Southampton 1-0 Liverpool: The Ranting Rebel League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg Ratings (Phew…)

loris-karius

Loris Karius:

 

He’s our ‘Cup’ keeper now, right? RIGHT?

That’s a question millions of LFC fans are asking around the globe, as well as ‘How much did those lovely Russian ladies get paid for having a tinkle on Donald Without A Winkle?’

In any case he performed admirably, all things considered. Admittedly the second save from Redmond was ‘one for the cameras’ (and by Christ does this lad know about cameras), but all credit to him he did pull off a string of fine saves while wearing what can only be described as a cross between a Star Trek / Flashdance outfit.

Many fans are howling with disgust at our ‘Toxic Thunder’ gear, but poor Fandango was coloured in by an orange Stabilo Boss highlighter pen. That took HOURS in the make-up chair.

8/10 

Nathaniel Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne:

 

Credit where it’s due, he’s definitely been working on his crossing. He delivered an absolute peach in the first half, which deserved to be finished.

However he had a rare brain-fade which contributed to the only goal of the game, letting his man run on ahead of him. Mind you, he trains with Ragnar so he should have seen what was coming…more of which soon….

6/10. 

Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren:

 

That goatee is coming along nicely and makes him look really evil….

You probably noticed that of all the ex-Southampton players on the pitch tonight, Dejan was the one who was getting the stick from the crowd, the ridiculous faux-French flutes.

You may think that they were giving him the bird because he left their dreary backwater in search of success (and piles of loot) but you’d be wrong.

The Southampton fans are simple folk, and they’re still in Pantomime season. Once they glimpsed that goatee they automatically assumed he was the ‘bad guy’, and immediately switched to ‘Panto-mode’. “BOOOOOOO” they cried.

It was quite impressive in truth, but I really wish they’d followed it up with ‘HE’S BEHIND YOU’ when Redmond was slipped in for the goal.

I hate the f*cking Panto.

7/10

Klavan

Ragnar Klavan: 

 

I can explain everything…

It’s all to do with Longitude and Latitude y’see.

Estonia is pretty ‘North’ when you find it on the map, so when Ragnar arrived in Southampton, he thought he was in the fecking Mediterranean. He’d never been so far South in his life.

Therefore he played in flip-flops, after 6 pints of Sangria and wearing an exceedingly tight Speedo under his shorts.

No wonder he missed the clearance that led to the winning goal. It’s been the best holiday of his life. The gobshite.

5/10

james-milner

James Milner: 

 

James Milner is getting a little bit p*ssed off.

Things haven’t been going to plan recently. A draw at Sunderland, a draw at home to a team he thought was named after the Limousine driver in Die Hard all followed by a trip further south than London, which meant he thought he had to get a bloody passport for the team bus.

His frustration manifested itself in the first half as he decided that enough was enough and he fouled his man not once, not twice, but THRICE, just to be sure. After all, if you’re going to do something, you may as well do it properly.

The good news is that his next appointment is away to the Mancs at Old Trafford. Whatever about a Scouser wanting to stick one on the Mancs, a Yorkshire man always wants to do the same. Over to you Millie…..

7/10

lucas

Lucas:

 

Things that are as rare as a start in midfield for Lucas:

  1. A plan for Brexit
  2. A tweet that makes sense from Donald Trump
  3. A picture of Phil Jones ‘not gurning’

Things that are better than a midfield performance from Lucas:

  1. Almost everything

Yes, that’s probably harsh, but tonight showed just how much we miss Jordan Henderson. Lucas can do the basics pretty well, passing it sideways/backwards to maintain possession, but if there’s one thing we missed tonight it was the constant, almost rhythmical forward passes you get from Hendo, putting his teammates on the front foot before the opposition can react.

Mega LOLZ for the moment late on when Shane ‘Road Runner’ Long tore past Lucas on the left flank, leaving Lucas grasping for a Peter Sringer-esque ankle-tap to try and stop him.

6/10

 

Emre Can

Emre Can:

 

*adopts Jeremy Clarkson voice*

‘Some say that Jackie Chan could kill you with a single touch…and that the worst way to die is from “Death by a thousand cuts”…all I know is that one man made us all die inside because he insisted on a thousand touches every time he got the ball…and they call him The Stig, sorry, Emre Can’

Jesus wept.

