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Football News: Liverpool v Huddersfield Town - A Liverpool Perspective

Liverpool v Huddersfield Town - A Liverpool Perspective
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Liverpool v Huddersfield Town A Liverpool Perspective

 


Men against boys. That almost totally sums up the game. Actually calling Huddersfield boys oversells their contribution to the match. It was more like a man stepping on a cockroach and grinding it beneath its heel, but the first time it gets up and walks away, then he steps on it again. This time it crawls away, but a bit more slowly and with less life. Each step leaves it a little slower and weaker. At no time do you ever feel it is capable of actually fighting back. That is what the Terriers were like, little more than a show of life.

Huddersfield have completely lost their way and the identity that won them promotion. Promotion was won on the back of a lot of hard running, high pressing and a brave game that was played as much as possible in the opposition third. Since promotion they have tried to turn into a passing team that dominates the ball, but they lack the quality of players to do that. Especially when their one creative outlet on the ball, Alex Pritchard, is sat on the bench until late in the second half when the game was over. They are little more than lambs to the slaughter now, who meekly surrender the game almost as soon as it kicks off.

 


Siewert - his arrival in place of Wagner seems to have done absolutely nothing to improve matters at the club. In fact, quite the opposite. Since he came in, the team's confidence has just evaporated and the drive and desire that saved them last season has gone too. How much of that is down to him is difficult to ascertain, but he certainly has not shown any sign of being able to turn things around. He does not even seem to know the players yet, as he is asking them to play a certain way but not picking the right players to do that. Rating: 0.

 

Lossl - has a real problem with his positioning as he is always so eager to come off his line. Whenever anyone is on the ball running through or the ball is coming in around the edge of the box, he is desperate to charge out. Even if his defenders can deal with it easily. Whether that is because he has been dropped and was eager to impress or not I am not sure, but it is a very real weakness. Rating: 1.

 

Smith - simply unable to cope with the movement around him and was left chasing shadows. Rating: 1.5.

 

Schindler - the one player who does look capable of playing at Premier League level but he was badly let down by having to chase around trying to cover for the rest of the defence. His back must be killing him from trying to carry that back four this season! Rating: 4.

 

Kongolo - woeful. Utterly awful. Has the technique of a blindfolded Lukaku and the skill of a small child kicking the ball for the first time, added to the awareness of a heavily inebriated bloke asleep on the sofa at a party as his mates shave his eyebrows off and draw a penis on his head with an indelible marker. Rating: 0.5.

 

Durm - looked like a little boy lost and had no confidence or fight in him. Rating: 2.

 

Stankovic - stupidly gave the ball away early on but was too stupid to even learn the lesson and kept making similar mistakes all game. Hopeless. Rating: 1.

 

Mbenza - I really have no idea what he offers. Not all his own fault, he never really got any chance to show anything. Rating: 2.5.

 

Hogg - the one player who kept going and going, chasing and working for the full game. He does lack a bit of quality but at least he gave his all and never let his head drop, unlike the rest around him. Rating: 5.

 

Bacuna - puts himself about but offers nothing in real terms. Rating: 2.

 

Grant - their only real attacking threat. Unfortunately for him, they did not get the ball to him nearly enough. Rating: 5.

 

Mounie - hopeless. Has absolutely no confidence and lacks quality. Rating: 0.5.

 

Subs:

Lowe - replaced Mounie after 65 minutes. Seemed an odd substitution and never worked at all. Grant was the only danger they had playing in that wide position, so he moved him central and left him isolated up top. Lowe was unable to get himself involved. Rating: 3.

Pritchard - came on for Stankovic in the 81st minute. Not sure what he was meant to do. Just a waste of the one player they have with the quality on the ball to create something. Rating: 4.5.

Kachunga - brought on in the 87th minute to replace Mbenza. Barely saw the ball let alone touched it. Rating: 4.5.

 


Klopp - it was far too easy for him, but he was given the chance to get Oxlade-Chamberlain back in action to give the crowd a boost and he took it. There have to be questions asked of his decision to start with Sturridge though. Rating: 6.5.

 

Alisson - when it matters he makes the saves but he was not exactly put under real pressure. Rating: 6.

 

Alexander-Arnold - provided some delicious balls and got forward in support of the attacks really well, despite the one attacking threat, Grant, being down his side. His delivery is truly exceptional. Rating: 7.5.

 

Lovren - while you have to bear in mind that it was not the toughest of tests, Lovren had an excellent game. Even providing a lovely cross at one point. You can see the closeness that has developed between him and Salah off the pitch as he is always looking to find the Egyptian when he gets on the ball. Covered in behind Alexander-Arnold very effectively, though it was made fairly easy for him. Rating: 7.5.

 

van Dijk - this was the kind of game that used to be a problem for van Dijk. They were just too easy for a player of his ability and he would lose concentration. Not in this game though. He was imperious. Yes it was far too easy for him, but he never lost focus, he just took charge at the back. Rating: 8.

 

Robertson - exceptional game, one of his best in a Liverpool shirt. Never gave Huddersfield's right side time or space to build anything. For once his delivery was consistently excellent as well, I can remember just one poor delivery. It was a borderline 9 performance. Rating: 8.5.

 

Wijnaldum - he was a big part of Liverpool's domination of the midfield, playing in the deeper role of the three. Provided good cover at the back and allowed Henderson and Keita the freedom of the park. Rating: 6.5.

 

Henderson - playing with the enthusiasm and energy of a 17 year old making his debut at the moment. He could do with another goal, as his finishing has been wayward, but his all round play has been superb with some lovely passes. Rating: 7.5.

 

Keita - scored the opening goal and was generally excellent throughout the game. Not just going forward, he was also a willing worked tracking back really well. He did get caught out a couple of times with players running off the back of him, but he was always willing to put in the effort to try and make up for his errors. Rating: 8.5.

 

Mane - could have easily had a hat-trick and absolutely tormented the Huddersfield defence. You have to feel sorry for the player who has to face him as he knows the rest of the defence will be busy doubling up on Salah and he will be stuck one-on-one with Mane. No one wants to be facing Mane without help as he is capable of beating anyone and making them look silly. Rating: 9.5.

 

Salah - he was doing a similar job to Mane on the other side, though a little more wayward with his shooting, despite his two goals. Hit far too many shots when there were better options, but still had an excellent game. That just shows how good he is. Rating: 8.5.

 

Sturridge - anonymous for most of the game. Has a lovely first touch but he was really poor at linking up the play. He just does not do enough to deserve to be in the side. It was almost like playing with ten men. Sad to see, as he was sensational 5 years ago. Rating: 3.

 

Subs:

Shaqiri - replaced Wijnaldum after 73 minutes. Managed to really get himself involved and looked good, much more like the Shaqiri that started the season. Rating: 6.

Oxlade-Chamberlain - was brought on for Sturridge in the 73rd minute. For a first appearance after a year out he was brilliant. For a 20 minute sub appearance he was very good as well. He genuinely made a difference. However, he is coming back from a long lay-off and cannot be expected to perform at that level for 90 minutes yet. Rating: 6.5.

Gomez - brought on in the 88th minute for Alexander-Aronold. Never had time or enough to do to really effect the game. Rating: 5.

 

Just to explain my ratings. I have gone for what I believe is more simple than the usual of totting up points. I have decided to go with 5 as having no effect on the game other than being a body on the pitch. Anything below 5 is a player who had a negative effect on his team and anything above 5 as a positive effect. So a goal scored would be a positive effect and add to the rating, whereas giving away a penalty with a needless challenge would take away from it.

Written by Tris Burke April 27 2019 17:41:08

 

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