Bournemouth v Liverpool: Premier League: LFC Player Ratings

Danny Ward

Danny Ward:


As news filtered through that Migs was having a well-earned break on the South Coast, I immediately broke out in a cold sweat as I searched for the dreaded ‘Bogdan’ moniker on the team sheet. I needn’t have worried, they have the expression ‘Once Bitten, Twice Shy’ in Germany too.

So finally Danny Ward got time to shine, and shine he did. Cool, calm and collected all game, he did the simple things well, collected a few dangerous crosses, and it wasn’t until the end when Bournemouth really turned the screw that Danny showed some signs of pressure, which was to be expected.

A fine save from Josh King (in tandem with Sakho) and a stunning save from a Grabban header – it was a good day’s work. Didn’t have a chance with the late consolation goal (more on that later), Danny has given me reason not to lie awake at night worrying about our goalkeeping resources.

One negative however – HIS HAIR. The man looks like he grooms in a wind tunnel, or has a clamour of rooks nesting on his head. Sort it out Danny. Seriously.


Connor Randall

Conor Randall:


Yet another first team opportunity for young Randall and once more he did the job asked…and that’s about it.

The contrast between the Liverpool right backs and the Liverpool left backs is stark, if not slightly amusing. In Clyne and Randall you have your ‘steady Eddie’ types (I knew Eddie by the way, and steady is a damn lie), determined to do the defensive duties as well as they can, and maybe hoping to contribute in attack, but only if everything else is looked after at the back. Of course our left backs both think they’re Jack Sparrow with their swashbuckling forays into the opposition half frequently exposed by a quick counter attack.

Which is best? Well, I suppose it’s a personal preference. Are you the kind of person who wins a modest sum on the Lottery and puts it in a medium yield investment vehicle, or do you fly to Las Vegas and blow it all on Hookers, Slots and Blow?

Remind me to tell you about my time in Vegas…


Kolo Toure



Prior to ‘that’ Borussia Dortmund match, Klopp lamented the fact that his squad was so strong even a man like KOLO, in his 264th Spring (as Klopp put it), couldn’t get in the matchday squad.

Now I know that there are rumours about the true age of some African players, but I never suspected that KOLO was 264 years of age. I thought he may have been pushing 55 in all honesty, but never 264. Mind you, it does explain the frequent muscle twangs he has experienced this season. Hell, I pull muscles getting out of bed, and I’m far, far younger than 264.

As I’ve said many times before, KOLO is special. There can be only one…



Lucas Leiva: 


Once more into the defensive breach for Lucas, who is fast becoming the ‘Jack of all trades, Master of none’ in the Liverpool squad.

Master of none indeed. While his performance was once more admirable at centre back for a man who spent his career in midfield, there were some alarming flaws that you couldn’t fail to notice. His misjudgment of the ball-flight in the 93rd minute that allowed Josh King to grab the Bournemouth goal was a prime example. However his ability to not be Martin Skrtel gives him a crucial edge over, well, Martin Skrtel, for the final centre back slot on days like this.

Thank God for Lucas.


Brad Smith

Brad Smith: 


Such was Smiffy’s desire to get forward from left-back that he actually marked Jordan Ibe better than any Bournemouth player…

I lost count of the number of times that Smith was ahead of, or stood on top of, Jordan Ibe when the ball was worked wide to the left wing. While you have to admire his gusto, there’s an argument to be made that he should reign it in a bit, or at the very least take up positions that would give Ibe options. I’m not going to make that argument though…have you ever argued with an Australian? You may as well rip out your brain, pickle it in Domestos and eat it with poached eggs.

We have a mini-Moreno in reserve. Amazing, considering how small Bertie is.


Kevin Stewart

Kevin Stewart:


There was a young man named Kevin

Who was picked to play on the South Coast

Like a man named John Terry

He defiled some Cherries

In Liverpool’s pursuit of fourth


Joe Allen

Poor Joe:


What a magnificent hirsute b*stard.

With Hendo and Can both crocked for possibly the remainder of the season, Klopp needs a hero – someone to step forward, grab the midfield by the throat and implement his philosophy in the remaining nine (hopefully) games of the season.

Joe Allen Has Got This.

He was superb. Immense. Fantastic. He got his foot in, read the game, interceptions galore, smart use of the ball, accurate passing and he looks like Jesus Christ. Ish.

Get that man a contract. NOW.


