Before I start, I want to make it clear that I have taken quite some time to think about these ratings. These are not ‘hot-headed’ off the cuff remarks. Enjoy…
Adam Bogdan: Moron. Idiot. Eejit. Gobshite. Flute. Maniac. Arsehole. Awful. Twit. Twat. Twonk. Bonehead. Creep. Donkey. Donk. Langer. Ninkompoop. Prat. Vacuous. Wally.
Connor Randall: A veritable stalwart in this team of kids, in that he’s appeared for the 1st team before. He did spectacularly well, and should really be a shoe-in for Euro 2016 based on that performance. Anybody that can play in a defence with José Enriqué at CB deserves a Balon D’or nomination in my opinion.
Tiago Ilori: There’s nobody from Portugal who has ever been better at football than this kid. Ronaldo? Pah. Eusebio? Fraud. Figo? Flute. He held the defence together, playing ahead of Bogdan, alongside Enrique and with two children at full-back. He’s also spent the last few months at Aston Villa where the standard of training would be akin to playing with the Ballydehob U-9’s in Cork. Sensational.
WANTED: JOSE ENRIQUE
DEAD OR ALIVE
FOR GRAND ROBBERY, THEFT & FRAUD (STEALING A LIVING)
FOR CRIMES AGAINST FOOTBALL, PROFESSIONALISM AND SELF-RESPECT
Brad Smith: Bonzer mate. Fair dinkum. Nice goal. I’m a little disappointed in his final ball throughout the match, as he was put into some great areas particularly in the 1st half. However he was aiming for a large striker who was both immobile (no, not the Italian fella) and invisible, so I will take that into account. Is he any worse than Alberto Moreno on that kind of display? Just asking….
There was a young man named Kevin
Who took a trip down to Devon
He was summoned by Klopp
To patrol midfield like a Cop
After his debut, he’s now in Heaven.
Cameron Brannagan: He can pass a ball. He can spot a pass. He can tackle. He can fight. He deserves another chance in the replay. He’ll get it too. His name rhymes with Flanagan, and he may be the next to make the breakthrough. That’s enough logic for me.
Ryan Kent: Ryan has been sent to Coventry in recent times, but in a good way, to gain experience. He’s caught the eye at Highfield Road too, and his recall following the spate of recent injuries was no big surprise. What may have been a surprise was how dynamic and threatening he looked in the 1st half. He was heavily involved in the first Liverpool goal, and was arguably the best player on the park until he tired rapidly and was replaced. By day he wears spectacles and is a rookie reporter for the Coventry Gazzette. By night he’s a super footballer. His surname is Kent. DO I HAVE TO SPELL IT OUT TO YOU?
Joao Carlos Texeira: Perceived football wisdom would have told you that the conditions as the real St. James’ Park ruled out ‘trying to play football’. It was an old-fashioned cup-tie, lump it long to the big man up front, fight for everything and this was no place for your fancy-dan foreign dandies. Step forward Joao Carlos Texeira to stick two-fingers up at the ‘perceived football wisdom’ and produce a superb display full of tricks and flicks on a mudbath of a pitch. He surely deserves more chances in the next few weeks, particularly with Coutinho out.
Jerome Sinclair: The latest client of Aidy Ward, linked to Manchester City in recent weeks (Aidy is not the most imaginative of idiots, to be fair), and given quite the cold-shoulder by the club (understandably) in recent months. However needs must, and when he was given a chance, he took it with both hands (one of which is owned by Aidy, apparently). Lovely cool finish. Worked hard to play up front on his own alongside a tree stump.
Two of the above words are accurate. Two are not.
Pedro Chirivella: It may be a bit harsh to label him as ‘the next Texeira’, but he’ll certainly be hoping for more opportunities than him. Replaced Kent after an hour, but didn’t have the same impact. He’ll get more chances in the future (the replay is only two weeks away).
Sheyi Ojo: Changed the game and on such performances in Round 3 can a cup run all the way to Wembley be based. He brought directness, pace, trickery and an assist. That’s how to be an impact sub.
Joe Maguire: It’s ok to admit that when Maguire was introduced, you thought ‘who’? I’m fairly sure Klopp summoned him by saying ‘You…get changed’. He replaced the imperious Ilori and secured the replay. Job done.
Manager: Jurgen Klopp: Ballsy, if not desperate and with very little choice. I like that he has called back a number of our younger players who are out on loan, as now he can work with them and see what they are really like. Who knows, he may well spot something that others haven’t and uncover a gem that could make the breakthrough and save us £25m – £30m.
It’s going to be very hard to judge Klopp on the past month and the next month or two. This is a coach that is renowned for working with his players on the training ground to implement his ideas/tactics. He can’t even do that right now as there is no time for actual training between matches. If he can bundle us along and keep us in touch in all competitions, he’ll be a miracle worker.
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.