Plymouth Argyle 0-1 Liverpool: The Ranting Rebel 3rd Round Replay Ratings


Loris Karius:


Now I’m not one to cast aspersions *cough* but the locals in Plymouth have never seen a man like Fandango before.

The poor lad did well to make it out of Home Park with all his ‘bits’ still attached. The scenes as he tried to get back on the team bus to go home made ‘Beatlemania’ look like a Donald Trump Inauguration. The Plymouth females (and an alarming amount of males) threw so many knickers at him, he’s now the fourth biggest cotton trader on the planet and is listed on the FTSE as of this morning. Remarkable.

As for his performance, it was another clean sheet, a couple of decent stops and pretty much void of brainfades. The young fella might just make it…you know, aside from the fact that he was voted the second best goalkeeper in the Bundesliga…but as Theresa May has taught us so well, what the f*ck would the Germans know about anything, eh?



Trent Alexander-Arnold:


To my ‘trained’ eye, TAA looked a bit nervy last night, a bit shifty, a bit uncomfortable.

Perhaps he was a bit tired after his efforts at Old Trafford just days before, or he was feeling the pressure as he realised he was playing in the same back four as Bertie Moreno…or perhaps he was just bloody cold and far away from home in a strange, strange land where the locals like to eat all their food wrapped in a pastry case, even their Weetabix….

In any case, when push came to shove, TAA stood tall and was responsible for more than one crucial intervention as the hosts tried to put the Liverpool Reserves under pressure. Assuming that Patsy is back on Saturday, Trent has proved himself to be a very able deputy…so all those mewling chequebook fans can shut their cakeholes when ‘lamenting’ the ‘net-spend’ and ‘lack of depth’ in the squad.

Y’know, even if the amount of Liverpool fans who constantly wailed about these things did so at Anfield, the atmosphere would be 274% louder.

Just saying…



Shut Up Shop Ltd:


An act of genius from Klopp which has gone undetected by the majority.

If you have to break into a secure area, who do you call on to get you in?

  • A. Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible
  • B. Catherine Zeta Jones (in THOSE leggings) in Entrapment
  • C. The Hulk
  • D. Lucas Leiva

The answer is clearly D, and if you said A, B or C then you’ve earned yourself some extra homework (you have to read four other Ranting Rebel Ratings from last season. Off you go, I’ll wait…)

Why Lucas? Well, who better to break down the shop than the fella who knows most about shutting it up in the first place? Think about it…

Of course the bad news is that his goal heralds the end of days. It’s even in the Bible. Genesis 2:45 says ‘On the eve of the rise of the tango shitgibbon, the not very Brazilian Brazilian shall decimate the pastie-lovers by rising like a Phoenix to thunder a header home at the near post’.

And they say that the Bible is vague on specifics….



Joe Gomez: 


It’s not the first game back after a long absence that’s the tough game, it’s the second…

Adrenaline, excitement and trying not to poop your pants gets you through Game 1. However Game 2 is where reality bites, and I think we saw a bit of that with Joey G last night. He wasn’t bad, but a large Cameroonian gentleman gave him a rough time, and not the kind that certain websites specialise in…

However, considering last July he was broken and probably 6th in line (maybe even 7th) for a CB spot, he’ll take last night all day long. If you get what I mean.



Alberto Moreno: 


I’m struggling to say something about Bertie…

That’s a good thing, because it’s fair to say he’s given me plenty of ammunition for barrages of bile in the past, but last night he was downright dull.

Adequate going forward. Adequate at the back. Adequate.

I like that word.


Kevin Stewart

Kevin Stewart: 


Imagine one of those ‘Wagon-Wheels’ that you see on the graphics for the cricket, when some lad has hit a century, and they show where all his shots have gone.

Forward, Backwards, Leg-Side, On-Side, Silly Mid-Off, Dopey Back-Left, Centre-Right-Alliance (or whatever, I’m not an authority on cricket).

No, this is not Kerplunk…

Anyway, ‘Bobby’ Stewart can match Jordan Henderson’s Wagon Wheel for exactly 180° of a circle (this is going to test your maths knowledge…). Sideways (either left or right, and backwards, Kev is sound as a pound, and a match for Hendo.

However as he tries to play the ball forward, that’s where the difference is a lot more stark. The accuracy and vision are missing, but then I am comparing him to the Liverpool Captain. So I’m being harsh, right?

