Young Liverpool stars ready for Premier League after FA Cup performances

10.02.2016


The performances of a number of Liverpool’s young talents in Tuesday’s 2-1 FA Cup defeat to West Ham United proved they are fit for the Premier League.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, February 9, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and Pedro Chirivella during the FA Cup 4th Round Replay match against West Ham United at Upton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In a month of bad PR for Liverpool, results continue to go against Jurgen Klopp‘s side on the field, with a loss away to West Ham on Tuesday the latest in a string of disappointing outcomes.

But while the German’s body continues to heal and goodwill between supporters and owners continues to fracture, the performance of a young Reds outfit at the Boleyn Ground should serve as a truly positive standpoint.

They may not have been able to salvage a result against Slaven Bilic’s side, but a Liverpool lineup with an average age of just 23 years old gave a strong account of themselves.

Having passed another tough test in the FA Cup, Klopp’s young talents have now earned game time in the Premier League and beyond.

 

West Ham 2-1 Liverpool

LONDON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, February 9, 2016: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia celebrates scoring the first goal against West Ham United during the FA Cup 4th Round Replay match at Upton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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Sullen but dignified in his post-match briefing, Klopp rightly testified that Liverpool were the better team at the Boleyn Ground, having spent much of the 120 minutes of play dominating their claret-and-blue opposition.

Lining his side up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, the German put his faith in a youthful spine, while swarming lone striker Christian Benteke with attacking talent.

This saw 18-year-old Pedro Chrivella make his full debut at the base of the midfield, alongside FA Cup success story Kevin Stewart, while Jordon Ibe, Joao Carlos Teixeira and a returning Philippe Coutinho played supporting roles in the forward line.

Pairing an out-of-position Lucas Leiva at the heart of the defence, Tiago Ilori made only his third senior appearance of the season, after six months in obscurity at Aston Villa.

Jon Flanagan and Brad Smith took up roles on the defensive flanks, completing a makeshift, inexperienced lineup.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, February 9, 2016: Liverpool's Joao Carlos Teixeira in action against West Ham United's Winston Reid during the FA Cup 4th Round Replay match at Upton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Despite this, Liverpool produced a strong, compact, sum-of-all-parts performance, overwhelming West Ham in the attacking sector with neat, one-touch moves, and keeping shape with a combative, composed midfield.

It took two moments of true quality for both sides to find the back of the net, with Michail Antonio striking first with a powerful volley, before Coutinho levelled with an inspired free-kick.


But that Liverpool were able to hold their own against a nearly full-strength Hammers outfit over almost three and a half hours is a testament to their quality, spirit and work ethic.

Though Angelo Ogbonna’s last-minute header consigned the Reds to defeat, there were a number of hugely impressive performance to take away from these fourth-round tie.

 

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Who Impressed the Most?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, February 9, 2016: Liverpool's Pedro Chirivella in action against West Ham United during tche FA Cup 4th Round Replay match at Upton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp hailed a number of his young stars in his post-match press conference, taking positives from a disappointing result.

Flanagan, Smith, Stewart, Chirivella, Ilori, Teixeira and Ibe were among those singled out for praise from a manager who clearly has a keen eye for youth development.

In his first start for the club, Chirivella was perhaps the most impressive, with his composure, guile and technical ability allowing him to dictate play from his role in the midfield pivot.

The Spaniard can look forward to a bright future on Merseyside, having made another step on the way to establishing himself in the first team.

He stands above fellow U21s midfielders such as Cameron Brannagan and Jordan Rossiter in terms of finesse, but is able to pair this cultured quality with a tenacity suited to English football.

Alongside him, Stewart performed with brute force and sheer determination, with his willingness to fly into challenges minutes after being left writhing in agony from a late West Ham challenge highlighting his commitment to the cause.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, February 9, 2016: Liverpool's Kevin Stewart in action against West Ham United during the FA Cup 4th Round Replay match at Upton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Stewart offers Liverpool’s midfield something unique, as a tough-tackling, forward-thinking defensive midfielder, and his ability to find space in the midfield deserves recognition.

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In the defensive line, both Smith and Ilori were equally impressive, though for different aspects of their game.

