Liverpool 2-3 Swansea City: The Ranting Rebel Ratings

Simon Mignolet Yellow

Simon Mignolet:

 

Simon has been concentrating on his meditation since he lost his place in the first team in order to remain calm, composed and ready to spring into action whenever required.

Since he regained his place, he credited his tantric sessions to his upturn in fortune and doubled-down on this new pastime. Unfortunately he took it too far today.

Deciding to go for a lie-down as the ball is just 3 yards from your own goal is just a wee bit too relaxed for my liking, and was much to the satisfaction of Llorente who stabbed the ball into an empty net with Migs on the verge of ‘Zen’.

Very little chance with either of the other two goals, but yet another day when he didn’t actually save anything. Not alone by any means in having a bad day.

6/10 

Nathaniel Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne:

 

When Klopp updated the press as to the fitness or otherwise of Patsy Clyne, he informed the assembled press pack that Patsy had gotten two running sessions under his belt and should be fine for this game.

While all that is splendid, would it be a good idea for Patsy to be introduced to a football while running? He looked like he didn’t know what a football was this afternoon. His crossing was woeful, his first touch would make a JCB blush and he was caught for two of the three goals conceded today.

Quite probably his worst performance of the season. Trent Alexander-Arnold, not even on the bench, is reported to have started his warm-up on the full-time whistle.

 5/10. 

Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren:

 

Do you remember the TV show ‘Quantum Leap’?

If not, it was all about some scientist dude that could travel back and forward in time, ‘leaping’ into the bodies of some randomers, living their lives while everybody he interacted with didn’t know that ‘he’ was ‘not him/her’. It was a cracking show when you only had 2 channels and Netflix wasn’t even invented….

Anyway, today Dejan Lovren had a real-life ‘Quantum Leap’ episode. That wasn’t really him on the pitch today. Nope, in a stunning development it was Bjorn Tore Kvarma who was spirited into the body of Lovren, which led him to play like, well, Bjorn Tore Kvarma. And it wasn’t the Bjorn Tore Kvarma who played in red in the 90’s, it was the 44 year old Bjorn Tore Kvarma of today…

How else can you explain how Lovren was there but really wasn’t? He missed tackles, he missed headers, he missed bloody everything. Shocking. Again. You have to think that Jurgen will eventually lose patience with the fact that his centre-half keeps throwing in shockers every few months…

5/10

Klavan

Ragnar Klavan: 

 

So you finally find out, on the eve of the game, that the fella itching to take your place in the team has just been given the all-clear to do so. The next game is going to be your last chance to put down a marker and to try and keep your place.

Ragnar chose this afternoon to do the bloody opposite. Less Klavan The Barbarian, more Klavan The Metrosexual.

Utterly dominated by Llorente, but in fairness to him he played the best pass of any player in red today…right into the path of Gorgeous Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Matip is back and Ragnar is now about to go into hibernation for the rest of the winter. Personally I’d chuck him in a cryogenic chamber and throw away the key.

4/10

james-milner

James Milner: 

 

When all around you are losing their head, you can count on James Milner to keep his.

A cracking tussle with Wayne Routledge for the full match, he also decided that enough was enough at two down, rolled up his sleeves (yes, even when they’re short sleeves he rolls them up to his shoulders) and dragged Liverpool back into the match.

A cracking cross led to the first for Bobby Firmino and James was thundering up and down the left wing chasing the winner.

It’s ironic that in a back-four where he’s not in his ‘natural position’, he’s the only one who emerged with his reputation intact.

7/10

jordan-henderson

Jordan Henderson: 

 

Wayward with his passing, particularly in the first half, as he tried to force things against the mass-ranks of the Swansea defence, but he worked as hard as anybody to try and turn around what was a living nightmare for all in red.

However…

When you’re captain of a side, you have to see what others don’t see, and keep calm when all around you are losing their head….

When Liverpool equalised with over 20′ left to play, there was no need for a gung-ho, desperate assault on the Swansea City goal. They were on the ropes, and right where we wanted them. Naturally many in red wanted to pile forward, get the winner as soon as possible, but that’s where leaders are required on the pitch…

Hendo needed to get everybody to calm down. Get word to them all to settle, take it easy and to work a winner in due course, not at the next available opportunity. However he seemed to be as caught up in the drama as everyone else.

Harsh? Perhaps, but Oh Captain My Captain, that’s why you should be different.

6/10

Emre Can

Emre Can:

 

Prior to kick-off, I tweeted (you can check if you don’t believe me) that Jurgen Klopp had gotten his team selection wrong.

I hate when I’m right.

