Crystal Palace 2 – 4 Liverpool: The Ranting Rebel Ratings…


Loris Karius:


I’m not saying that Fandango is short of confidence and racked with self-doubt, but a little bird within Melwood told me that it takes him an hour and a half to get dressed each morning. He simply can’t decide what clothes to wear.

This issue manifested itself for the first Palace goal, following Dejan’s *alleged* brain-fade (more on that soon….). As McArthur strolled forward, Fandango had his moment. ‘Will I go?’…’Will I stay?’…’I’ll go!’…’No, I’ll stay!’…’F*ck it, I’d best go…’Ah, shite…’

Also, what was up with THAT attempt at a save? I mean, I’m all for keepers coming out and making yourself big, arms outstretched down by your side, but not when the opponent has NO OTHER F*CKING OPTION BUT TO HEAD IT OVER YOU, YOU BELLWHIFF.

Until a moment in the second-half, when he did actually make a save, I was reminded of Bohemian Rhapsody and the source of his nickname as I sang to myself (I do that a lot, yes I’m weird)..’Karius! Karius! Will you do the saving thing now!’. To his credit he did. He also claimed a few crosses, and I hope he’s getting there…slowly…

Awesome statuesque-keeper-rooted-to-the-spot-watching-the-ball-sail-into-the-net for Palace’s second goal. Textbook.


Nathaniel Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne:


Manchester City. Barcelona. Everyone else looking to buy him. DO FEEL FREE TO F*CK OFF NOW, EH? Although…I smell something rotten in the state of, err, the transfer rumour pages…

I had a quick google of his contract situation, and in 2015 when he joined he signed a 5 year deal until 2020. We’re about to enter 2017, Liverpool are clearly on the up and the future is brighter than it was when he first signed. More money is coming into the club due to the new TV deals. Jurgen clearly rates him as his first choice right-back, but a certain young T.A.A. is starting to loom large.

Now, I put all these facts/stats into my ‘Bullshit-Transfer-Rumour-ometer’ and the results are conclusive. Excellent work by Patsy’s Agent, especially the link to the ‘best’ and ‘richest’ clubs he could think of. I expect new negotiations to begin in early 2017 and a new, more lucrative contract to be signed within 6 months.

Good job too as Patsy was outstanding last night. Magnificent.


Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren:


Leadership is lacking in modern football. Where are the Gerrard’s? Sounesses? McMahons? The game is overrun with namby-pamby, flicky-dicky, softy-wofty pretty boys, one of whom plays in goal for Liverpool FC.

I’ve stated on these pages before that I distrust goalkeepers who are THAT good looking. I mean, Fandango has hardly broken his nose diving at the feet of a rugged centre-forward when the ball is there to be won, now has he?

So before you all decide that last night was just another Dejan brain-fade, have a close look at the replay of the incident. He didn’t slice the ball. He didn’t miskick the ball. He didn’t aim it one way and kick it another. He played it exactly as he intended to…up in the air, 16 yards from goal, into the path of the onrushing attacking AND the onrushing goalkeeper.


You can’t test a keepers bottle in training, as you’ll probably get a bollocking from Herr Klopp for damaging his prize possession, so you have to find another way of doing it. Dejan did it last night. He could see we were carving the Eagles apart like a Turkey on Thanksgiving, so it was no big deal. Just to make sure though he went straight back up the field after Fandango failed his test and stuck it into the net to make amends. Easy-Peasy-Lemon-Squeezy.

Dejan Lovren. A true modern leader.



Joel Matip: 


Joel decided to take inspiration from his fathers seminal classic ‘Piano Man’ last night (All sing along out loud, or in your head, I don’t mind):

It’s 6.14 on a Saturday
The regular crowd shuffles by
There’s an old man sitting next to me
Makin’ love to his Bovril and Pie
He says, “Son, can you remind me of a memory
I’m not really sure how it goes
But it’s ACE and it’s sweet and I knew it could be
When I saw a centre-half score”
La la la, di da da
La la, di da da da dum
Score us a goal, you’re the centre-half
Score us a goal tonight
Well, we’re all in the mood for a win in London
And you’ve got us 3 points tonight



Alberto Moreno: 


The biggest compliment I could pay Bertie Moreno is that after half an hour last night, I was wondering whether James Milner might have a job getting back in the team. He really was very good, especially going forward as he provided the assist for the first, stood up a beautiful cross to the far post for Firmino, and rattled the outside of the post with a shot. Outstanding.

Then he did what Bertie does at the other end of the pitch (briefly mind you, I’m not saying he was a clusterf*ck all game long), and you suddenly remembered…all the memories came flooding back…Arsenal away last August. Sevilla in the Europa League final…*shudder*

Having said all that, Klopp is clearly working on him in training, and I see some improvement, and that makes him a very handy back up left-back, proving once again that Liverpool are very close indeed to having two decent options for every position on the pitch.

On a seperate note, and in a complete rip-off of a Tweet I saw on Twitter (courtesy of @ChrisHewittLFC)…what kind of virus knocks James Milner out of the team? I didn’t know Ebola had reached Melwood.


Emre Can

Emre Can: 


There was an eyebrow or ten raised when the team was announced that Jackie had gotten the nod ahead of the Geordie Wine Gum, taking this seasons form into account.