Well, no…not really. I mean, he’s in the squad to step in when required, so he has to step in and do the same things, at least close to the same standard…and he’s out by about 180°

P.S. If you’re now humming that Nathan Carter tune…I’m sorry *cackles*



Philippe Coutinho:


Dearest Philippe,

Please don’t go!

I know that a cold night in Plymouth, playing against an 11-man defence in front of temporary stands (and temporary fans) is not exactly ideal, but it’s way, way worse in Barcelona.

No, really, it is.

When they get drawn against a minnow in the cup, they have to play away in Lanzarote, in the crater of a volcano that’s about to erupt at any time, sulphur fills the air, dust chokes your airways, the pitch is 50% grass and 50% burning lava and the average temperature is 169°C. Fatalities are common.

What? That still sounds better than last night?

Aye, I can’t argue with you.

Love you xxx



Ovie Ejaria:


On a positive note, Ovie didn’t look out of place against Plymouth.

On a negative note, Ovie didn’t look out of place against Plymouth.

If these ‘kids’ are going to ‘make it’ at Liverpool, they should be standing out, showing signs of real class, signs that you know they’re going to play Premier League football regularly very soon.

Unfortunately, and Ovie is not alone here, none of them really did (nor did some ‘Senior’ players).

This wasn’t a one-off game either, these kids played 3 hours of football against Plymouth Argyle…and did very little…

I’m glad Jurgen is giving them a spin, because he has to find out one way or the other about whether they’re going to keep our ‘net-spend’ in the black (that’s a joke by the way…).

Should Liverpool secure a Champions League place this season, then you suspect that the summer transfer window could be busy…and you wonder where that will leave the likes of Ovie Ejaria…



Daniel Sturridge: 


When Liverpool played away to Burton Albion in the league cup last Autumn, Daniel made a cameo appearance off the bench and fired in two quick goals.

The difference between that night and last night is in the players he had around him. At Burton he had the likes of Lallana, Henderson and Mané, whereas last night he had Ejaria, Woodburn and Stewart.

I’m not making excuses for Daniel, as last night didn’t go as I’m sure he had hoped/planned, but I saw him making clever runs that better players would have spotted / anticipated.

His scoring record speaks for itself, but he plays alongside class players for the majority of those games.

Does this mean he’s not a natural ‘leader’? Probably. But did anyone ever think he was?

At his deadliest, he was playing alongside Luis Suarez who was in the form of his life (and still is…). Some players make things happen, others are deadly when others do. Daniel falls into the latter category.

Of course the eternal question still remains…does he fit into Klopp’s plans? Well I suspect that he absolutely does, until Klopp can find someone else. That’s the way of the footballing world…



Ben Woodburn:


Ben looks like a young child, all rosy-cheeked and cherubic, like he wouldn’t hurt a fly…Awww…

Ben played like a young child, all rosy-cheeked and cherubic, like he wouldn’t hurt a fly…Awww crap…

He’s very young, hopes are high and he’s got a lot of developing to do. Hopefully.



Divock Origi:


Not a great night for Divock, but there’s a caveat looming…

The poor fecker played in 5 different positions last night over 90 minutes.

Centre of the attack. Left of the attack. Right of the attack. Back to centre of the attack. Back to the left of the attack.

I’m surprised he didn’t start attacking the wrong end, he must have been dizzy.

A couple of fecking goals wouldn’t have hurt though.

It’s going to click on Saturday against Swansea, right? I mean it has to, right? It’s only fecking Swansea, right? RIGHT?




Sheyi Ojo:


15′ cameo.

I can’t remember anything about it.



Harry Wilson:


Let me tell you about Harry Wilson.

  1. He’s Welsh. He could be the next Gareth Bale. He probably won’t be.
  2. He is the youngest Welsh international ever, beating Bale’s record.
  3. He is the youngest international in LFC history.
  4. He was on loan at Crewe Alexandra. Let’s say nothing more.
  5. He’s been banging in the goals while captaining the U-23’s at the age of 19

So that’s the facts and figures.

He looked lively last night, in fairness to him. I’m glad that he didn’t score from the deflection as he charged down the goalkick. I mean, he’d much prefer his first goal for the first team to be a bit better than that…




Manager: Jurgen Klopp: 


It all feels a bit flat Jurgen. Still.

At least we have a win on the books for 2017, so that’s positive. You can also point to the fact that you’ve rotated more than the Earth since the end of 2016.

Time to get the first XI back into the groove on Saturday Jurgen. Time for the Avengers to Assemble (minus Mané). A healthy and spirit-lifting 5-0 spanking would do wonders for morale. I’ll just leave that to you…


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


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