How would you celebrate a brand new contract in your job that gives you lots of money and financial security for life? Would you turn up drunk the next day? Would you goof off and play golf for the rest of the month? Would you lie on your couch in your underwear and ignore the phone calls asking where the hell you are? Of course not, you’d show professionalism, class and desire to prove that you’re worth what you’re now being paid.
Not Simon. No sirree bob. Simon has instead decided that every shot on target he faced since he signed his new contract should go in. These have included the only shot on target he faced against United, and EVERY shot on target he faced against Norwich. A backheel, a shot from an acute angle, a penalty hit right at him…all of these have evaded him and ended up in the back of the Liverpool net. Tell you what, he may be making good money from his new LFC contract, but on the evidence I’m seeing, he’s making even more from Far Eastern Betting Syndicates to chuck ’em in. Fraud.
Lightweight. Flimsy. Impotent. Small. Insignificant. Pitiful. I nicknamed him Patsy at the start of the season. I should have called him Pasty, as he’s as effective in defence/attack as a Cornish Pasty. At least that would be full of good stuff. Clyne is full of sh*t. Useless. Jon Flanagan is back Nathaniel. JON FLANAGAN IS BACK. Praise the Lord.
A game too far. The dynamic committed man we saw against United was replaced by a fella doing a decent impression of a 9-year-old lost in a shopping centre on a busy Sunday afternoon. He was wide-eyed, panicking, searching for something familiar that he could hold onto, like his mother, or a centre-back that knew what he was doing. Alas, KOLO remained lost all match. After that performance I wouldn’t be too bothered if we never found him again. *Paging Yaya Toure* ‘Please come and collect your brother from the LOST & BROKEN section’.
Easily the most divisive Liverpool defender among the fans of Liverpool Football Club. Some proclaim him to be the next big thing. Others are adamant that he’s an uncoordinated bumbling disaster waiting to happen. Yesterday afternoon was evidence for the latter, and a smoking gun in the defence of the former. Mbokani should NEVER be allowed the space to gather, set and BACKHEEL that ball into the net. The ball should be won before it lands and Mbokani should be shackled like Hannibal Lecter if it’s not. A final missed header on 93′ that lead to the Bassong goal was the ultimate nadir in this day of woe for Mamadou. I just don’t know anymore…
Here’s an experiment that I want you to think about. When you go to work tomorrow, walk right into your bosses office and do any/all of the following:
- A. Give him/her the finger
- B. Defecate on their desk
- C. Call them a rude name – you know, the one you call them behind their back
- D. Moon them
If you choose to do any or all of the above tomorrow morning, you are very easily influenced, but you still wouldn’t be as unprofessional as Alberto Moreno. That penalty he conceded was easily, by far, without a shadow of a doubt, the most unprofessional thing I have seen from a Liverpool player since…nah, I can’t remember anything worse. He should be dropped, immediately, like Bogdan was after Exeter. Jon Flanagan is back. JON FLANAGAN IS BACK! Can he play both right and left back at the same time? I’m willing to give it a shot…
If this man is our ‘leader’ on the pitch, we have a problem. Jordan is MILES off the standards he showed last season at times. This may be due to an ongoing injury issue, or it may be taking him quite a number of games to get back to his best. I don’t know what the problem is, but right now he’s as effective a Captain as Captain America without his shield, stripped naked and tied to a lamppost with ‘Tony Stark woz ‘ere’ scrawled on his chest with a permanent marker. He was hooked with 15′ to go. You don’t do that to your ‘leader’ when he’s, you know, leading…
Aside from that, nice goal. It doesn’t mask the issues though.
Here we have a young player on which a mountain of responsibility has been placed, who is buckling badly under its weight. He had a shocking first 45′ against United, and he had a shocking 90′ here. He seemed to have had a complete brain fart as to his defensive responsibilities in midfield, losing his man for the first goal (not so much losing him as actively running away from him, to be fair), and he repeated the trick with Naismith for the second goal. Naismith ran beyond him, received the ball, steadied, shot, scored, celebrated and was back in his own half for the restart before Emre even realised he’d lost him. He had no involvement in any of the goals either (that cross for the winner can in no way be seen as ‘helping’).
When he’s good, he’s very very good. When he’s bad, he is horrid. He doesn’t even have a decent curl in the middle of his forehead either. Shambles. The midfield trio of Lucas/Can/Henderson just doesn’t work, and should not be tried ever again. Can/Henderson has worked well in the past. Lucas has his moments, but that trio should be barred. Another who stood and watched Naismith score Norwich City’s second goal, and should have done so much more to prevent the fourth. If a ball dropping 20 yards from his own goal in the last minute is not the situation that Lucas is on the pitch for, I don’t know what is. Dereliction of duty.
