Liverpool v Sunderland: LFC Player Ratings

Simon Mignolet

Simon Mignolet:


Long running gags of our time…

  • DJ Jazzy Jeff getting chucked out of the house by Uncle Phil on The Fresh Prince of BelAir
  • Del Boy proclaiming that this time next year he and Rodney would be millionaires
  • Simon Mignolet as the Liverpool FC goalkeeper
  • Troy McClure on The Simpsons and his ‘You might remember me from….’

Three of the above four bring a smile to my face every single time I see them. One of the above does the exact opposite. Can you spot the odd one out?

STAT ATTACK: Liverpool have conceded in 26 matches in all competitions this season, and in 21 of those games the opposition scored with their first shot on target

STAT ATTACK: Simon Mignolet has allegedly cost Liverpool 15 points this season. LFC would be second with those 15 points.

STAT ATTACK: Simon Mignolet signed a new 5-Year contract this season.

The first goal for Sunderland yesterday. Watch it back again, if you can bear it. Watch how that defensive wall is set up to stop a free-kick that HAD to be taken by a left-footed player. It was 4 yards too far to the right. The free-kick was not that good. The save was pretty straightforward. Adam Johnson made Simon Mignolet look like a giggling schoolgirl….

A long running gag indeed.


Nathaniel Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne:


Solid. Effective. Kept his man quiet all match. These are some of the ‘ratings’ I’ve seen attributed to Patsy Clyne since the match finished yesterday. Let me point something simple out, shall I?

Nathaniel Clyne was marking Khazri for this game. That was his job. His man. Sunderland scored two goals. Both assists are attributed to Khazri.

The prosecution rests m’lud….


Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren:


Anyone in the mood for a song? Come on! Altogether now!

‘You put your centre-back in

You take your centre-back out

In, Out, In, Out

You shake it all about

You watch them pull their hammy

And you swear at God

That’s what it’s all about

Ooooohhhhhh this season is so jokey

Ooooohhhh this season is so jokey

Ooooohhhh this season is so jokey

And that’s what it’s all about’


Mamadou Sakho

Mamadou Sakho: 


Mamadou had the sum total of F*CK ALL to do yesterday. Sunderland only mustered two attempts on target and one of them was directly from a free-kick. Indeed, his one and only job came to him in the 88th minute of the match. Jermaine Defoe, the man who until recently was playing for Toronto Canadian Maple Leap Sipping Bryan Adams Appreciation Society FC, or whatever they’re called, rolled him and fired a shot into the Kop end to snatch two points from LFC and earn the second worst team in the Premier League a point.

He made a mug of you Mamadou. You looked like a child in a mans game. You were tight, but unable to stop him turning. You’re bigger than him. You’re stronger than him. You know what though? He wanted it more than you. That’s all there is to it.


Alberto Moreno

Alberto Moreno: 


One good cross in the 1st half. It was a peach. Should have been tucked away. Credit where it’s due.

And that’s about it.

Harsh? Tough sh*t.


Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson:


The thing with football is that you need to make the little things count, at any time. When Liverpool were ahead and cruising they put together a rare slick move and the ball was slid into Captain Hendo, 14 yards out, straight in front of goal. A gilt-edged chance, begging to be spanked into the back of the net and kill the game off. Captain Hendo, leader of the pack, decided to abdicate responsibility and played a ‘Joe Allen Appreciation Society Blind Pass To The Left’, and the resultant effort was saved.

You’re the CAPTAIN Jordan. It’s YOUR job to take responsibility. If YOU don’t, who should? There is no way that your ‘pass’ gave your teammate a better chance. YOU had the chance. YOU rejected it.

I wondered last time whether his form was due to his struggles with injury, which would explain why he was being substituted early during every game. Considering that he has been picked to start consistently, I have to conclude that is NOT the case. His form is, well, his form. He’s being hooked every game because he’s not playing well.

Our Captain ladies and gents. *sigh*


Emre Can

Emre Can:


Not bad. Not great. A bit better.

I was doing the live report for ByTheMinSport on the Manchester City v Leicester City game earlier on Saturday (you can see what that’s all about here , if you’re curious), and what struck me the most was the difference in the SPEED of the game. The intensity of the game. The Liverpool game seemed like a lower-league game in comparison. There was no zest, no urgency.

