Arsenal v Liverpool: LFC Player Ratings


I do hope your summer hibernation was enjoyable and relaxing, because let’s face it, after just 90 minutes of this new season, I need a holiday already….

Anyway, I digress. Let’s get on with a whole new season of LFC Player Ratings shall we?

Let’s begin….

Simon Mignolet Yellow

Simon Mignolet:


I didn’t expect to see Migs between the sticks when this season kicked off, but then I didn’t expect to see Alex Manninger on the bench either (and I REALLY didn’t expect to see that Manninger now looks like he’s been put in a dehydrator since he played for Arsenal…really creepy looking).

Yet here we are, 3 goals conceded in one game with Migs in nets….but he had a decent game, including a superb penalty save in the first half. He had no chance with the first or second, and the third was ‘one of them’ (just ask Hugo Lloris, who’s half decent apparently, but was beaten by the same thing).

Migs is most certainly in the last-chance saloon right now (which is located 10 miles outside Liverpool and does Bed & Breakfast only), and Karius is healing quckly. The only thing that will keep him in the team upon his return is a string of clean sheets….Good luck with that….


Nathaniel Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne:


While Patsy holidayed in France this summer, he had quite a nice break for himself, having only one run-out and impressing during that short spell.

He’s started this season in a similar vein, looking threatening going forward (which was his achilles heel last season to an extent). He’s going to have many more options on his rampages forward this season with the likes of Mané, Coutinho, Firmino & Lallana to work with.

I see Patsy having a BIG season this year, which is just as well really…we don’t really have any other full-backs in the whole damn squad.


Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren:


In the next training session I can only presume that somebody will pull Dejan aside and inform him that if he’s trying to block a shot, it’s probably not wise to try and do it by practicing his ‘lunges’ with his hands behind his back.

Don’t get me wrong, his lunging technique is terrific, really spot on, but for blocking a football, it’s not very effective.

Apart from that he was pretty solid, but you’d like him to be more dominant in the air in situations that led to their third goal. You know, rising like a salmon on the backs of opponents/teammates, rather than stumbling over and inspecting the pitch as the ball hits the back of the net….

Liverpool desperately need a decent centre back partnership to develop this season, and it looks likely that Dejan will be one half of it, so pick your favourite Dejan and let’s get on with it, eh?



Ragnar Klavan: 


Look at him. Just LOOK at him.

What a magnificent specimen of a man. Klavan The Barbarian is his name from now on. Bought for thruppence ha’penny (which is worth £4.2m in today’s money), he has been outstanding in pre-season, and today. He keeps it simple, kicks people when they need to be kicked and looks unflappable…despite playing alongside a certain Spaniard pretending to be a professional footballer.

I like the cut of his jib, and if you’ve seen his jib you’d like it too. Just don’t ask me how I saw it….


Alberto Moreno

Alberto Moreno: 

The following is the review for Bertie ‘The Bollox’ Moreno from his last competitive game for Liverpool, a full 3 months ago…

How fitting that in a major European Final, Alberto Moreno delivered his best ever performance….


If you come out before the match stating that you wouldn’t celebrate the winner in this match because it’s against your old side, and you then perform wonders for your old side through sheer incompetence, then you have a major problem on your hands Bertie.

His positional play leaves NASA satellites searching for him, without success. His decision making makes Donald Trump seem like Yoda. His tackling is worse than Steven Hawking.

The rumour mill has seen LFC linked with young left-backs, perhaps because Bertie was seen as the future.

If that hasn’t changed by this morning, I despair.


His consistency is amazing….as is the decision by LFC not to buy a left-back…F*CK SAKE….



Geordie Wine Gum: 


I’m not sure how to rate the Geordie Wine Gum, because I’m not entirely sure what he was supposed to do this afternoon.

If he was supposed to be a defensive midfielder, then he wasn’t really that good, as the Liverpool midfield didn’t exist…

If he was supposed to be an attacking midfielder, he was outstanding, making numerous bursting raids into the box, one of which led to the second goal by Lallana.

Maybe Jurgen left it up to himself to decide? Who knows? He has shown glimpses of certain qualities, but whether those qualities bring what the side desperately need remains to be seen.


Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson:

Oh Captain, My Captain.

A line synonymous with ‘Dead Poets Society’, a movie starring Robin Williams which divides opinion like few others. Some worship it, and consider it to be a modern marvel and a guide to life itself. Others consider it to be a load of pretentious old twaddle, a movie worshiped by pseudo-intellectuals who need to be told how to ‘feel’.

