Liverpool 0 – 0 Manchester United: The Ranting Rebel Ratings…


Loris Karius:


It’s not often than a footballer triggers my split-personality, but Fandango has managed it.

No he hasn’t.

Yes he has.

No he hasn’t.

Shurrup you. Anyway, as I was saying…A. CLEAN. F*CKING. SHEET. Christ alive, you’d find more of them in a teenagers bedroom that had Playboy Centrefolds as wallpaper.

You deluded fool. That was only because United were more defensive than a Trump supporter. He had nothing to save, and still looked as comfortable and composed as Boris Johnson on a zip-line.

A. CLEAN. SHEET. I don’t like myself much right now.

I don’t like you either.


Nathaniel Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne:


Was he actually playing?

That’s not a criticism, it’s just that he didn’t stand out. He had very little defending to do, and very little space in which to attack, so he didn’t really register on my radar. This could be a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it.

Liverpool lost this match last season, which was a similar sort of game, so I’ll say it’s a good thing.

A. CLEAN. SHEET. Rejoice.


Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren:


While there are many who are moaning about the lack of goals, let me point something out that you may not have considered.


Lovren teamed well with Joel (more of him anon) to neutralise ‘The Zlatan’, who barely had a kick all match. Considering Zlatan can kick a ball that’s travelling at 90mph 6 metres above his head, that’s a compliment.

Dejan also took on the responsibility of trying to launch attacks as it became clear how deep United were sitting, and showed good composure on the ball and incisive passing…to the edge of a big blue bus. Gah.



Joel Matip: 

Another dip into the archives of his fathers collection to describe last night, as we all toiled through a turgid 90 minutes of huff and puff. These lyrics from ‘The Longest Time’ encapsulate what we have been through last night.

 Maybe this won’t last very long  (Let’s hope so, it felt like YEARS last night)
But you feel so right
And I could be wrong
Maybe I’ve been hoping too hard  (Weren’t we all Joel mate, weren’t we all…)
But I’ve gone this far
And it’s more than I hoped for  (2 points off the top after 8 games. True for ya.)



James Milner: 


I’m not saying that people from Yorkshire are tough, but when James Milner jogged off late in the game after numerous nasty falls and incidents, he was clinically dead and had been for 20 minutes. Didn’t stop him putting in another epic shift on the left though.

Name a better left-back in the league this season? Exactly….there are none (Don’t give me any of that Spurs nonsense either).

There had been some talk of Bertie Moreno coming into the side with Jimmy pushing into midfield. Jesus wept, what was all that about? I couldn’t eat before 7pm as I fretted over the team selection. Thankfully the blonde bombshell (as in a nuclear weapon, not an attractive lady) sat his arse on the bench until James was halfway up the Stairway To Heaven.


Emre Can

Emre Can: 


I’m not saying that Emre Can was a bit rusty heading into the game last night, but for the first half an hour he didn’t seem to know what a football was, and what you were supposed to do with it. I’ve seen trampolines with a better first touch, and even Stevie Wonder was criticising his lack of vision as he and I sank a few beers while watching the match. (don’t believe me if you want, but all I’ll say is that he’s an awful f*cking show off when the Karaoke machine comes out).

Thankfully Emre improved as the game wore on and was very unlucky not to break the deadlock when David De Gea showed psychic abilities and x-ray vision to anticipate and see his shot through a crowd of limbs.

Unfortunately for Jackie this was a game that didn’t enhance his own reputation and standing, but it certainly did for The Geordie Wine Gum. I’m now left longing for his first touch, his ability to turn around with the ball at his feet and to play simple passes that are on without thinking about it for 20 seconds first.


Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson:


Once more I was impressed by the cut of his jib. I should have been too as I bought him that jib and sent it to him last Christmas.

His usual all-action style assisted the whole side in gradually getting on top of the United ‘tactics’ *puke* and pushed the reds further up the pitch as the game wore on.

It was interesting to note that he didn’t resort to ‘doing a Stevie G’ as the clock ticked down, and refrained from walloping shots in from anywhere. Was that a good move? Well, depends on how you look at it. Stevie scored quite a few of them, particularly late in the game, and thus his legend was born. Had those not gone in, he may not have the same aura about him. On balance Jordan did the right thing, and tried to leave it to his more talented colleagues to try and break the deadlock.

Besides, he’s already had his THUNDERBASTARD moment of the season. Another would be greedy. I wonder if Stevie G agrees….