Is Klopp implementing a training regime this season that is designed to build the players stamina/strength/speed for NEXT season? Does his ‘Gegenpressing’ style need a specific amount of specialised training before the players can implement it effectively? I think this is a working theory…

It would explain the amount of injuries to all players for a start. It would also explain the ‘holding back’ of Sturridge in recent weeks, as Klopp looks to see if he’s even capable of getting through HIS training sessions. If you look back at Klopp’s managerial record, it improves as time goes by. He’s not a 1st season wonder, and this may explain why. It would also explain why Liverpool seem so ponderous compared to the likes of Leicester/Man City et al. They could well be knackered, embarking on a new training regime that is preparing them for next season.

Anyone have any more straws? I’ve run out of things to clutch at.


Joe Allen

Poor Joe Allen: 

He works his arse off to get into the league side, and he gets banjaxed when he gets there. He was doing well too. Poor Joe.


James Milner: 


School was boring, wasn’t it? The day to day monotony of the same people, the same teachers, the same subjects, over and over and over again.

What are your best memories of school though? I wager that you remember those days when something ‘different’ happened. That day when the teacher had a breakdown in front of the class. That day when the school shop had a different flavour of crisps that disappeared just as quickly. That day when the teacher sat on your lap and told you they wanted you….sorry, that’s just my memory. Ahhh, Mr. Smith. Oddball. *ahem*.

James Milner is like school. Very boring for the vast majority of the time, but once in a while something ‘different’ happens. That cross yesterday for Bobby Firmino for example. A beauty. An assist. Something ‘different’.


Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana:


A goal! Time for praise! Adulation! Worship!

Is it feck.

That goal was all down to Bobby F. Just because Mr. Nivea got to tap it home does not mean he gets the credit.


Roberto Firmino

Roberto Firmino:

Magnificent. Stand our performer all day long. A lovely goal, a sublime assist and he ran the show. Now if we could manage to get Bobby F on the same pitch as Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge….



Kolo Toure



A week of rest and recuperation including a trip to the Premier League Darts to lead the chanting of his name did wonders for KOLO. He was fresh and ready when called upon and did pretty well, until the end. As bad as Sakho was for the Defoe equaliser, I cannot for the life of me work out how easy it was for the ball to get to Defoe. Was there a drop of the shoulder? A triple-stepover? Searing pace leaving players trailing? Nah, none of that. There was a simple pass to Khazri, and time for him to play a simple pass into Defoe. The rest I’ve discussed earlier.

That can’t happen, and along with Patsy Clyne and Mamadou Sakho, KOLO must take the blame. He wasn’t actually marking anyone as that goal unfolded. He was just kind of stood there, waving his legs around. Nice moves. Bad defending.


Jordan Ibe

Jordan Ibe: 

Looked to be the second most dangerous Liverpool player on the pitch during the second half. That’s dangerous to Sunderland of course. There were LOADS of Liverpool players dangerous to Liverpool on the pitch. We desperately need him to work on his final ball and his finishing. If he added that he’d be starting every game.




When you’re brought on with 3′ to go, to shore up the team and ensure that they see it out, and then the opposition equalise…it’s not a good look Lucas. Not a good look at all. This isn’t the first time either. That goal by Bassong in injury time at Carrow Road – a ball dropping 20 yards out, central. Where’s Lucas? I don’t know. Yesterday, a simple pass from Khazri to Defoe, central, 20 yards out. Where’s Lucas? Nope, I still don’t know. If he’s not there for moments like that (and football is all about moments as discussed with Captain Hendo above), what exactly is he there for?


Jurgen Klopp

Manager: Jurgen Klopp: 

I’m going to shamelessly rip off a joke I saw on Twitter yesterday. Don’t stop me if you’ve heared it. You can’t. This is a blog. It’s already written. Anyway…

‘Klopp was raced to hospital on Saturday when he was heard shouting in the team hotel the he has a bad side’. BOOM and indeed BOOM.

I’ve discussed my theories about his training above. I wish him a speedy recovery from his appendix operation. Rumours that when he was told the result as he came around from his anaesthetic that he asked to be put under again cannot be confirmed nor denied.

Let’s get this fecking season over with, pick up a trophy, let Jurgen work on the squad in the summer, and hope for the best. Grim.


Note: If you enjoy the guff on this blog, you can find me on Twitter (@NiallHawthorne). I’m also regularly contributing to 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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