Ilori was strong, aggressive and front-footed in his defensive play, stepping out of the back line with confidence to quell West Ham attacks, and though he was lucky to not concede a penalty after pulling Enner Valencia down in the box, he kept the Ecuadorian quiet throughout.


Meanwhile Smith provided Liverpool with a useful presence on the left attacking flank, with his surging runs and crossing ability crafting a number of useful openings.

That they were all able to perform to such a high standard away to Premier League opposition should be a cause for optimism for Klopp, with his squad now fleshed out with young talent ready and able to prove themselves on the big stage.

But who is the most likely to feature this season?

 

Who is Most Likely to Feature?

EXETER, ENGLAND - Friday, January 8, 2016: Liverpool's Brad Smith in action against Exeter City during the FA Cup 3rd Round match at St. James Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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The challenge ahead for the likes of Stewart and Smith is establishing themselves as useful alternatives for, or even upgrades on, Klopp’s current first-team incumbents.

This poses a problem for a number of the young players to impress on Tuesday night.

For Stewart and Chirivella in particular, they would be entering a midfield landscape packed with quality and promise.

In Emre Can and Jordan Henderson, Klopp has a favoured midfield pairing that are both able to thrive at the top level at this stage and, at 22 and 25 respectively, will continue to develop both as individuals and as a partnership.

This is a similar situation to that of Teixeira, who has so far struggled to break into an attacking midfield that also includes Coutinho, Ibe, Adam Lallana and James Milner.

With Coutinho making his return from a hamstring injury on Tuesday night, the Portuguese’s prospects continue to diminish; though it can be argued that he is a better option than Ibe.

EXETER, ENGLAND - Friday, January 8, 2016: Liverpool's Tiago Ilori in action against Exeter City during the FA Cup 3rd Round match at St. James Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The two players most likely to carve out a role in the first team in the Premier League are Ilori and Smith, with Liverpool’s defensive issues throughout 2015/16 well documented.

Ilori is far off full fitness at this stage, but as a tall, quick, ball-playing centre-back he offers Klopp an invaluable option, with the prospect of the former Sporting CP man partnering Mamadou Sakho in the long term, for example, more encouraging than the likes of Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure.

Though both have similar flaws to their game—namely in their defensive positioning—Smith could find an avenue into the first team ahead of Alberto Moreno at left-back.

Moreno has looked in dire need of a rest in recent weeks, and Smith has proved himself a capable deputy.


That it is possible to draw so many positives from such a disappointing result speaks volumes about the youthful quality at Klopp’s disposal.

With the German still tasked with finding a balance between league affairs and success in the League Cup and the Europa League, this will be beneficial.

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WEST HAM 2-1 LIVERPOOL

REPORT: Reds knocked out of FA Cup at the death

REACTIONS: “Brave performance”, “A bitter end”

RATINGS: Lucas and Stewart impress

TACTICS: Reds show signs of fluency in changing system

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142 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s not be too hasty. Most of the neutral ratings did not rate Teixeira all that high and in most positions we got a senior player that is much further.

    Smith over Moreno is a popular shout but last night showed they’re pretty much a carbon copy and then it’s a lad who won a European trophy, played 134 games for clubs vs. a lad with just 18 games.

    How much I like Stewart and want him to get more games it’s a fair shout that Lucas is a more reliable option. Illori did allright but lads as Sakho, Lovren, Skrtel, Caulker and Kolo are much, much further. Some might not be in form or available, but having him in is close to madness.

    Surely it was more then wonderful to see them have a go and stood their ground. Made me effin proud of that performance. But that doesn’t mean they’re suddenly ready to battle it out etc.

    • That might be true. However, based on the performances of the seniors this season alone, I’d say the young ones are not too far behind. Going forward the situation might change, but based on what the young ones have done this season, I’d advocate playing them more

    • All the further ahead players you have mentioned have failed time and time again in the last two seasons ilori played better last night than any of our other centre backs he can actually turn and tackle . This bunch last nite with firmino up top would have beaten west ham easily our so called further ahead players haven’t managed that with years on a side note Stewart did more last night than 15 million joe Allen has done since he got to the club

      • Allen is an attacking midfielder used as a DM. Stewart is a DM by heart.