Scored a crucial fourth goal. Missed a crucial chance when we were leading 1-0. Heavily involved in our third goal. Superb assist for our first goal. James Milner deserves credit for his performance in this match. I continue to insist that he is a squad player when everyone is fit and healthy (I know that will never happen, but humour me), but what a decent squad player to have. Manchester City knew that and tried hard to keep him. It’s a credit to LFC that we managed to get him for ourselves.
This was a genuine opportunity for Jordon to cement a place in the first team, to stick his hand up and show Klopp that he can be the next up and coming rising star. He blew it, badly. In a game where nine goals were scored, and players such as Naismith/Mbokani/Hoolahan were throwing in goals and assists all over the shop, Ibe was invisible for the most part. He had one bright moment in the first half when he skinned the full back with pure pace, but that was as good as it got. Hauled off after 59′ and replaced by a player who went on to score a goal and provide an assist. That’s not good Jordon, not good at all.
CONTROVERSY ALERT: YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED…
4 Goals from 4 Shots on Target in his last few games. The opening goal yesterday, and the crucial third goal to bring us level. He showed composure, awareness, cowardice, skill, ability, lack of commitment, finishing prowess and genuine quality at Carrow Road.
You may have spotted the two ‘features’ in that list that jar against the rest. I stand by them. There was a moment in the first half when (not for the first time), a Norwich player played a blind backpass to Rudd and left it short. Well short. Firmino spotted it and sprinted towards it. Rudd spotted it and did likewise. I’ve watched it numerous times, and I am 100% certain that at full pelt, Firmino would have got to that ball ahead of Rudd. It would have been mere moments ahead of him, and he would most likely have got clattered by a desperate Rudd looking to clear. He would have won us a penalty and had Rudd sent off. None of that happened though because Firmino saw Rudd charging out and he didn’t fancy it. He stuttered. He hesitated. He bottled it…against a man wearing lurid pink socks. For f*ck sake.
This is not the first time that this allegation has been made against Firmino even during his short time at Liverpool. John Aldridge levelled that accusation at him a few months ago. He’s right. I don’t like it. So, should we all just accept this fact, or should we demand that he sucks it up and gets stuck in? Is this something that a player can even change? Food for thought.
Great goals though and the best LFC player on the pitch. Damned with faint praise indeed.
Nobody read my last rating of Adam, right? Promise? Good, we’ll proceed so…..
He played through the pain barrier. Daniel Sturridge, take note.
He made a real impact when he was on the pitch. Jordon Ibe, take note.
A sublime assist for Firmino for the third goal, minutes after coming on. And then there was that winner….that winner….Now, I don’t know about you, and I know that the situations are very different in terms of importance, but that goal gave me the same raw emotion of joy that Stevie Gerrard did against Olympiakos at Anfield in 2004. When a player scores a goal for your team that you know shouldn’t be possible, but somehow magically happens, to give you the win you so desperately wanted…nothing beats it. I was still fist-pumping 9 hours after the final whistle. In fact, I feel one coming on now…hang on…..aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh, that’s better. Thank you Adam. Thank you sincerely.
Steven was left utterly confused when he was once more thrown on late by Klopp…and told to play in defence. An extraordinary decision by the German, and one that seemed to bite him on the arse as Caulker was one of many Liverpool defenders who couldn’t/wouldn’t get anything on a desperate Norwich long ball, which they equalised from. Of course Jurgen spotted his mistake, sent Caulker forward, and within 90 seconds he was heavily involved (more than any other player) in the move that led to the Adam Lallana winner. Stick to attacking Steven, it’s clearly what you’re good at.
Christian Benteke: He came on. He jumped a bit. He ran a bit. He earned obscene amounts of money. Ad infinitum.
Manager: Jurgen Klopp:
Klopp isn’t a miracle worker. He can’t turn water into wine, he can’t walk on water, and he can’t make that Liverpool defence any good…yet. So what’s a German manager to do? Well, if you can’t keep ’em out at one end, you’d better knock ’em in at the other. Lo and behold, Liverpool score 5 away from home, yet again. Not the first time they’ve done that in the short time Jurgen Klopp has been manager.
While the points he makes in his post-match press conferences are obvious to every fan, it’s refreshing to hear him say it. The defence is garbage. The players are awful. It must improve.
What’s even better though is the mans passion for the job. He’s only been in Liverpool a matter of weeks, but is there any Liverpool fan that celebrated that winner more than him? If there is, I want video evidence. I love the fact that he’s our manager. He gives me hope for the future, and when you look at the rabble currently wearing red, that’s a miracle in itself.
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.