Simon Mignolet: Madman. Total and utter loon. Space cadet. This isn’t a personal dig at Migs, this should be applied to all goalkeepers, the oddballs. Last night was the perfect example of why this breed of people should be viewed with suspicion. It was cold. Very cold. Freezing in fact. The pitch was freezing, the coaches were freezing, the fans were freezing, and yet Migs voluntarily took to the filed in football gear and pretty much stood there with nothing to do for over an hour and a half. In our last Europa League match he held onto the ball for over 20 seconds and cost us a goal. I’m astonished that didn’t happen last night…after all, he would surely have been struggling to ‘Let It Go’ as he was ‘Frozen’. Sorry….
Nathaniel Clyne: I’ve got nothing bought for Christmas yet. Nothing. Nada. Nichts. It’s playing on my mind I must admit, with two weeks to go, and yet under it all I have a peaceful serenity, knowing that in the end it’ll be alright. I don’t know exactly how it will be alright, or how everything will get done, but I just ‘know’ that it will. I feel exactly the same about Patsy in fairness. When he takes to the field I just ‘know’ everything will be alright down his flank. No idea how or why, just that it will. It was last night. See?
Dejan Lovren: Three months ago, Dejan was firmly on the ‘naughty’ list heading into Christmas. He was going to get a lump of coal, a bag of soot, a dinner with Katie Hopkins and f*ck all else. Yet Dejan has been a very, very good boy recently and slowly but surely he has worked his way onto the ‘nice’ list. So for Christmas Dejan has asked Santa for a Scalextric, a PS4, Jurassic World Lego and an ACL injury for Mamaodou Sakho. Hang on…Dejan, you naughty, naughty boy….
Kolo Toure: This match would have done KOLO the world of good. When a gentleman gets to a certain vintage, he starts to feel the effects of physical activities more than he did when he was a mere whippersnapper of a man (I’m referring to football, not the horizontal jive you sicko). We’ve seen KOLO come a cropper more than once this season with injuries that he would have shaken off in his heyday. Yet playing a full match in these conditions was akin to a session in the Cryogenic Chamber for KOLO, and I fully expect him to remain uninjured for the rest of the season, keep Martin Skrtel out of the team, and lift the Premier League trophy next May. By the way, this bottle of brandy is lovely….
Brad Smith: Strewth! Young Brad had a flamin’ bonzer game on the left, racing up and down that flank like a ‘Roo on Red Bull. The flamin’ gallah needed to keep warm mind, as he was playing in conditions that would keep the shrimp frozen, even on the Barbie. The space he got during the first half in particular was right up his (Ramsey) street, and with cover and support from his neighbours Milner and Lovren, he caused Sion all kinds of strife. He was trickier than Paul Robinson, showed more maturity than Alf Stewart and some of his moves were sexier than Charlene bent over a car bonnet. She was a mechanic…for f*ck sake.
Jordan Henderson: Look who’s back. Back again. Hendo’s back. Tell a friend. Now, would the real Liverpool captain please stand up? You could easily lose yourself in the confusion of having Hendo and Milner on the pitch together. Hendo of course will be shouting at everyone in the dressing room that the team were suffering ‘without me’. This Liverpool team without Hendo are not the real deal though, are they? Very much like Toy Soldiers in fact. Some people have contacted me and said they don’t think that Jordan is that important for Liverpool. God, I love the way you lie.
James Milner: As Christmas party season is upon us, it’s time to review those that you work or study with to see who will fulfill the necessary roles at the biggest (dullest) party of the year. The drunk. The lech. The flirt. The dancer. The comedian. The Milner. I guarantee you that every single party will have a ‘James Milner’. He’ll be reasonably popular with everyone on the night, but will never be the centre of attention or the best friend of anyone. He’ll be the sensible one that will calm everyone down as it gets too raucous. If a bouncer has someone in a headlock and is about to chuck them out of a window, Milner will talk to him softly and coax the bouncer into letting him go. He’ll then ensure that everyone has a taxi or bus home, before he himself departs the scene, alone, and has a nice cup of Ovaltine before bed. You shouldn’t scoff at this, every party needs a James Milner. Does Liverpool Football Club? Now THERE’S a question…
Emre Can: Jackie is a very popular member of the first team squad. He’s young enough to be cool and hip (using those words show how old I am by the way). He’s one of the lads, despite looking like one of those male models you see in the window of a hairdressers. Yet there are some issues that the rest of the squad have with Emre. He’s German, and speaks the same language as the gaffer. Naturally he will have some conversations in training in German with Herr Klopp, that nobody else will understand. This makes the other lads nervous. What are they saying? Are they discussing the merits of ‘gegenpressing’? If so, why can’t they ever hear the words ‘gegenpressing’? Or are they discussing the other lads in the squad? Their performance…their ability…cue paranoia. And then there’s the Christmas party. As popular as Emre is with the lads, would Flano or Skrtel really want their wives to sit at the same table all night with Emre Can? Tall, dark and handsome? Would they feck. There may be trouble ahead…
F – estive
R – aconteur
O – ptimistic for 2016
Z – any Prankster
E – ggnog Enthusiast
N – utmeg (In The Christmas Pudding & On The Pitch)
Roberto Firmino: Have you ever noticed how Bobby F resembles a Christmas Elf? No? Just me? Righto.
Divock Origi: Go with your head lad. No, not the advice you get when first out on the tiles in Glasgow, this is my advice to Divock the next time a ball is whipped in from the left. In fact there were a few occasions when Origi tried to score with his foot despite the ball being between 4′ and 6′ in the air. I mean, his hair is nice but not spectacular, so he’s not protecting that, right? His fellow Belgian front-men are both decent with the head, so maybe he’s trying to be ‘different’ from Benteke and Lukaku? I don’t know. All I do know is that if he tries those high volleys when he’s 10 years older, he’ll do himself a mischief.
Philippe Coutinho: He travelled. He came on. He didn’t seem to hurt himself. He’s going to start against West Brom. Merry Christmas.
Jordan Rossiter: Another returning from injury, and he now adds to what is amounting to a solid set of options in midfield. We’re sorted for a deep long run in the Europa League with Rossiter, Lucas, Allen, Can, Henderson and Milner. *Swoon*
Cameron Brannagan: Old Jurgen is a big fan of the injury-time pointless substitution, isn’t he? Yet another. Rating? Get tae feck.
Manager: Jurgen Klopp
We have on our hands a manager who can assemble a team that can dazzle, and who can assemble a team that can kill with boredom. That’s a handy trick to have up your sleeve. You can’t win EVERY game the same way…isn’t that right Brendan? And yes, I have given every single player the same rating (except young Brad who did catch the eye), as sod all happened, and I lost the will to live. I may or may not have been a little distracted by recording a ByTheMinSport.com podcast that will be released soon, and needs to be heard to be believed. Seriously. It’s….yeah, it’s unique.
Note: If you enjoy the guff on this blog, you can find me on Twitter (@NiallHawthorne). I’m also regularly contributing to ByTheMinSport.com. Finally I’m a co-host for the best weekly Premier League Podcast in the whole world – @ByTheMinEPL Podcast, which can be found on the website. If you’ve read this far, pat yourself on the back. Xxx.