We had no need for all three of Emre Can, Jordan Henderson and The Geordie Wine Gum to play at home to a Swansea City side who were certain to put 11 men behind the ball, particularly to start the game (which amazingly, they did!).

When you’re faced with a mass defence, who are intent on shackling your front players and playing the defensive line in touching distance of the midfield line and denying any space for the likes of Coutinho/Firmino to turn and run at them, you need to deploy Lallana deeper. He can then make the kind of late, surging runs into the box that nullifies a deep-lying defence, and keeps all the Swansea midfielders on their toes.

Alas, Emre was selected for a game that did not suit him. Games like last week away at Old Trafford are where Emre now thrives. Maybe in time he’ll develop to take games like today by the scruff of the neck, but his current abilities tend to slow up the ball and prevent the quick passing and movement required to unlock the defence.

Many have said that he was picked as Klopp knows that even against a Swansea City, we can be caught too easily on the break. That’s a valid point but…well, how did that work out again?

A poor day for Emre, but he was played a hospital ball by his gaffer…

6/10.

Wijnaldum

Geordie Wine Gum:

 

For over an hour, it was another one of those games where I was asking myself ‘But what exactly does Gini do?’…and then he answered me.

What The Geordie Wine Gum did to set up the equalising goal is something that I can’t see Emre Can doing at present, so that’s why he starts ahead of Emre in games like this in the future.

I’m not saying he was magnificent, and for large chunks of the game he was all at sea as much as the next man, but he showed quality when it mattered.

A little more wouldn’t hurt mind…

7/10

 Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana: 

 

Considering he was played away from his best position, I thought Adam was magnificent this afternoon. The vast majority of threat came through him and he was desperately unlucky not to get on the scoresheet or provide an assist.

I don’t want to harp on about it, but if he had been deployed from deep for the full game, things may have been different. Of course our defence would still have been as effective as a waterproof teabag, but we may have scored a few more…

8/10.

firmino

Roberto Firmino:

 

Welcome back Bobby F!

That’s two of the best goals of the season, right there, right when we needed them.

A superb sneaky shove in the back of the defender before a THUNDEROUS header into the net, but this was usurped by a frankly filthy piece of skill to chest down a looping cross and half-volley the ball into the corner from 12 yards.

I want to leave my wife and kids and run away with that piece of skill. His double-act with Philippe will only grow in strength as Coutinho gets back to full match fitness.

I can’t bloody wait. We need him now more than ever.

9/10.

coutinho

Philippe Coutinho:

 

Dearest Philippe,

It’s good to have you back and starting a game for the first time since November.

As you have seen, very little has changed since your last start. Teams still come to Anfield to park the bus, but during your absence a little bit of magic, a little spark, a little je ne sais quoi has been lost from the team. Nobody can put their finger on what it is (some say it’s called ‘SADIO’, whatever that is), but I need you to do whatever you can to bring it back. Please.

Yes, it’s unfair to ask someone just walking again to ride to the rescue, but that’s your lot mate. Get Bobby dazzing again. Get Adam back in the goals. Get Mané back from Africa (kidnap him if you have to).

You know what to do.

Love you xxx

7/10

Substitutes:

sturridge

Daniel Sturridge:

 

When you come out in an interview and proclaim that you’re the best striker at the club, it would be nice if you come off the bench v Swansea City and prove it.

I’m not saying Daniel was poor, but he didn’t have the impact I was hoping for.

6/10

origi

Divock Origi:

20′ to make an impact…and it didn’t happen. Oh for the Origi of a few weeks ago who was rescuing a win against Sunderland.

Mind you, for the majority of his time on the pitch he was asked to be Andy bloody Carroll with long balls fired at his head. That’s not his game, like….

6/10

joel-matip

Joel Matip:

If you think I’m going to research some Billy Joel lyrics for an injury time cameo appearance, you’ve got another thing coming.

Thrown on up front? That’s embarrassing.

N/A


klopp-new

Manager: Jurgen Klopp: 

 

It’s great! 10 league games left at home! Fortress Anfield! Watch the run we go on now!

Well, that lasted all of 90 minutes.

You picked the wrong bloody team Jurgen. W.R.O.N.G. But we all make mistakes.

You’re in the trenches now Jurgen. Whether it’s an issue with energy levels, fitness, motivation, belief…whatever…it’s down to you to fix it.

Where before kick-off we are eyeing a league title, we’re now cheering on Burnley/Hull to help us in a quest for a Champions League place.

You’re right Jurgen, every game from now on is a final. You’ve got a great record in finals, right? RIGHT?

Awww crap….

6/10.

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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