Swansea City 1-2 Liverpool: The Ranting Rebel Ratings…


Loris Karius:


Alright, alright, calm f*cking down…

He hasn’t exactly started in a blaze of glory, but before you jump up and down flailing your arms around saying silly things like ‘Migs is the answer’, ponder on this….

When you had your first day in secondary school, or your first day in your job, did you waltz in, high-five everyone, score with the prettiest girl (or boy) in the room before moon-walking your way home? DID YOU F*CK. You’re not Zak Morris (if you don’t know who Zak Morris is, you’re SO uncool…)

Karius is not Zak Morris…but he does really look like him…

When you start somewhere new, you’re a nervous, sweating, bumbling buffoon. Your plan, your ONLY plan, is to keep your head down, say as little as possible, and pray you get through the first few days/weeks, maybe even months, without dropping a bollock.

That’s hard to do when you’re the new goalkeeper for Liverpool Football Club. I mean, you can’t exactly go and hide in the toilets if it’s not going well, or find a quiet corner to call your mother to hear her tell you everything is going to be alright and that she’ll have your favourite treat ready for you when you come home (Hob Nobs for dunking in tea, obviously).

So let’s give Fandango a break, shall we? Yes, he’s looked shakier than Shakin’ Stevens after 9 mugs of coffee, but lets not forget that Simon ‘Migs’ Mignolet saved a fecking penalty on his debut for Liverpool…and that really worked out well, eh?


Nathaniel Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne:


As you are all no doubt aware, the Liverpool players all read these ratings as my friend Philippe insists that they do.

I know some of you don’t believe me, but if you require even MORE proof, then read my rating for Patsy last week here (shameless click-bait right there, HELL YEAH!), and then consider his performance at the Liberty Stadium. MAN OF THE BLOODY MATCH!

That’ll give me plenty to talk about, eh? He was bombing up and down the right hand side like the Roadrunner on speed. He was practically playing right-wing. Marvelous stuff.

I saw one dribbling buffoon on Twitter say that Clyne is clearly our worst performer of the season so far, and I even saw another well respected LFC website use the ‘Patsy’ nickname in relation to, err, Patsy, the swines. They used it wrong though, the eejits, so even when they nick my ideas, they don’t ‘get’ it.


Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren:


Thankfully he’s recovered from his ‘illness’ (He told Klopp what Ragnar was doing to him and Jurgen sorted it all out), but at times in that first half he looked to be pretty f*cking sick of life as the Swansea forward line pressed and pressured him to distraction.

It all got a bit on top of him and he started misplacing passes, misjudging balls and generally giving a decent impression of Lovren when he first arrived at Anfield.

Thankfully the second half dominance by Liverpool gave him a chance to clear his mind and he finished the game with what some are describing as the best thing he’s ever done in his life – he BLOOTERED the ball out of the stadium as time ran out. But…

I’ve spoken to Dejan since Saturday, and he has confirmed to me what I always suspected…that was a shot.

Never change Dejan, never change.



Joel Matip: 

As his Da Billy sang in his classic ‘The Longest Time’…
Once I thought my innocence was gone
Now I know that happiness goes on
That’s where you found me
When you put your arms around me
I haven’t been there for the longest time
That sums up the emotional rollercoaster that was the match at the Liberty Stadium for Joel Matip. During that first half ‘discomfort’ he lost all his innocence, but as his teammates battled back for all three points, he found out that with THIS team, happiness goes on.
The last three lines refer to the hug he got from Klopp at full-time.
Brings a tear to a glass eye. Splendid.



James Milner: 


(The following review should be read in a Yorkshire accent. If you can’t do that, you’ll miss out on a thrilling experience….ish)

Jimmy Milner’s from Yorkshire.

They don’t do ‘fancy’ in Yorkshire. They don’t really do the word ‘the’ in Yorkshire either. They just leave it out of sentences, but you know where it should have gone.

On Saturday James Milner decided to use ‘…’ Panenka, but decided it were goin’ to be a ‘Yorkshire Panenka’. None of that namby-pamby, chippy-whippy, dinky-winky Panenka nonsense…more of a Yorkshire chip (smothered in gravy) right down the middle with pace and power.

Proper Yorkshire.



Geordie Wine Gum: 


When you start eating a packet of Wine Gums, there’s always your favourite flavour (Tangerine, obviously, and if you don’t agree then you’re a sinister weirdo), and there’s always the ‘meh’ flavour. You eat it, but you don’t really ‘get’ it. It’s the grapefruit one by the way. I mean, it’s there, it does a job, but it doesn’t really stand out. You don’t hate it, you don’t even dislike it, but it doesn’t make your mouth water like, say, the Firmino flavour.

