Swansea City v Liverpool: Premier League: LFC Player Ratings

Danny Ward

Danny Ward:


I can only assume that Danny Ward is the greatest goalkeeper in the history of time. Yashin? Zoff? Banks? Schmeichel? PAH! Danny smokes all ‘dem fools!

What do you mean you don’t get it?

He was playing behind the Lovren/Skrtel partnership – a partnership so toxic, so destructive, so utterly career-limiting that the United Nations, NATO and OPEC are all united in calling for them to be nuked from space, just to be sure.

Then you add in Brad ‘Smiffy’ Smith who left his Antipodean brain Down Under and Nathaniel ‘Patsy’ Clyne who, like the Cowardly Lion, has yet to find his ‘Courage’.

Finally, ahead of this defence, he had a ‘defensive midfield’ duo of Stewart and Chirivella who make the Muppet Babies look like Statler and Waldorf.

Yet he came out of the game with immense credit. He made a number of smart saves, combined with the fact that he didn’t lose his head when all around them were losing theirs. Therefore the Earth is his, and everything in it (leave the keys to your house in the door, he’ll be around to pick them up soon).

Oh, and what’s more, he became a Man.


Nathaniel Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne:


Is it wrong to expect Patsy to be one of the ‘Senior’ players in this team?

He is only 25, born in 1991. I mean, that was the year that Bryan Adams released ‘Everything I do, I do it for you’ which reached number 1 (and stayed there for 9 years). Boris Yeltsin sobered up long enough to get elected as the leader of the Russian Republic, and the Gulf War (the first one) ended that year, which clearly solved all the issues in that part of the world once and for all….

So in a way, he’s quite young. But he IS one of the senior players in this team. It’s about time he started acting like it.

A club like Liverpool DEMANDS more. He’s not at Southampton anymore, nor Crystal Palace. I wonder whether Patsy can step up to the level required….


Martin Skrtel

Martin Skrtel:


Steve McManaman ventured an opinion at the start of the match that a good performance from Skrtel may win him his place back in the LFC first XI for the rest of the season…

Steve McManaman should stick to growing floppy, stupid hair.

Once more Skrtel demonstrated exactly why his Liverpool career is careering to a fiery, grizzly end. He exudes panic, portrays ineptitude and quite frankly is only marginally more effective than a training ground dummy.

The only thing he did right yesterday was that he got in the way of a few long-range shots, which hit him in the head. Admirable, but again, nothing that a training ground dummy can’t do. His decision making, his positioning, his marking….let’s just say that I’ve run out of swear words to accurately portray my emotions about Martin Skrtel.

Oh, and now he’s growing hair, and it looks sh*t. He can’t even get that right.


Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren: 


There are a few select centre-halves that can play with anybody in defence, and their performance won’t suffer. They will produce consistently excellent displays, and bring their ‘partner’ up to a required standard. Maldini, Baresi, McGrath, Moore, Beckenbauer, Terry *shudder*….

Liverpool don’t have one.

Dejan has improved immeasurably this season – when playing alongside Sakho. Sakho has impressed when playing alongside Lovren. KOLO looks good alongside either. Everybody looks brutal when playing alongside Skrtel.

We have ONE remaining, effective centre-back partnership to get us through the last few games of the season. Light the candles, say your prayers, throw money into fountains, never remove your lucky jocks, hunt down a rabbit and take its foot, cross everything…forever. One injury to Lovren/KOLO and we’re doomed.


Brad Smith

Brad Smith: 


Some say that yesterday’s match was an audition for a place in the squad/team against Villarreal.

Some say that yesterday’s match was an audition for a place in the squad/team next season.

Many failed the audition, so ‘Smiffy’ could take some solace from that. He shouldn’t.

Both yellow cards were fully deserved, and exposed his weaknesses in a callous, brutal fashion. That’s life at the hard edge of the Premier League. The left-back slot is one of many that is open for serious discussion, and right now Brad Smith can barely whisper in a room full of those screaming for attention.


Kevin Stewart

Kevin Stewart:

There was a young man named Kevin


Who travelled to play in Wales

He got screwed by Cork

Made to look like a dork

One of his sorrier tales….


Pedro Chirivella

Pedro Chirivella:


Oh dear.

I’ve heard some criticism of Klopp’s decision to hook Pedro at half-time, feeling that it’s hanging the kid out to dry…

To be honest, he’s lucky he made it to half-time. I was screaming for Klopp to change it after 15 minutes.