        And all of the first team players have allready shown they can do that. So to take four games from Stewart and one from Illori I can come up with 40 good DM games from Lucas and 10 good games by Lovren. So it’s just that: a few good games. Doesn’t make them guarenteed starters.

          • In this world. It’s why Klopp had him play there, it’s why he plays that for Wales and it’s why he played there for Swansea.

          • Youre spot on with Allen, he really isn´t a DM, more MC really we just don’t use that position much. Used to have a player named Danny Murphy who was slotted for that role. Similar player to Allen. We use DM AM and no MC, we like’m tight :) so Allen is in either slot and I personally agree he does better in the AM role.

          • he’s a central midfielder, he is not an attacking midfielder. in my eyes an attacking midfielder is the likes of Coutinho, Ozil & Silva. Allen plays nowhere near as high up as this lot. our interpretation of AM must be different

          • You can compare him to a number 10 like Litmanen, Sneijder and vd Vaart. More a playmaker 10 then second striker 10

      • Ilori was outstanding. For me he is the closest to breaking through into the 1st team (bar Flanno who I already consider 1st team squad).

    • Flanno is more likely to replace Moreno than Smith…most are not considering the idea of moving Moreno into the midfield, I wouldn’t rule it out after Ibe’s performances.
      I completely disagree about Lucas though. The player has been a liability and one of our worst players in the previous four games…so I feel Stewart maybe in contention for some minutes, but still behind Hendo, Allen and Milner.
      Lucas as a CB…now that’s a very real possibility. A brilliant performance from him last night, and I think you are underestimating how good Ilori played. For me Ilori was the more intelligent player, whilst Lucas was the brave partner. Like when Hyypia made it look so easy by reading the game, heading everything away and coming out of defense with the ball, whilst Lucas was the Henchoz making block and throwing his body in front of everything…I would say this team needs a Hyypia type player more than a Henchoz, so Ilori for me could be the breakthrough player when fully fit.

      • Ilori.. fitness first, some games and then we’ll see. Not right now.

        Flanno is obviously not a youth player making the grade. Was an English international when he bust the knees. I’d love for him to start over Moreno.

          • Not convinced on that because of one game though. History at all his loan clubs show it. Never made it to 20 games a season, anywhere. If he’s fit and good enough, he should start. Just don’t think that’s warranted on 1,5 game.

          • You do realize our CB’s are Sktrel, Lovren, Sakho, Toure and Caulker, right?
            Great in the air, Only 22 years of age. Calm and composed, A ball playing CB who is happy to bring the ball out, and step up to quash danger.
            I expect him to get more game time before the season is out and to be part of the 1st team squad for next season.
            Matip and Ilori?

          • I rate Lovren well over the current CB’s. And a Sakho in form is captain of France. Quite simple, Ilori is a nice backup and could move into 4th place CB next season behind Matip, Lovren and Sakho. Which is nice, since we paid enough for the lad.

          • You are forgetting young Gomez.
            I don’t rate either Lovren pr Sakho. Sktrel is a liability and Toure past it.
            Time for Klopp to build and nurture a young team.
            Clyne Flanno Gomez, Ilori, Matip all have a great chance.
            Bring in Timo Horn ahead of Ward.
            Grujic, Hendo, Can…we have some great young talent and after the summer transfer window where everyone will be shocked by how much Klopp will spend (£150 million+) we can start competing again for the EPL

          • Well that’s 3 players I hope we don’t buy!!!
            Gotze £37 million, but I don’t think Klopp will go for him…More likely to go for Michy Batshuayi £30 million +
            You only think he will be bringing 5 players in? You can double that number and then add 2 or 3. 12 or 13 summer signings (inc Grujic and Matip). £150 million gross spend and a net spend of £50 million + (maybe as much as £75 million.

          • Then why did we bid for a striker in the final weekend of the transfer window? The only reason the deal wasn’t finalized was the selling club couldn’t find a replacement in the time remaining.
            Doesn’t sound much like a club who are happy with their 5 strikers to me!

          • Teixeira isn’t a striker, never was. A mobile 10, able to play any of the front 4 spots in a Klopp system.

          • whose talking about Teixeira?
            We had a £22.7 million offer for Mauro Icardi turned down on deadline day, as Inter said too late for them to find a replacement

          • No but I do believe that story has substance. Neither Inter or LFC have denied the claim!!