Philippe Coutinho: 

Dearest Philippe,


It’s ok…you tried your best. I mean, it can’t have been easy trying to break through that defence. It would have been easier to get through South American customs with 9 tonnes of cocaine stuffed down your pants.

Just one tip though. When you cut in on your right foot, and smash another beautiful curling shot towards goal, if you put one towards the OTHER corner, you’ll catch 110% of goalkeepers by surprise and will definitely score.

Love you.




Roberto Firmino


You have to love Bobby F, don’t you?

While most of his teammates were huffing and puffing and struggling to pass through the massed defence with the required speed/skill, Bobby was playing his own game. Of the 43 passes he completed in the match, 97% of them were a flick/trick/skill*. His outlook is clear – if the game is going to be boring and dull, he’s going to have a giggle and try things different.

Personally I don’t disagree with that tactic, as long as everyone doesn’t start doing it. Besides, Bobby is the best at it.

As for the late chance when he was denied by a late tackle by Valencia, I’d like to personally blame Brazil, South America, Airplanes, Jetlag and Timezones. Bastards, the lot of them.

*100% of the stats quoted in this review are made up off the top of my head


Sadio Mane.jpg

Sadio Mané:


Ooh, what a night of frustration for Sadio.

I’ve been trying to think of an analogy to best describe the plight of Sadio Mane when up against that massed, deep defence, and I think I have it.

Imagine asking Usain Bolt to hit full speed when running a race inside a phone box.

With his ability to break in behind/beyond the defence removed, his threat was largely neutralised. Something to ponder as the season develops and other teams try to ‘work out’ Klopp’s Liverpool.


Daniel Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge:


Knee, meet Jerk.

That’s what’s been happening in relation to Daniel Sturridge following his hour of action last night. I’ve seen it all, from ‘Sell him in January!’ to ‘Origi must start!’ to ‘Ings is better!’, and I ask everybody this….

Have you ever tried to catch the bouquet at a wedding? If you have, you’ll understand the plight of Sturridge last night. If you haven’t, consider this….

It’s you, alone, trying to get the ‘ball’ that is chucked at you, and you’re surrounded by many, many others all trying to get that ‘ball’ too. Now if Daniel somehow did manage to catch the ‘ball’, he then had to control the ‘ball’, move the ‘ball’ and stick the ‘ball’ into the net, or throw the ‘ball’ back to a teammate who was looking for the ‘ball’, all while the other people who didn’t get the ‘ball’ were viciously pulling his hair and ripping at his dress with long nails.

I got lost in that analogy, but I think you get what I mean.

Not a good night for Daniel, but not all his fault.



Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana:


Football is a funny old game, eh?

A year ago, as Klopp took over, many feared for the future of ‘fancy-dan’ Adam Lallana who looked the least likeliest player in the squad to be able to flourish in the ‘Heavy Metal’ football that Jurgen prefers. Let’s face it, he look like he relaxes in a bath listening to Kenny G.

However Adam Lallana is now turning into Roy Race, Striker and, err, Billy’s Boots, all rolled into one. His introduction last night energised the team, and his influence ensured that United were under the cosh for the final half hour of the game. You were left wondering what the outcome would have been had he been fit enough to start the game.

Adam has evolved from the player most likely to leave to the player least likely to be left out, in 12 short months. Good for him.


Divock Origi

Divock Origi: 


He played 5 minutes.

F*ck off, I’m not rating that.



Alberto Moreno:

He also played 5 minutes. My heart specialist is expecting me on Thursday afternoon. His hair looks like a thatched roof.



Manager: Jurgen Klopp: 


Alrighty then….

5 Wins. 2 Draws. 1 Defeat from the opening 8 games. 2 points off the top.

West Brom, Palace, Watford, Southampton, Sunderland, Bournemouth, West Ham, Boro are the next 8 league games.

It’s time to kick on. It’s VITAL that we break down a Pulis defence next Saturday, or else every bugger will swagger into Anfield thinking they can do a Pulis/Mourinho and stifle the reds. We had just started creating a fear by thumping Leicester and Hull, so as ever in football, momentum is key.

The start has been better than the vast majority had expected. It’s what happens next that will define the season. I can’t bloody wait.


Note: If you enjoy the guff on this blog, you can find me on Twitter (@NiallHawthorne) or on Facebook ( If you’ve read this far, pat yourself on the back.


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