Liverpool v West Ham: FA Cup 4th Round: LFC Player Ratings

Simon Mignolet

Simon Mignolet:

HE DID IT! MARK THE DATE! TELL YOUR KIDS! GRAB SOMEONE CLOSE TO YOU AND HUG THEM! On January 30th 2016, Simon Mignolet faced his first shot on target in the match, and HE SAVED IT! For the first time since 1973 (ish), LFC did not concede from their opponents first shot on target. I was close to tears, I must admit. That effort on target was the only one mustered by West Ham all match, as they clearly felt there was no point in trying anymore, that Migs was impenetrable.

Of course Migs got a bit bored and flapped at a cross late on, just to remind us that he is not merely a goalkeeper, but a performance artist, as detailed in my last review. Classic Migs.

7/10

Nathaniel Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne: 

Patsy missed the league cup semi-final with a ‘knock’, and saw the Scouse Cafu excel in his absence. How do you think he felt then when selected for this game? Delighted to get his place back, or gutted that he is now one of the ‘special team’ that Klopp churns out between the really big games during this hectic fixture schedule? Only time will tell (up until Tuesday night v Leicester City, to be precise). Patsy played like a man who was suddenly under pressure, and he was better. His attacking play features some dangerous crosses, mixed in with the usual smattering of hitting the first-man time after time. Under pressure. I’m delighted.

7/10

Steven Caulker

Steven Caulker:

Finally asked to play in the position that he was allegedly bought to play in, and he did well. An acronym that I was advised of before all my exams in school was K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid). That’s what Steven did last night. It paid off for him. Unfortunately I took that advice too literally in my exams and ended up failing all of them. I mean, if you’re told to K.I.S.S. and the question is ‘Do you think Othello showcased the societal prejudices prevalent during the time of Shakespeare?’, I see nothing wrong with a simple ‘Yes’. How was I to know they wanted 2,500 words explaining why? Shambles.

7/10

Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren: 

‘Tis a strange season we’re living through when the return of Dejan ‘Ah Jaysus’ Lovren is met with sighs of relief among the LFC faithful. However he paired effectively with Caulker and led the team to a clean sheet. It was good to see him getting stuck in physically too, and while he picked up a yellow card early in the second half, that didn’t curtail his physicality and aggression that kept the West Ham forward line at bay for the full game. The defensive injury crisis is now coming to an end with Lovren, KOLO, Sakho and Caulker all now vying for the two starting places in the centre of the Liverpool defence. Altogether now……and breathe……

7/10

Brad Smith

Brad Smith:

Yep. Yep. And Yep again. Bonzer. Dynamic in attack. Effective in defence. This kid is banging on the first-team dressing room door, and Alberto Moreno is pretending not to hear it. Jurgen hears it alright, and he may well open that door if his form continues.

8/10

Kevin Stewart

Kevin Stewart: 

There was a young man named Kevin

 

Who dominated the Hammers midfield

He shone like a star

This kid will go far

He was outstanding in Anfield

8/10

Cameron Brannagan

Cameron Brannagan:

There are times when a young player gets a crack at the first team and they leave a mark bigger than a crater that just can’t be ignored. Young Carra at home to Villa. Young Stevie G at home to Sheffield Wednesday. Young Michael Owen away at Wimbledon. Young Brannagan at home to West Ham.

He ran the show. Tough in the tackle, eye for a pass and quite simply the best dead-ball delivery I’ve seen in many moons at Anfield. Unlucky not to cap it all with a goal, denied only by a superb save from Rudolph, sorry Randolph. I see no reason why this kid won’t get more starts as the fixtures pile-up throughout February.

9/10

Joe Allen

Poor Joe:

Brendan Rodgers inspired a complete change in fortunes for Jordan Henderson. Jurgen Klopp is doing the same with Poor Joe. Another very impressive performance acting as the senior player in a very young midfield alongside Brannagan and Stewart. Will be disappointed in his finishing, and with one chance in front of the Kop that threatened the floodlights more than the goal.

On the plus side, he really now does look like both Jesus Christ and Andrea Pirlo. I know that the big JC turned water into wine, but did he ever successfully chip a panenka in a major championship penalty shoot-out? Did he balls. I don’t mind who Poor Joe takes after, although he has already displayed his penalty-taking skills this week. So…I’m heading over to his house with 10 litres of water. I may not make it to work on Monday.

8/10

Joao Teixeira

Joao Carlos Teixeira:

You’re playing football on the street as a kid, and you’re about 14 years old. Your younger, annoying brother says he wants to join in, and he bugs you and bugs you and bugs you and bugs you and…you get the point. He’s only 10 years old, but he’s determined to get stuck in. So you finally relent and you tell the rest of the lads to let him play, but not to go easy on him. In your 14 year old maturity you know that the world is tough and that your little bro needs to learn the hard way. So the game continues and the little fella gets kicked up and down the pitch all day long…but he keeps coming back for more. He won’t let it go. He’s living the dream. He’s biting at ankles, he’s showing some lovely touches and you have to admit that even you are impressed with his tenacity…

That’s Teixeira last night that is.

8/10

Jordan Ibe

Jordon Ibe:

Nearly. That’s what I feel about Jordon Ibe for the past few matches. He has all the ingredients: Raw pace. Great skill. An eye for goal. An eye for a pass. But he hasn’t been able to stick it all together.

Nearly never killed a man, and nearly never will.

7/10

Christian Benteke

Christian Benteke: 

I am seeing lots of tears and snots on Twitter about our lack of a cutting edge, and a lot of the match reports from last night lament that ‘a young and inexperienced LFC team couldn’t break the deadlock’.

That’s a young and inexperienced team WITH A £32,000,0000 STRIKER PLAYING UP FRONT….

He shot when he should have passed. He passed when he should have shot. He sits back on his heels when he should be on his toes. He gets bullied off the ball when he’s the biggest lad on the pitch.

Apart from that, he was dynamite (soaking in a bucket of water).

6/10

Substitutes: 

Jerome Sinclair

Jerome Sinclair:

Came on after 86′. I don’t remember him doing much.

N/A

Jose Enrique

José Enrique:

LARF LARF LARF LARF LARF. Peak Aspas.

-1200/10

Seyi Ojo

Sheyi Ojo:

This kid looks like he could be dynamite. I want to see more of him. YES, I WANT MORE!

7/10

Jurgen Klopp

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. Except for the fact that the dollop of Benteke was about 4 months past it’s sell-by-date, and ruined everything.

Jurgen has a job offer to run off with Fossets Circus. No, I’m not calling him a clown, but he’s become a hell of a juggler over the past few weeks. BOOM BOOM!

7/10

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.

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