          • There’s only one bid confirmed, that’s Texeira. All the rest is a 100% media crap to get clicks and sell papers.

          • Yet more nonsense!!
            not every rumour is click bait! Granted the vast majority are, but not all.
            Liverpool would have made enquirers and bids for other players, it’s just the neither side sees the need to publicize.
            It was not LFC who first advertised the fact they were after Tex, it was the selling club

          • No nonsense in anything. Get me the “confirmed bid” for Icardi from a reliable source and I’ll say “okay then.” Only one confirmed, Tex and we couldn’t make it happen. Fair enough, we move on.

            Obviously not everything is clickbait. We’re used by players and agents to force a move, during negotiations or spot in the team. We’re used by clubs to attract interest in their players etc. It’s not all clickbait. But most importantly: a lot is not true.

          • I’m sure we’ve been calling around a bit. Gotze said not now, or the club said not now. Schalke obviously said not now. So that’s summer targets then.

          • We never inquired about Gotze, the player was merely answering a question to the media…click bait!
            I would love Gotze, but if a summer target why bid on Tex who plays in the very same position? Doesn’t add up to me, And Im not convinced Gotze is Klopps main summer target, and for £37 million he would most likely be.

          • Yeah we did.

            On top of that, he’s valued at 33.75 at the start of this season. He’s been involved in 11 games for Bayern so that won’t suddenly be 37, more like 25-30. On top of that in the summer he needs to renew or move on. Bayern isn’t looking to renew as far as reports go so he needs to be moved. Last year contract-transfers are usually 0.8 to 1 times market value. So that 37M won’t happen.

          • Not if Bayern don’t want to sell he won’t, and other clubs (as they will) would want him. £33.75 you still on transferMarket? :) 50 million euros is the figure Bayern are reported to want, and that is £37.48 million..
            and how do you know we contacted Bayern…show my where Liverpool or Bayern have confirmed this happened?

          • Google “Gotze Liverpool” and click the first link, actual quotes from the club. I’m still waiting for the confirmed Icardi bid?

          • Because the player wants something. Bayern never holds on to players that want something else then staying at Bayern. Simple well known fact.

          • I know that. Everyone does, But it’s just as likely he was encouraging Bayern to give him conformation about his future and role at the club. With Pepe leaving I’m not sure if that will be a good or bad thing for us, as all depends on who takes over and if he sees Gotze as a player he wants to play regular or not.

          • You mean the metro? haha :)
            can’t find anything that confirms Liverpool made a bid or Bayern received one, nor confirmation that we inquired about his availability…although I assume we would have, as would have been stup1d not to.

          • The metro just reporting what Sammer said. Actual quotes and all that. I never said a bid, I said that there’s been an inquiry. Still waiting for your Icardi bid btw?

          • …and where exactly does Sammer confirm Liverpool made an inquiry?

            Bayern Munich chief Matthias Sammer has failed to rule out the prospect of Mario Gotze sealing a summer transfer to Liverpool.

            The club’s sporting director admits that there will need to be talks over the Germany international’s future, with the player himself strongly hinting he’d be keen on a reunion with Jurgen Klopp in a recent interview.

            ‘Mario’s comments were an indication that we will have to sit down at some point in the coming months and discuss his situation. That is only logical,’ Sammer is quoted as saying in the Daily Express.

            Gotze and Klopp struck up a fine working relationship together during their time at Borussia Dortmund, but the 23-year-old’s career has stalled somewhat at the Allianz Arena.

            This has led to rumoured interest from Klopp, who could do with an attacking player of Gotze’s ability at Liverpool.

          • Yes I did, to prove you are talking nonsense. Nowhere in that Metro article does it even imply, let alone confirm that an inquiry was made…so no need for applause, just an apology will do.
            What part of my earlier response saying neither Liverpool or Inter would have felt the need to confirm, are you not understanding?

          • Okay, no link, no confirmed bid, just people not reacting to dodgy reports.

            Can’t count, goes on about things like he’s better then others. We’re done buddy. Come Back when you got something.

