira would get a fair crack of the whip, and last night he got it and he took it. I’m not going to go into detail on his performance. I’m just going to say this – The Liverpool goal was created by Teixeira springing the offside trap and BACKHEEL CHIPPING the goalkeeper. I reckon he took it slightly wide on purpose, just to do that. I want to see more of Teixeira, and I suspect Jurgen might too. 8/10.
Divock Origi: He’s a grafter is Divok. He really tries. He has yet to find that ‘spark’ to take him to the next level, but I think he has it in him. I sense it may be a lack of belief. A few times last night, he just needed to be selfish. Knock it past his man, and race after it. He’s got pace, and that scares the bejaysus out of defenders more than anything else. Believe in yourself more Divok. Head down, arse up, and go for it. You have nothing to lose…7/10
Martin Skrtel: Alright, I’ll level with you. When Martin came on for Kolo after half an hour, I cried a little inside. Yet I was wrong. Skrtel strikes me as being…how do I say this nicely…a little ‘simple’. He’s got a big old head on him, but if you whisper something into his ear, I suspect you’ll hear it echo for 20 minutes. Anyway, I digress. Martin probably thought he was in for a quiet sitdown on the bench. I suspect he didn’t really think too much about his own game, or what he was expected to do etc. So when he was suddenly called into action, he had to play on instinct. This is a good thing. Martin was excellent last night. His passing in particular caught my eye. He was composed, he played good penetrative balls into and sometimes beyond the midfield – all very impressive. A pleasant surprise. 8/10.
Lucas Leiva: All hail the revolutionary, new, 21st Century Lucas! We all hope to see a transformation in the LFC players under the stewardship of Jurgen Klopp, and we are seeing the first of these transmogrifications (I had to get that in) with Lucas. He continues to do the superb defensive midfield work, but he’s now adding bows and ribbons to his repertoire. He’s shooting (well), he’s playing through balls, he’s even getting to the by-line and crossing (I saw it with my own two eyes). He too got a cuddle from Klopp, when coming on, and he seemed to enjoy it far more than Joe Allen. Maybe he enjoyed it a little too much. I could have sworn I lip-read a ‘Dadda’ at one stage. 8/10.
Adam Lallana: I’m not bigging myself up here, but last night I got a message from a reader who was bemoaning the fact that Adam only got 3 minutes of action, as I wouldn’t have enough time to rate him, and he wouldn’t get to enjoy my rating of him. So I’m tempted to create a review of those 3 minutes, just to entertain. Alas, I won’t be doing that. I made a promise to myself to call things as I see them, and to be honest, I didn’t even notice that he came on. That may be a good thing for Adam, in fairness. N/A
A WIN! FINALLY A WIN! That’s it, the handbrake is off. The reigns have been released. The juggernaut has left the station, and Liverpool Football Club are about to crush all before them. What? Too much? Pffft, you’re all way too negative. He gave kids their chance, and they responded. He gave Joe Allen a chance, and he lasted 90 minutes. He has turned Lucas into Stevie G (well, almost, it’s taking a bit of time). He is undefeated in games against Spurs, Rubin Kazan, Southampton and Bournemouth. He is undefeated in the Premier League, Europa League and Capital One Cup. He has kept two clean sheets in 4 games. But above all else…HE REALLY BLOODY CARES. I’m in love. 8/10.