Simon Mignolet: A case of ‘as you were’ for Simon at Stamford Bridge. With his new-found inner peace, Migs was calm, composed and pretty comfortable for the majority of the match. In fact his new ‘Zen-ness’ (if that’s not a word, I’m creating it right here – send all future royalties to me), allowed him to anticipate the thoughts of the boyband-wannabe, his mother still brushes his hair, he can’t buy beer without ID gobshite Oscar, when he tried an outrageous and frankly insulting shot from inside his own half. Hah! Simon was backpedaling towards his own goal before Oscar even conceived the idea (or indeed was conceived by his parents), and thus made a fine save. You’ll have to get up very early to catch out the new Mignolet these days. Around 4am I hear. I will admit that the Chelsea goal was perhaps another example of a potentially world-class save literally slipping through Simon’s fingertips, but seeing as we battered José’s mob 3-1 at Stamford Bridge, I’m not that bothered. 7/10.
Nathaniel Clyne: Remember the last time that Liverpool had a full-back this good? Well, if you’re under the age of 10, you probably don’t. If you’re under the age of 10 and you’re reading this blog….good for you (just don’t tell your Mom and Dad about the bad words). I’m going back to the days of Steve Finnan to find the last time we had a right-back that has impressed me this much. Extremely solid in defence, a menace in attack, and a damn fine goal-scoring left-back when required. Patsy was immense again yesterday, constantly leading the charge down the right-flank in the first half. He’ll be annoyed that the cross for the Ramires goal came from his side, but he wasn’t alone in the clusterf*ck that was that moment of madness for this Liverpool team. Oh, and I got asked during the week why I call him Patsy. For those of you that don’t know, it’s an homage to Patsy Cline, the American Singer from the 50’s and 60’s. She’s most famous for singing ‘Crazy’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYtrGjJOMpE). How apt is that for a Liverpool fan, eh? 7/10.
Martin Skrtel: Tough as nails. Takes no sh*t. Will gladly kick you into the dirt any day of the week. Will stand up for what he believes in, even if that means defying authority. Comes back after a beating, time and time again, and just won’t quit. The toughest son of a bitch around. Martin Skrtel has turned into the rock of the Liverpool defence. He bullied Diego Costa yesterday. He slapped him around. Demoralised him. Humiliated him. When Costa turned nasty and kicked him in the stomach, Martin just sneered at him. The ‘Stone Cold’ truth is that Martin Skrtel owns Diego Costa. Skrtel 3:16 says Diego Costa is a pussy. That’s the bottom line son, ‘cos Stone Cold Skrtel says so. 8/10.
Mamadou Sakho: The Yin to go with Martin Skrtel’s Yang(stop sniggering at the thought of Skrtel’s Yang, you big child). Superb again yesterday. Solid as a rock, and his distribution out of defence is just getting better and better. Had to deal with the threat of Chelsea’s best player this season (a low standard to be judged by, I admit) in Willian (what does he put his willy in, eh?), and he completely got the better of the Sideshow Bob Brazilian throughout the match. His pass to Big Ben for Liverpool’s second goal was ‘Gerrardesque’. I am not going to slag off any former manager of Liverpool (except you Woy, you wally), but Brendan’s thought process on Mamadou makes me wonder about the state of his mental health. 8/10.
Alberto Moreno: The last time Bertie played for Liverpool, I used the term ‘Bertie ya boll*x’. Anybody have a sense of deja vu? In fairness, it was an early kick-off, it was early in the game, and Alberto is the kind of guy that likes to take it easy in life (he walks his dog using a Segway – no, I’m not joking, he really does), so that may explain why Bertie was FAST F*CKING ASLEEP AT THE FAR POST to allow Ramires to head home. As with the Southampton game however, Alberto improved as the game went on, and very nearly scored an exact replica of THAT goal against Spurs last season. Begovic ya boll*x. Will have to improve his defensive duties, but he’s young, he’s got vast potential, and he’s not José Enrique. All of these things are in his favour. 6/10.
Lucas Leiva: Klopp’s on-field lieutenant put himself on the line for the team yesterday. You can’t go to Stamford Bridge and expect an easy time in midfield (even if the current Chelsea team are performing a Back To The Future tribute and playing like the 1985 Chelsea team). Lucas had to get stuck in numerous times throughout the 90 minutes, and he picked up a yellow card or two. Well, actually he got one, should have had two, but his sheer awesomeness forced Mark Clattenburg to keep the second yellow in his pocket. That’s how amazing Lucas is right now. He’s still only 28. I know, I had him down as being 32. Great, we have another 5 years of this to look forward to. 8/10.