          • Yet you claim we inquired about Gotze, yet Icardi bid is nonsense…the difference between them, is what exactly? We both chose to believe certain reports had credibility.
            I thought you were referring to loan signings, and not players returning from loans at other clubs..even so, the numbers are still 9,7,6 in 1st 3 seasons…and I expect at least 9 this summer (inc Grujic and hopefully Matip)

          • As far as I am concerned we did. The only difference was I never claimed to have proof, yet you did when you didn’t!

          • You do realize that EPL clubs will now be fleeced by European clubs with the new TV money arriving. Every player’s value will increase I suspect by 20-30% in the summer.

          • Look at Bayerns transfers out and their worth. They never drive a hard bargain. Well known fact that they’re quite relaxed in transfer negotiations. Players that want to leave can leave. And because they never drive a hard bargain they usually get the transfers in for a reasonable amount as well.

          • I’m hoping the club confirm the Matip deal in the next few days, to add to the Grujic signing.

          • If you seriously think Klopp won’t add to his striking options in the summer, you are deluding yourself.

          • Agree to disagree. IMO this will be a massive summer cull and spending. A new striker for me is a certainty

          • Well, since Klopp hasn’t been lying since he came in, don’t expect too much. I can see Enrique, Balo, Tex, Allen, Sinclair, Skrtel and Kolo leaving. Possible Lallana and Lucas, maybe a few youngsters like Rossiter with the contractsituation. The rest will stay. He’ll bring in a few and we start to work.

          • Lying!?!? Klopp never ssaid he wouldn’t or would make many signings in the summer, as he didn’t know…how could hge before he assessed the squad!?
            He will bring in a few? It will be a lot more than a few.
            You have already named 7 or 9 players that will leave, yet we will only buy a few? There will not be much difference between numbers leaving and numbers coming in.
            I predict 12 in and 13 out.
            I also don’t see Allen leaving.
            I do expect a couple of our higher profile players to be replaced though…one of Benteke, Lovren, Lallana etc…a sale where £20 million + can come in for Klopp to invest in what he feels is an upgrade

          • Klopp said, more then once, that he thinks this is a very good group. That he likes the squad etc. etc. I’ve allready named 7. Those 7 have played 63 games together. That’s 2 fit players in total. Gomez and Ings.

            So don’t be too dishearted when he sticks with a lot of players. It’s what he usually does.

          • No he doesn’t!!!
            I suggest you go onto transferMarket and see how many players leave and arrived each summer under Klopp.
            circa 12 in 13 out!!

          • Yes he did, more then once, more then twice. Yes he did.

            That includes a lot of youngsters being moved from the first team to the second and vice versa as well mate. First season he did the clearout as he had to. Lots of players old, mediocre and replaced them with young and/or raw potential. There’s no need for that here. Fringe players will leave but that’s it.

          • It will not just be fringe players leaving!
            …and he never once said that any individual will stay at the club. He is assessing the squad and will make whatever changes he deems necessary in the summer.
            …and it was not just the 1st season that Klopp made many signings, it was all bar the last season!!
            You can not say only fringe players will leave as you do not know what key players he wants to bring in to build the team around. If we already have players in the position, then they will be moved on.
            Klopp may have a striker in mind, if so someone will leave.
            If he gets Gotze, then Lallana, Markovic and Ibe should worry.
            It all depends on who he wants to bring in, as to who will leave.
            That’s why I agree that Teix will move on, as he’s fighting to win Coutinho or Firmino’s spot.
            Whilst players maybe not as technically good as Teix are closer to breaking into the 1st team, as weaker players in their position,
            I would love just 3 or 4 signings. 3 x £50 million GK, CD, CM and a £30 million striker and decent LB…but I believe will be smaller fees and more players coming in. I predict Klopp will build a young team which no doubt FSG will approve of.

          • You can put exclemation marks all you want mate, it won’t make it more then a simple assumption based on nothing but your idea, hopes and wishes. Klopp said what he said. No he didn’t say “everyone is staying.” but to expect a lot of the current starters-when-fit to leave you’re quite deluding yourself.

            He brought in around 4-5 people each season mate. The rest are all youth players coming in. Many of them leave in 1-2 seasons. If you want to analyse it, analyze it well. Not just blindly look at numbers.