Jordan Ibe

Jordan Ibe: 



A first start for ‘the last next big thing before the current next big thing, after the previous next big thing was flogged for gazillions’, and he did himself no harm whatsoever.

An assist on the books (the week I sold him from my Fantasy Football team, naturally) as his free-kick was floated in for Daniel to do his thing. Now it wasn’t a Payet-esque beauty, but it did the job. (He should deffo thank Daniel later though).

His biggest problem all game was the one I alluded to earlier with Brad Smith and his penchant for attacking. He was genuinely getting in Ibe’s way at times, and they failed to link up effectively despite frequently having a 2 on 1 situation.

As ever with Jordan, there is room for improvement, and the next ‘next big thing’ is piling on the pressure. Speaking of which…


Seyi Ojo

Sheyi Ojo: 


*Takes Deep Breath*

*Tries Not To Get Giddy*

Ah F*CK IT. This kid is FANDABBYDOOBYTASTIC. He’s the closest thing I’ve seen in a Liverpool shirt to John Barnes in his pomp. Although his shorts are longer, thankfully.

In the first half he ran at the Bournemouth defence and made mincemeat out of them time and again, skipping past Charlie Daniels and friends with impunity. I can’t wait to see how this kid develops, and I’m pretty confident that he won’t be a player only making appearances when the first XI or XV need a rest. This kid is here to stay.



Daniel Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge:


Marcus Rashford – Should he go to Euro 2016? Is he England’s Next Big Thing?


THIS man is England’s Next Big Thing (considering he hasn’t really had a run at it yet, of course).

I couldn’t quite get my head around who/what Daniel Sturridge is. Today it hit me. EUREKA. Daniel Sturridge is….

Usain Bolt

Thinks about it. He’s relaxed, cool, jovial for 99% of the time. Then he rips the cosmos apart with seconds of utter, jaw-dropping, god-fearing brilliance and the whole world stands in awe.

Usain Bolt can run quickly too. Heh.

A goal. An assist. Hit the woodwork twice. He barely got out of third gear too. I don’t give a flying flute who England pick for Euro 2016, but if you don’t bring and start Daniel Sturridge, you don’t deserve him. He’s the best you lot go.


Roberto Firmino

Roberto Firmino:


Directly involved in 12 goals in the last 11 games he has featured in for Liverpool. 8 goals and 4 assists. The man makes a difference. He’s been relatively quiet since his return from injury, but was in the right place at the right time to break the deadlock.

If I have a fault with Bobby F, it’s that he would lose a 50/50 tackle with his own shadow. We need to get him willing and able to get stuck in when it’s required. I’ll just leave that to Jurgen.

Oh aye, one more fault. HIS HAIR. As with Danny Ward, his hair in INEXPLICABLE. What the hell is it? He’ll have ski-jumpers in lycra crouched on his head soon if he’s not careful. I didn’t mind the ‘Iced Gem’ look, but the ‘Ski Jump’ is just plain wrong. SORT IT OUT.



Divock Origi

Divock Origi:


A late introduction into the fray today, and he ended the game holding his back. I’m now holding my breath until I hear that he’s OK.

That’s why I’m turning blue and may not be able to finish thi…………


Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana: 


Another sprung off the bench to get his foot on the ball to quell the Bournemouth ‘comeback’ (as it were). He did OK, but didn’t do much.

Adam needs to start delivering some real results soon. The battle for places at the top end of the pitch is getting intense.


Mamadou Sakho

Mamadou Sakho:

Introduced to replace KOLO. Nobody can replace KOLO. One suspects that a few shandies may have been consumed after the heroics on Thursday night, and that may explain his jitters upon his introduction. However his powers of recovery are right up there with JC himself. Daresay if you stuck Mamadou in a cave with a rock in front of it, he’d be out of it in less than 12 hours, not 3 days.


Jurgen Klopp

Manager: Jurgen Klopp: 


He may well be saving FSG millions this summer by plunging the core of the U-21 team into tough Premier League matches like this, as players such as Stewart, Ojo and Randall are proving they are up to the task, and a few more months working under Klopp can surely only improve them.

Jurgen has got the club on a roll of consistent results, and I for one feel that the season is going to finish at the wrong time, just as they’re hitting their stride. To be able to make 10 changes from the heroic side last Thursday, and still run out comfortable winners in a Premier League game shows that the whole club is now on a roll. Long may it continue.


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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