Damn, I’ve mixed my metaphors there. Let’s just say that on Saturday, the ‘Grapefruit’ wine gum became the ‘Geordie’ wine gum.

I hope you know what I mean…


Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson:


As his team were being overrun in the first half and struggling to get anywhere near the high standards they have set themselves in recent weeks, Jordan Henderson kept on doing what Jordan Henderson does…running. A LOT.

Jordan Henderson makes Mo Farah wince. Partly because of how much he runs, but also because he uses Quorn as wallpaper paste when decorating his house. Horrid stuff. Oh, and also because he doesn’t disappear to Kenya for weeks at a time miles away from any drug-testing facilities. *cough*

Once more though, Captain Hendo popped up when all seemed bleak, clipping a ball through for Bobby F to head us level. A crucial moment of quality in a game which was desperately lacking in any up to that point.

Leading by example, doing what a Captain does.


Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana: 



Just when he was at the peak of his powers, he goes and twangs his groin.

Mind you, he gets to sit out the International Break, have a nice rest for himself, and I’m sure Adam won’t mind having his groin slathered in buckets of Nivea as part of the healing process, by his wife Emily Jubb.

Quite literally…Lovely Jubbly.


Is there nothing that Nivea can’t do?



Philippe Coutinho: 

Dearest Philippe,


Ooohhh…look at you!

The Fulcrum. The Pivot. The Centre Of Attention. Pulling the strings like an illuminati overlord whispering in the ear of Theresa May.

I’ve seen the future Philippe, and I like what I saw.

Love you.




Roberto Firmino


While that header may have ‘looked’ simple, I can guarantee you that it really, really wasn’t. Bobby had to generate quite a lot of pace, find an accurate trajectory to find the corner, and ensure that his stupid bloody hair thingy didn’t deflect the ball off course. Not easy….

As for the winner, that sums up Bobby Firmino…he’s a bloody pest. Admittedly the Swansea defence were as effective at kicking the ball clear as the Can-Can girls in the Moulin Rouge in Paris, but Bobby ‘drew’ the foul and won us the game.

It was yet another example of how nobody knows who’s going to be the star of the show for Liverpool in any given match. I fecking love that.


Sadio Mane.jpg

Sadio Mané:


It’s quite entertaining to watch Sadio Mané play football in the Liverpool shirt. Not because of what he does, but because of the sheer terror you see in the eyes of the defenders he faces each match.

When Sadio gets the ball, the sphincters of the opposition tighten so quickly that if you could mute the crowd and all other sounds, you’d hear their arses play Mozarts 5th symphony in G minor.




Daniel Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge:


It’s not that Daniel Sturridge is 4th choice to start up front for Liverpool, it’s that Daniel Sturridge is a completely different kind of striker for Jurgen Klopp to use.

Whereas Mane, Firmino and Coutinho are all quick, one-touch, moving the ball maestros, Daniel likes to get the ball under control and ponder what to do with it, much like someone would ponder what to do with a winning lottery ticket…you don’t know quite what will happen, but you know there’s a good chance it’s going to be fun.

We’ve had to get our heads around some big changes in the Liverpool team this season, but one of the biggest may be that Daniel Sturridge is not just about ‘goals’ anymore. Jurgen may be developing him into a more thoughtful, tactically aware forward, and that will be to everyone’s benefit (except the teams we’re playing, obviously).


Emre Can

Emre Can:


Another run off the bench, but this time it could prove significant, if the injury to Adam Lallana is worse than first feared. He’s bang in line to take a midfield role and work his way back into the first team reckoning.

I’m fecking astonished that I’m even typing that sentence just 7 league games into the season, but there you have it. Football, eh?


Divock Origi

Divock Origi: 


He’s hungry for goals, and it’s understandable.

I wish he’d just take the ball into the bloody corner when 92 minutes are on the clock and we have it, instead of smashing it wildly at goal and giving them the ball back.



Manager: Jurgen Klopp: 


Can you win away from home to a major rival? √

Can you win at home to the league champions? √

Can you win at home to a team who will sit deep? √

Can you win away from home when playing a bit sh*t? √

There’s only one question left to be asked of this team, and that’s ‘Can you win at home to a major rival?’ (Leicester don’t count…). I suspect I know the answer, and I can’t bloody wait to find out.

Stupid International Breaks.


Note: If you enjoy the guff on this blog, you can find me on Twitter (@NiallHawthorne and @ByTheMinLFC). I’m a co-host for the best weekly Premier League Podcast in the whole world – @ByTheMinEPL Podcast, which can be found on bytheminute.co. If you’ve read this far, pat yourself on the back.


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