4/10.

Wijnaldum

Geordie Wine Gum:

 

He wasn’t great going forward

He wasn’t great defending

I’m not even sure that he was really there

The only benefit of a Wine Gum over Bubble Gum is that you can swallow a Wine Gum and not worry about sh*tting a Hubba Bubba Bubble in 7 years time.

I’m not sure what benefit a Geordie Wine Gum brought tonight.

5/10

Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana: 

 

Can we all now just agree that it’s pretty bloody pointless starting Adam Lallana as part of a front three?

It’s not that he’s crap, it’s just that it completely nullifies everything that makes him so dangerous…the late runs into the box, the vision to pick a pass from deep…

Having said that, when he did drop deeper in the second half, he seemed to forget to makes those late surging runs into the box. He made them, but he made them too early and was frequently stood waiting for the ball to arrive at his feet.

That just doesn’t work.

7/10

 Daniel Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge: 

 

Ouch.

No, not another injury for Studge, but realisation that while he’s an incredibly talented finisher, he may not suit the dynamic front three role that was demanded of him tonight.

For the first hour of the game we just couldn’t get the ball into him in any kind of decent position. He was making darting runs left and right, but he was too often surrounded by red and white shirts and unable to be picked out.

He came into the game more as time elapsed, but by then he was so desperate to make an impression he was shooting from all distances and not very effectively.

The majority of LFC fans were clamouring for Daniel to start tonight. I just wonder how many will be doing the same for the game at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Personally I’d give him a start, but I’d play him wide right, and get Bobby Firmino back central. Although….

6/10.

firmino

Roberto Firmino:

 

Another frustrating night for Bobby as he toiled wide left and darted occasionally through the middle, but to little effect.

Unlucky with an early effort well saved by Forster, but the highlight of his night was the return to action of his teammate, his soulmate, his very reason for being, Philippe Coutinho.

Some are query why Bobby was withdrawn not long after Philippe made his entrance, but Jurgen texted me a few minutes ago to tell me that Bobby has a strain.

Yep, he strained his face from smiling so much when he saw Philippe come off the bench. Bless.

The best double-act since…forever, are back.

7/10.

 

Substitutes:

 

origi

Divock Origi:

 

Seems to have a better and bigger impact as a substitute, and that may well be his role for the remainder of the season.

Did bugger all tonight though.

6/10

Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho:

 

Dearest Philippe,

The last seven weeks have been very special for me, and I hope you feel the same.

I’ve enjoyed spending each day with you, imparting my wisdom, knowledge and tender touch (on your ankle). Remember that ‘mindfulness’ isn’t hippy boll*x, but can be a very effective method of relaxation and stress relief.

Take care of Bobby, he needs some TLC after missing you for so long. Oh, and stick another one past De Gea on Sunday, eh?

Love you

xxx

7/10


klopp-new

Manager: Jurgen Klopp: 

 

So here we are Jurgen…the toughest moment of the season so far…

Three games without a win. Two draws and a defeat, across three different competitions. There are two ways of looking at that of course. Those with a positive outlook will think that it’s a good thing that those results were not all in the league, as that could be very costly. Those with a negative outlook will be hiding behind the couch as we head to Old Trafford on Sunday.

The return of Philippe is a huge boost, but the defence needs Matip and the midfield needs Henderson (and we all need Senegal to crash and burn in the AFCON)

While it feels that the momentum of the season has stalled alarmingly, a win on Sunday will send us soaring again. Yes, United are in good form and nine wins on the spin is impressive, but they’ve not met anyone like us over that run.

Wind them up between now and then Jurgen. Get them primed, get them pumped and get them ready to go to war.

Sunday is the biggest game of the season so far. Another massive win and Sunderland/Plymouth/Southampton will pale into insignificance.

Over to you.

7/10.

Note: If you enjoy the guff on this blog, you can find me on Twitter (@NiallHawthorne) or on Facebook (facebook.com/rantsofarebel)

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