            The fringe players Enrique, Kolo, Tex are all out of contract and will leave. Bringing in Matip means Skrtels time is up as Lovren and Sakho are the long term future players and Skrtel isn’t. Only if someone pays silly money for either they’re moved on. Allen is in the last year of his contract so will be moved. Especially with the young lads Stewart and Brannagan shining and Grujic coming in. It’s all not that hard to see and understand.

            Lallana is in a difficult place. He doesn’t have a fixed position but isn’t a wide man. So that gives him trouble to secure a spot. That said, only if good money comes for him. Markovic and Ibe will be used in rotation obviously with Markovic quite possible being a player that could become a starter. Obviously bringing in a Yarmolenko would be costing him his place.

            It’s more likely Klopp sticks to what he has in most and brings in a few top names. Gotze, Matip and for the rest a lot of upgrades from the academy and loanees coming back.

          • He brought in 10 players (not including youth players) in both his 1st and 2nd season. 7 in his 3rd and 8 in his 4th

          • 4 in 13/14, 5 in 12/13, 4 in 11/12, 6 in 10/11, 7 in 9/10 and 9 in 8/9. The rest are all academy graduates. This is including loans btw. Usually it’s 1-2 big names and some fodder. Transfers out are 1-2 big players and a lot of fodder.

            You might want to learn how to count.

          • I suggest you do the same and stop being both selective and blind!!!
            10 in 08, 10 in 09, 7 in 10, and 8 in 11.
            and what difference does a loan player make, It’s about how many come into the 1st team squad, regardless of cost or main transfers.

          • You’re wrong. Go to transfermarket, exclude the guys coming from the Dortmund lower teams and count. Or don’t and just accept I did that for you. Again no need for all these exclamation marks. Relax a bit.

            Loans are generally not for the long term and only to fill a gap.

          • Nothing wrong with my counting. My figures were correct.
            Loans are often used as a try before you buy also

    • We just looked so much more cohesive last night, which is telling. I think all players stuck to their task well and the team had a solid balance to it. If Lucas got more game time I would love for him to be captain. A better choice than Henderson and Milner. If Ilori played that well every week why would it be close to madness? Kolo can’t play too regularly, Skrtel and Lovren still out, Sakho out of form and injury prone and Caulker not rated much by Klopp it seems. Ilori might not be as behind as you think. I’d love for him to start at least in europa league, but assuming Skrtel and Lovren are back soon it won’t happen. Also disagree on Smith. I think they offer differences, although yes both are a little bit defensively suspect. Smith really gives me a lift when I see him run forward, like something good is going to happen. His overlaps and end product currently are better than Moreno’s. Would anyone really make an issue if he were to start over Moreno. We can’t say we need competition for places and then never put them in competition.

      • Was more referring to Chirivella in the “close to madness”. Ilori seems to be able to do a job for us. But as an 8M center back that is to be expected. But this is a lad that has the label “overhyped” slapped on him for a long time now. One game and all of a sudden he’s an LFC starter? let’s just be happy he did well and it bodes well for the future.

  2. We will never know how good they are or what they are capable of doing without trusting them with regular starts or playtime. Between now and the end of the season, we should play them more frequently.

  3. There facing a midfield landscape packed with talent and promise I’d take Pedro texiera and Stewart over Lallana can and Henderson and Milner any day also smith at left back and ward in goal

  4. With the youngsters, our depth/squad is getting better and better, gaining so much experience along the way. Klopp has faith in them, and I have faith in Klopp. Next season will be a new dawn.

  5. Well I don’t want to be a party crasher but let’s not hype this lads too much.

    The last time we did that we have a talented winger with loads of potential being one if the worst player this season.

    To get the best out of this lads we need proven classy player players around them. They need to be competing for places with top class players, not senior who let them down.

    Sterling was extremely talented player so are tex, Ilori, smith, Kevin. But the reason sterling got a break was he was playing with SAS and Steven Gerrard.

    That doesn’t mean they won’t make it without that kind of player. But it will take time and there will be poachers ready to snap them.

    • The hardest thing is consistency…
      They can play 1, 2 games with plenty of time to train, rest while WH players did not have that luxury… so sometimes pure energy and desire carried them through…
      There is great promise but they will need time definitely.