Jordan Henderson is a bit like ‘Dead Poets Society’. Some will stand up on tables and scream their love for him. Others will roll their eyes and make the ‘w*nker’ hand signal at those standing on the table.

Without European football this season, it’s going to be fascinating to see what happens when Emre Can is up to speed and fully fit. Will our Captain be cheering from the sidelines? Will he be leading from the front? Or will he be in the library of his lavish home deciding to take decisive action? (That last one is a potential spoiler if you haven’t seen the movie….)

Time will tell. He was alright today.


Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana: 


Losing the ball 40 yards from your own goal with a ‘Cruyff Turn’ that was so telegraphed the New York Times had reported it last week, is not a good idea. It was a stupid idea, done at a stupid time, done stupidly, and led to the opener for Theo Walcott who couldn’t believe his luck.

Scoring the goal to give us the lead with lovely chest control and a fine finish from an ever-tightening angle, is a good idea.

Lallana could thrive this season playing behind the main striker with the likes of Firmino, Coutinho and particularly Mané to link up with. However if he’s going to continue to do daft flicks/tricks/turns deep in his own half, he won’t be asked to play that deep in the future.



Philippe Coutinho: 

Dearest Philippe,


I missed you this summer. I know I wanted us to take a break from each other after the Sevilla game, but I was angry and let my emotions get the better of me.

I hope you summered well. I got your postcards from the Copa America, and I’m delighted you had some fun while away. I meanwhile just sat in a darkened room looking at pictures of you for three months, hoping and praying that we’d be ok when you returned.

I’m so glad we are. You really are my everything, especially when you whip 30 yard free kicks into the top corner and follow that up with another goal. Mind you, pulling up with an injury when clean through for a hat-trick is worrying. Let me know what the docs say.

Love you.



Roberto Firmino

Roberto Firmino:


Bobby, what the HELL are you doing with your hair? Sort it out mate.

Good hustle today, without ever actually doing something substantial. He caused the Arsenal back four all sorts of issues and led the team press perfectly. Whatever formation we play this season, with whatever personnel, Roberto Firmino will be at the heart of it all.

Oh, and that drag-around-backheel…took my breath away….


Sadio Mane.jpg

Sadio Mané:




What a performance to go with it too. This guy gives Liverpool something they didn’t have enough of last year…pure, raw, filthy pace. The kind of pace that helps Usain Bolt pull birds.

I’ll admit that I had my reservations when the deal was announced. I felt that he was a ‘Contract’ player, turning it on for the ‘big’ games or when his contract was up for renewal. I dearly hope I’m wrong, and he started amazingly with his displays against Arsenal and Barcelona, some lovely big games.




Emre Can

Emre Can: 


Slowly building his way up to match fitness…and I wish he’d bloody hurry up.

He’s the only out and out DM in the squad, and we desperately need one on the top of their game.

We need Emre to activate ‘BeastMode’ asap, and leave it activated all season long.


Kevin Stewart

Kevin Stewart:


Do you think Kevin is an optimist or a pessimist?

If he’s an optimist, he’ll be chuffed he was called upon by Klopp to stop the rot, hold the fort and get us over the finish line.

If he’s a pessimist, he’ll think he was only called upon because Lucas is broken and we’re allergic to buying DM’s.

Anyway, I’m still dreaming of that first time forward pass he played against Barcelona that left Iniesta questioning his very existence…


Divock Origi

Divock Origi: 


Looked really strong when brought on.

Hey! I’m a poet and I don’t know it! Although I just typed that, so I do know it. Ah feck it.

Depending on Mr. Sturridge, this could be a BIG season for Divock Origi.


Jurgen Klopp Unhappy

Manager: Jurgen Klopp: 


Don’t ever apologise for giving a player a piggyback when they’ve given you a 4-1 lead away at Arsenal. You have nothing to apologise for. If I were you I’d have stripped down to my keks and run a full lap of the Emirates. Now THAT would cause us to ‘lose concentration’.

We’ve a PIG of a start to the season thanks to the Fixtures List and the Main Stand renovations, but if we can get through that near the top of the table, then we could put the pedal to the metal and see where this season takes us.

I can’t bloody wait, and we’ve got the right man behind the wheel.


Note: If you enjoy the guff on this blog, you can find me on Twitter (@NiallHawthorne and @ByTheMinLFC). 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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