Simon Mignolet: FIVE MORE YEARS! FIVE MORE YEARS! No, not the rallying cry at a Barack Obama Fan Convention, it’s a new contract for Migs, which he started off with a very quiet, calm, relaxed evening doing Sudoku puzzles for 90 minutes in between being rudely interrupted by the odd football flying towards him. Like Katie Hopkins, global warming and Donald Trump, this clear and present danger is here to stay.
Connor Randall: Adequate. Go on, tell me he was better or worse than that….
Tiago Ilori: I’m impressed by the cut of this boys jib. A solid outing at Anfield, admittedly under very little pressure, but he was neat, tidy, composed, and avoided doing anything daft. I struggle to see where he will get game time for the rest of this season once Lovren/Skrtel return to fitness, but he may well be earmarked for more involvement from next season onwards.
Jose Enrique: From being on a ‘Wanted’ Poster in my ratings from the original tie (Go check it out, it’s HILARIOUS…ish), to being almost invisible for this game, which is a compliment. Could that be the last time we see Enrique in a Liverpool shirt? I’m going to say….YES.
Brad Smith: Now, this kid is really putting the skids under Bertie Moreno for a place in the first team. He’s banging on the door. He’s itching to get involved. He’s hovering with menace. He’s stalking his prey. He’s….I’ve run out of analogies, but you get my point. Great assist for the opener, he’s got a wicked cross on him, and he reminds me of John Arne Riise, before he turned shite.
There was a young man named Kevin
Who wore number 35
He patrolled the middle
Played Exeter like a fiddle
For playing time he must now strive
Cameron Brannagan: He can pass a ball. He can spot a pass. He can tackle. He can fight. All notes I made of Cameron from the original tie, and I can add one more too…he knows how to shoot. Was unlucky with a few first half efforts, but was very neat and tidy. He now needs to eat creatine sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner, hit the gym 12 times a week and bulk up substantially. Then we may have a tidy little player on our hands.
Poor Joe: Sometimes I wish that Joe would just let himself go, you know? That was a cracking little goal he scored to break the deadlock, coming on the back of his late, late heroics a week earlier against Arsenal, but he’s reluctant to get the eyes bulging, rip off the shirt and flex those bountiful abs in front of the cameras. Whipped off just after the hour mark after impressing Herr Klopp, and almost a nailed on certainty to start this weekend….maybe.
Joao Carlos Texeira: Another, like Brannagan, who needs to bulk up. No, not in the Jose Enrique school of chips, but in muscle. If he could match the strength on the ball that Ibe has, he’d have the potential to be right up there alongside Coutinho as an effective Premier League playmaker. He’s got the talent. He now needs to show he has the drive. He should get more opportunities this season, and he needs to take them. Nice finish too.
Jordon Ibe: Man of the Match for me. 79′ of teasing, taunting, prodding, goading, annoying, terrifying and haunting the opposition. Like an afternoon in the House of Commons. He got better as the game went on, and he even had time to do a ‘Geoff Hurst’ at the Kop End. Unfortunately the linesman was from Barnsley and not deepest darkest Russia, so he was denied a goal he richly deserved. Now he needs to introduce consistency.
While he once again couldn’t hit a cows arse with a bloody massive banjo, he at least improved his link up play and was heavily involved in creating two of the three goals. As you should know, I’m happy to slaughter those who deserve it, but I’m a reasonable man and I like to dish out praise when it’s merited. His pass to Smith for the opener was lovely as was his pass to Teixiera for the third. I reckon this fella needs a psychologist more than anything else…his head’s clearly gone.
*Wipes away tears*
Look at him. Just look at him. What a handsome bastard. What a man. What a leader. What a legend. The Scouse Cafu is back. The world had better watch out.
Pedro Chirivella: I can’t remember anything he did. Sorry.
Exeter City in the 2016 FA Cup 3rd Round. That may well be the game(s) that launched a stellar career. He made a huge impact in the original tie and helped Liverpool earn a replay, and he then sealed the tie at the Kop end with his first senior Liverpool goal. What a finish too. Now I don’t want to do the usual ‘Internet’ thing of praising the living crap out of a young player and raising expectations to unreasonable levels, so all I’ll say is that if England bring him to Euro 2016, they’re nailed on to win it.
Manager: Jurgen Klopp:
Take a handful of children, sprinkle in a smidgeon of experience and add a dollop of Benteke and you have the perfect recipe for a scrumptious, warming bowl of victory. Now you’re cooking Jurgen….
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