    • I think we are talking minutes, they should get minutes. Thats what you normally do. 20 min here, 20 min there and then a start.

    • Good analysis.
      I am definitely one to hype up these kids because I see not only their talent but their football IQ. For too long, I had been resigned to watch a brute uninspired team. So it’s very refreshing to see a team than can transition the ball smoothly from one end of the park to another.
      You have a point with Sterling but he was relatively younger than these lads. The guys who played yesterday, bar Pedro, are in the right age to compete for a starting berth in an EPL team; which I am also expecting 19 year old Grujic to do next year.
      And, mixing experience with youth is the right strategy only if the experienced players can teach the kids; and that is not the case at this moment. All in all, I am interested to see how Klopp lineups his team the coming few weeks with one less competition to worry about.

  6. Great for the squad – hopefully they’ll get a few more chances this season/ next season.

    Thought Lucas was immense last night, desperately sorry for him in conceding the free kick. Played his socks off.

  7. For all the doubters below the one thing that you need to remember is that our so called first team squad played Wets Ham twice in the league and was beaten both time. So in reality the kids did exceptionally well and with a half decent finisher would have won by some margin.

    While we concentrate on the league cup final for European qualification and the Europa cup for CL qualification it will do no harm to rotate and slot the lads into the first team set-up resting the automatic starters for the important games and giving vital experience for the youngsters coming through. Tex can shadow Coutinho, Bannagon and Pedro can sub for Hendo and Milner and Stewart can play as DM giving Lucas and Can a rest. Lucas, after last night can play CB with the best of what we have at the moment. Ward should play a few prem games as well, lets see what the kid can do, surly no worse than Migs at the moment. Its a great opportunity to get our depth right and gain experience for next year, see who should remain and who needs to be shipped out.

    Playing Sturridge for part of the games getting him really match fit, while Origi plays the rest gaining more experience has to be the right way to go as well.

  8. Spot on. Definitely throw Stewart in with Llori and Smith as definite starters.

    It’ll be very disappointing if they don’t start at Villa.

    • Ilori (it’s an ‘I” and not an “L”) has just played 120 minutes only his 3rd game in over 2 years…and you expect him to start at the weekend!?
      Flanno is more likely to replace Moreno than Smith..but he also played 120 minutes, so Moreno will start…and however impressive young Stewart was last night, he also played 120 minutes, so zero chance of him starting either.
      I predict a very disappointing weekend for you TrueReds

      • Ah you’re skulking back to TIA now are you after your boyfriend Derek got banned completely ?

        Still talking rubbish I see. Them lads could play 2 games in a week and still be up for Sundays game and still be an improvement on Moreno, Sakho, Can/Allen/Lucas.

        What they don’t need is losers like you telling them they won’t be.

        They probably won’t play, but it won’t be for fitness reasons. That will be the disappointing thing.

          • Yes your boyfriend loved the use of the word ‘irony’ too. Of course, you have to stick up for Brendan’s buys don’t you, seeing as you was such an avid fan of his work here.

          • Funny guy. You do know that both Illori and Stewart are Brendans buys don’t you? And Smith was resigned last summer, by Brendan?

          • If ever I saw a transfer committee signing it was Ilori and Stewart. That’s why they never got a game.

            Ok lets praise Brendan for Smith!

            Is that you Derek?

  9. I was at the game yesterday (in the home crowd sadly), and I have to say some of the youngsters played extremely well, once again it was some of the so called “senior” players who let us down such as Benteke and Ibe who both had terrible games in my opinion, hopefully the likes of Smith, Illori and Stewart continue to build on these performances because at the moment I would without a second thought play them over some of the “first team” players.

  10. I’m impressed by Smith, I would have him over Moreno. I like his energy and his willingness to try every time he has the ball. He is young and will only improve with game time. Give Smith some games and maybe Moreno will up his game.
    Would be good to see Ilori fulfill his potential and prove the doubters wrong.

    • I hv given up on moreno, he cannot improve anymore under this regime. Smith is our best potential as LB. Flanno can play LB and RB so we have 3 very good flank back players for rotation. Moreno can be the 4th reserve if we cannot sell him this summer.

  11. This team played better than the regulars. At the back and midfield.
    Sturridge, Divock and Benteke is a work in progress.