Emre Can: Think back to early August. Now, who would you have named as the league’s best dynamic defensive midfielder? Yeah, it would have been an auto-Matic choice for me too (if you groaned at that, you’re not alone, even I did when I typed it). Fast forward to October and Nemanja Matic can’t get a game ahead of Jon Obi Wan Kinobe Mikel. Step forward the new best dynamic defensive midfielder in the league….LUCAS! Yeah, Emre could be, some day, but he’s not there yet. My God though he’s a beast. So strong, so powerful, so willing, so….I’m going to stop now, this could potentially turn into a homoerotic novel, and that’s a different blog entirely. 7/10.
M-aking a hell of an effort
P-ushing himself hard
R-otated well up front
O-k, I’m struggling with ‘O’
V-ery nice step over for the third goal
N-eat and tidy
G-et in there my son!
You get my point? 7/10.
“I have a very old laptop. When I boot it up it goes ‘Whirr….Clunk….Click’ and it starts working. When I first got it, it used to go ‘Whirr…..Click’ and it worked. I’m not sure why or when the ‘Clunk’ was introduced, but now I’m not sure whether the machine will work without it, or whether it’s crucial to the machine ever springing into life again. For the vast majority of the game yesterday, I felt the same way about James Milner. Then he produces THAT cross, to create THAT goal, and I cherish that ‘Clunk’. Until the next time I wonder whether it’s actually needed or not. My arse is getting sore as I’m sitting on this fence quite a while, and I don’t think I can get off for a while yet.
So where am I today? Well, Herr Klopp took the part out of the machine yesterday, when it was 1-1, and the machine went on to win 3-1. Is that too simplistic? Probably (but it is me writing this so y’know…), however success brings its own pressures, and the ‘player under pressure of the week’ is Jimmy Milner. Over to you bucko….6/10.
Philippe Coutinho: I have to cater for potential new readers of this blog (HELLO! Welcome! Thank you! Stick around, this place is a hoot!), so I’m going to repost this by now well-worn passage from a blog about 5 games ago:
“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.”
Now I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Philippe reads this blog. We’re mates. He got upset that I kept posting that particular review, and he Skyped me on Friday evening. I’m not going to reveal too much, but suffice to say that the call ended abruptly when things got a bit out of hand and he called me a ‘big fat baby’. Now you understand his celebration for his first goal. Yeah, I’m his muse really. You’re welcome. Oh, and Philippe? WELCOME BACK TO THE PARTY KID! You’re still on for lunch next Tuesday? 9/10.
Roberto Firmino: Back to full fitness, he has a manager who knows how he works, he has a manager that isn’t Brendan Rodgers…it’s all coming up Millhouse for Bobby F! Started up front in a fluid attacking trio with Lallana and Philippe, and his movement, his clever thinking, his dynamism all left Terry and Cahill looking stupid – well, even more stupid than their gormless mugs naturally make them look. You suspect that Roberto has nailed down a starting place in this team, so that opens up a question about who won’t start (assuming Big Ben has done the same). We’re back to the James Milner review now, aren’t we? 7/10.
Christian Benteke: A second cracking substitute appearance from Big Ben. He reminds me so much of ‘Supersub’ David Fairclough. They’re practically twins, born 30 years apart. I’d struggle to tell them apart to be honest. Anyway, I suspect Benteke won’t be starting on the bench for much longer, as he’s now scoring goals for fun, and terrorising defences too. He was helped by the superb stepover by Adam Lallana, which bamboozled John Terry so much that Ben had approximately 25 minutes to get the ball under control and smash it home. On the day that Liverpool went into the lion’s den ruled by Roman, how appropriate that Christian delivered the fatal blow (If that doesn’t get me a Pulitzer, there’s something wrong with the world). 8/10.
Dejan Lovren: Brought on by Herr Klopp in a clear ‘Christ José, your mob are so shit, I can even do this’ gesture. Even though there were mere moments left, a survey has revealed that 100% of Liverpool fans looked at the scoreboard, looked at the clock, swallowed hard and shifted uncomfortably in their seats. He didn’t f*ck up, so he gets an automatic 7/10.
Manager: Jurgen Klopp
- First Premier League win
- First away Premier League win
- First time LFC scored more than one goal in a game since….forever
- Broke the Premier League Managerial Long Jump Record (previously held by Martin O’Neill), by leaping 6.45m after the second goal.
- Triggered a nervous breakdown in José Mourinho
- Surpassed Arsene Wenger’s record of PL wins over José Mourinho, in just his fifth game in charge. Arsene has been in charge of Arsenal since 1875
My wife admitted yesterday that she’s crushing on him, real hard. Yeah, join the queue baby. Join the very long queue….10/10