It’s a good idea to give kids a chance, and you can even get away with playing lots of them against lower league teams, as we’ve seen this season. However, to plunge two kids into the heart of your team, against wily, experienced pro’s like Swansea’s, is bordering on child abuse.

Should this be the end of Pedro’s LFC career? No, that would be unfair.

Will it be the end of Pedro’s LFC career? Possibly. Life’s not fair.


Jordan Ibe

Jordan Ibe: 


When a team is getting battered/overrun/humilated (delete as applicable), it’s easy to judge the defence/defensive midfielders as they’re in the eye of the storm…

It’s harder to judge the attacking players who don’t see very much of the ball, and even less of the ball in good positions.

Having said all of that, Jordan didn’t really do very much. He’s another player who falls into the ‘failed audition’ role, be it for Villarreal or next season. You can only hope/assume that Klopp shall be bringing in quite a lot of reinforcements next season, and the chances for Jordan Ibe to impress will become fewer and farther between…a loan move next year may well work out best for all parties…


Seyi Ojo

Sheyi Ojo: 

My review of Ojo from a couple of weeks ago….

*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.


Regret it? Of course I don’t regret it. I’m right.

On a day when everybody struggled, he created a goal. Yet another assist. He’s only played a handful of games, but he’s already got a handful of goals or assists. I rest my case.


Daniel Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge:



‘Walk-Off Gate’. ‘Commitment-Gate’. ‘Sulky-Gate’.

You wonder what LFC fans really think about Daniel Sturridge. Is it pent up frustration from his injury lay-offs? Do people think he has an ‘attitude’? Do people think he’s sh*t?

Let’s take those one at a time….

Frustration – Certainly, that’s understandable. However, he was injured. We all know that Klopp showed his frustration with him when he commented on his ‘pain v real pain’. Yet he has also consistently commented on the very specific regime they have Daniel on to build up his strength and fitness, which seems to be working. Therefore, we can only assume he really was injured. As Elsa would say…Let It Go…

Attitude – For me, I don’t care if he mopes around all day long, flicks the V’s to Klopp or moons his teammates, as long as he works his arse off and delivers on the pitch. I won’t tolerate a bad attitude when it comes to trying – closing down, pressing etc. But I’ve seen an improvement in that side of his game. This might explain his own frustration – if he’s trying as hard as everyone else, he’s also bloody better at putting the ball in the net than everyone else, so why isn’t he playing the big games? It’s a valid question….

He’s Sh*t – He’s not. The facts speak for themselves.

As alluded to on this blog throughout this season, the biggest decision of Klopp’s LFC tenure is about to be made, and it revolves around Daniel Sturridge. This will be a real test of the LFC fan’s faith in Herr Klopp, and his decisions (if he’s sold)….


Philippe Coutinho

Phillipe Coutinho:


Dearest Philippe,

Thursday Night Lights.

Wide Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose.

Love You,




Benteke Vitality

Christian Benteke:


He came on, he ran around a bit, he earned obscene amounts of money….

Oh, and he scored.

Football is a fickle mistress. I’ve lost count of the number of times that players that have been ‘derided’ suddenly deliver when it really matters.

It didn’t matter yesterday, but it sure as hell matters on Thursday.

Time to change the narrative Christian….





Yet more easy, cheap shots being thrown at Lucas after the second half yesterday, but let me ask you this…

Would you throw cheap shots at a fireman who raced into a burning building to try and rescue the first fire crew that got trapped inside?

Lucas was thrown from the subs bench into a towering inferno that was not of his making. He tried to quell the fire, using nothing more than a thimble full of water. He failed, but so would most.

Leave Lucas alone….


Cameron Brannagan

Cameron Brannagan:

I’m not going to judge a young man on 10′ of action at the end of that clusterf*ck.

He’s attracting interest from Barcelona. That’s good enough for me.


Jurgen Klopp

Manager: Jurgen Klopp: 


It can’t be fun trying to do this job with one hand tied behind your back. Jurgen currently has both tied, and one foot stuck in a bucket.

The injury list is now ridiculous: Can, Henderson, Origi.

The drug issue is beyond ludicrous: Sakho

Put those players into their natural positions, and LFC have had the ‘Spine’ of their team ripped out as the season reaches crunch-time. It’s cruel. It’s unusual. It feels like a punishment, but I’m not sure what for….

It’s all on Thursday night, and if successful, it’s all on Switzerland and the Europa League final. Two games from glory and a Champions League place. Our best defender is out, our best midfielder is out, and our ‘Plan A’ striker is out.

Over to you Jurgen. You poor, poor bast*rd.


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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