Friday, February 3, 2023

Liverpool Player Ratings: Mané’s Top Marks Nabbed By This Surprise Player

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Jon Depp (JD)
Eccentric writer, effervescent blagger. What he lacks in cheekbones, he makes up by being cheeky. The footballing Jack Sparrow pompously navigating the high-waves of journalism. 2015 International Football Blogging Award Finalist, the pin-up boy of The 4th Official.

Venue: White Hart Lane
Score: 1-1
Scorers: Milner [43rd minute penalty]; Danny Rose [72nd minute].

Simon Mignolet – 6

Such is the thankless lives of goalkeepers that they are remembered for the mistakes they commit than the good they do. Two saves from two free-kicks each from Eriksen and Lamela, and then an absolute blinder from Alderweireld was undone by letting Danny Rose shot through the near post. Basic goal-keeping 101. Pity. Errors such as these will number his days at the club.

Nathaniel Clyne – 5

AWOL when Danny Rose was steaming in for his goal, tiredness seems to be creeping into his game. Liverpool need to bench him to make sure he doesn’t get jaded so early in the season. But the question is, who?

Joel Matip – 7

A matter of a few inches denied big Joel a debut goal, as it took the paint off the upper side of the crossbar. The elegance and shrewdness in his play came to the fore today, however, while he used the ball impeccably well, there were suggestions that he will need to come to terms of the physicality the English game provides.

Dejan Lovren – 6

Is there thin ice covering in lakes were they ice-skate in Croatia? If so, they’d better not let Dejan have a spin, because he’ll crack all of them. Dejan Lovren was living dangerously and treading on thin ice with there were egg shells lying all over the ice for some reason, because metaphors and analogies work that way. Needn’t be as robust as he needs to be accurate, things could have easily gone belly up for him if the referee, Robert Madley, was consistent with his yellow cards.

James Milner – 9

I take back all the mean things I’ve said about James Milner-the-left-back… till the 10th of September. He was inspired today. So much so, he elicited tongue-in-cheek chants of “Boring, Boring James” in the very critical settings of our local pub. Gorgeous penalty to boot, he made some superb challenges and didn’t for a moment look out of place. On one occasion, James, in an attempt to cover and close down an angle of an impending shot from the edge of the box, tumbled over as his knees buckled in the sheer effort of the task – but since James is nothing but sincere, somehow managed to pull himself up again, just when the trigger was about to be pulled, and snuffed the threat. A leader’s performance. Well done.

Jordan Henderson – 6

Klopp gave the club captain an absolute earful. It’s easy to see why. A central defensive role isn’t something Jordan Henderson’s attributes are suited for. Not yet, anyway. And that time where he could be half-useful there, in the holding role looks to be some considerable time away. Did well with a few block, particularly, one off Alli (he’d want us to use Dele). But nothing of note to speak of, apart from his usual graft.

Genie Wijnaldum – 4

Might as well have not been there. To say that Genie Wijnaldum looks a little lost in his new designated role, would be like saying that Hansel and Gretel knew what they were doing, and that Jimmy Hoffa is still playing hide-and-seek.

Adam Lallana – 6

Looks more at home, playing centrally. But, honestly, his end product is still lacking as it was last season. Does the geggenpress bit well, to his credit but needs to add more verticality his play, and the play he provides for his teammates, and preferably a few assists or goals. Did manage a few through balls, but to no lasting effect.

Sadio Mane – 8

The fatigue showed in his late, wayward challenges. A fresher, consequently, a quicker Sadio would back himself in those one on ones he kept losing, due to him being a yard off-pace. Could have gotten a second yellow, Klopp took too long to take him off – and why not? He was Liverpool’s best player gain in the first-half, the near-perfect conduit of attack – but his influence waned as the game wore on. The fact that he could have had a hat-trick of assists playing at what would be his 70% could be both a heartening sign as well as an alarming one – he needs to be rested.

Philippe Coutinho – 6

Not sure if Lil’ Phil for the big occasions considers Spurs a big enough team to pack his dancing shoes for. Certainly didn’t. An average display by his standards.

Roberto Firmino – 7

Bob tried, persevered, and it almost came off. Looking to carve up opportunities for his mates was in the forefront of his game today, but we much rather prefer the ghoster who is unmarkable till the point he has team-mates climbing on his back, celebrating another Firmino tap in.

Substitutes

Divock Origi [on for Coutinho, 69th minute] – 5

Looked like his entity was cramped. Hasn’t recovered from the exertions nor the injury from midweek. His first-touch was wayward – always a sign of a player struggling for form and rhythm.

Daniel Sturridge [on for Sadio 88th minute] – N/A

Faced the passive-aggressive brunt of Herr Klopp. Despite being the sharper than Divock, the Belgian was thrown into the mix, while the fussy former Chelsea man fumed at the sidelines. Came on at the death, with very little impact.

Kevin Stewart [on for Lallana 90+4th minute] – N/A

Thrown in to put the bodies behind the ball, the whistle was blown even before he managed to start jockeying.

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