Of course we had all forgotten (or maybe just me…) that the world was not created last August, and that of course Jackie would start when fully fit – he’d been Klopp’s leader on the pitch last season when he was always picked, so it makes sense looking back a bit further when analysing the decision.

Of course, as with anything Klopp does, it worked out perfectly, as Can surged late into the box to fire home the opener. Secret unseen footage of the Liverpool bench that I have in my possession (don’t ask how I have it, as you won’t have to worry when the subpoena comes in the post) showed the Geordie Wine Gum ruefully shake his head and smile as the ball hit the back of the net. He knows. We all know….

There’s a chance that Emre was also chosen for his greater physical prowess against a Palace side that were as one-dimensional as a postage stamp, so maybe, just maybe, Wijnaldum could come back into the team at home to Watford next Sunday…

It’ll be yet another interesting team selection…


Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson:


Back in the side following his one-game suspension after 5 bookings…

Did you hear how Jordan got his fifth booking? I couldn’t reveal this to you when it happened as I was otherwise indisposed as we beat West Brom, but it’s a wonderful tale…

With the league cup tie against Spurs looming, and with 4 bookings to his name already, Jordan was under strict orders to get booked against West Brom so he could serve the suspension in a game he wouldn’t play in anyway. He was fearful of going too early, as he would be running the risk of a red card. He then forgot about the whole thing until Klopp roared at him with minutes remaining in the game. Jordan froze. What was he going to do? A challenge that was slightly too rough could get him sent off…West Brom were coming back into the game…The pressure was on…

So he ran up to the ref and told him that his mother was a fine ride. He couldn’t get a red card for that, could he? After all, it was a compliment to the refs mother.

Anyway, Jordan was superb again last night, capped off by a sublime through ball for Bobby Firmino to seal the deal.


Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana:


I felt that this was a slightly subdued performance from Adam. However I’ll qualify that by saying that a subdued Lallana performance still involves running from here to the moon and back in 90 minutes, more Cruyff turns in 90 minutes than Jordi has done in his life and a pass accuracy rate that would make Paul Pogba ashamed of himself.

When you have a forward line like Coutinho/Firmino/Mane, and you have a slightly off day creatively, you’re going to get away with it. Which is why this Liverpool attack in particular is reminding me of a very special team. This is going to be a blog in its own right, but I’ll give you a sneak preview right now.

Lallana = Houghton.

The picture will become clearer as we progress…



Philippe Coutinho: 

Dearest Philippe,


It’s happening. It’s really, finally, bloody happening! Your metamorphosis from promising young star to global superpower is happening in full view of the watching public, and it’s a beautiful sight. Like a caterpillar emerging from its cocoon to reveal itself as a beautiful butterfly (with less gick and slime, obviously).

You were imperious last night. Masterful. Strong. Determined. In full control. You did what you wanted and I loved it.

You were pretty good on the pitch too.

Love you.


Oh aye. Coutinho = Beardsley.



Roberto Firmino


Some players have vision. They can spot a pass, and have scientifically proven advanced depth-perception, allowing them to spot a gap behind defences into which they can pass the ball.

Some players have awareness. They just know where space is, or is going to be.

Some players have lizard eyes. They can spot what’s going on around them without moving their head.

Bobby Firmino has all three. How the hell he knew Mandananananananana was coming out is beyond me, but he knew. He chipped a goalkeeper that a mere mortal couldn’t have known was going to be 15 yards out from his own goal. He even had his shirt off before the ball hit the back of the net.

Bobby Firmino operates on a different plane of consciousness to you and I.

Firmino = Aldridge (ish)


Sadio Mane.jpg

Sadio Mané:


Should have scored, at least once.

However, putting that mild negative aside, his telepathy with Coutinho is starting to grow beautifully. He starts a run and he knows that more often than not, Phil will find him.

Experts said that Liverpool (and in particular Mane) would struggle against massed-defences, as there would be no space to use his pace against.


Mane = Barnes.





Geordie Wine Gum:


A solid 15′ cameo for a man who is now locked in a death-match struggle to get a place in this team against Emre Can.

I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it.

No…it’s too early. It’s still too early…*trembles*


Divock Origi

Divock Origi: 


Brought on by Klopp to wind up Daniel Sturridge.




Ragnar Klavan:

Brought on by Klopp to scare the bejaysus out of Christian Benteke.



Manager: Jurgen Klopp: 


So that’s a quarter of the league season done and dusted.

We’ve played Arsenal away, Chelsea away, Spurs away, United home, Champions home, Palace away and we’re joint top.


No, I’m not going to let myself get carried away. Yet. It’s hard though. So damn hard. We’ve been here before of course, just three seasons ago, but the hope then didn’t really kick in until February/March. Now I’m having to fight off the hope in October.

It’s the hope that kills you. So therefore, there is no hope. We’re doomed. No chance. Watford at home next Sunday? Typical sucker-punch match we ALWAYS lose. Yep, we’re screwed.

(Play along with me, trust me…)


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.


2 thoughts on “Crystal Palace 2 – 4 Liverpool: The Ranting Rebel Ratings…

  1. Reading this blog is usually one of c the things I soooooo look forward to after EVERY game. Whether we were shite , granted an exceeding rarity under Herr Klopp thank goodness, or it was an absolute belter you always put a wide grin on my face and every so often a full on coffee spewing chuckle 🙂

    Thanks mate for taking the time to write this… The only player ratings that matter !

    Liked by 1 person

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