  12. A lot of positive’s can be taken from last night ,it was a bitter pill when they scored in the last seconds.

  13. The article was good to read…till I read who Illori should partner with… brilliant.. that’s the way TIA… !… if it’s not the clown… who else… I was waiting for this actually. It’s brilliant article.about the kids. . And u have to end it in such way….!

      • U write good articles jack… but I just don’t get it… why can’t u guys see things which are not right! … sakho will perform well for 20mins.. and at 21st he will do one trick which will bring your productive system to your throat! … he , migs and moreno has cost more points for us than any other players since they arrived in LFC…
        For me it’s simple… he is no good!…period!

        • I think what he is thinking is that Lovren, SKrtel, and Kolo are not better than sakho. Not that sakho is necessarily a great defender.

          Personally, right now I have Lovren as our #1 and Sakho #2

          • I don’t think so mate.. that doesn’t sound as u mentioned. And still idont rate sakho as #2… not at all.
            It’s ok… there is no point arguing about this… season will end as how the playes plays… not as how we argue.

      • Such an obvious and uninformed bias! Tainted a nice article. Did anybody else notice that nobody that played yesterday was seen working so hard the way Milner Henderson and Sahko do? There’s no need to run a million miles if you know what you’re about. Just play the game intelligently and everything looks easy not making a show of hardwork and committment without end product.

      • One thing… when a defender chest the ball.. it should drop to his feet… not the opponents. .. that’s all I got to say…
        If u feel that would be a good combo… then god save us!.. good day

  14. Those on big big wages … Milner, Benteke & Captain Marvel Hendo, 140k a week Benteke (disgusting) need to look over their shoulder. The young lads who played last night have more heart and will to play for the shirt.

  15. While pretty much all of the youngsters impressed immeasurably last night, it’s important to remember that all did so with the benefit of not playing regularly, and therefore being very-well rested and eager to prove something. Our regulars have been playing almost constantly for the better part of three months, and that has sapped their energy and also dulled some of their quality. It’s nice to know that they definitely provide competition and cover, but let’s not anoint them just yet.

  16. Personally I think the future is looking pretty decent if I’m honest. I fully believe that Klopp will weed out a lot of the dead wood in the summer, especially if we don’t have any European football to contend with next season, and with his current standing and reputation, will be able to bring in 2,3 even 4, top players to go straight into our first team. I’m not saying absolute worldies coz let’s be realistic here, with no Champs League to offer we’ll not get near any truly world class stars, but if you look at the following I don’t think it’s half as bad as some folk are making out:-
    Keepers
    Migs, Ward and Fulton
    Fullbacks
    Clyne, Flanno, Randall, Moreno, Smith, Gomez (covers at centre half too)
    Centre halves
    Sakho, Lovren, Lucas (I can see Lucas starting more and more as a CB now), Ilori, (Gomez), maybe even keep Skrtel although personally I’d get rid
    CM
    Hendo, Can, Milner (Lucas), Grujic, Rossiter, Brannagan, Stewart, Chirivella, Allan de Sousa
    Att Mid/Wingers
    Coutinho, Ibe, Markovic, Teixeira (hope he stays but can see him leaving I’m afraid), Lallana, Kent, Ojo and Canos
    Strikers
    Sturridge, Origi, Ings & Firmino
    If we can sign Matip, 1/2 proven centre mids and another stirker to allow Firmino to drop back to a number 10, I’d be quite happy to sit back and let a young team grow under Klopp. Could be an interesting next few years IMO…….

  17. 4-2-3-1.
    .
    ……………………….Origi………………………….
    .
    ……Couti…………Firmino………..Studge…..
    .
    ………….Can………………..Hendo…………….
    .
    Smith……….Sakho……….Ilori…………Clyne
    .
    ……………………….WARD……………………….

  18. How Sahko is this is anfield’s best liverpool CB is hard to comprehend. How Henderson and Can are able to thrive at the top level is hard to understand. The fact that Milner and Lallana features in an attacking midfield keeping Teixeira on the bench can only be treacherous. Having said the above, Sahko and Skrtel are our worst CBs in my opinion behind Kolo and Lovren. Ilori should be nutured to partner either Lovren or a new CB in the long term. The young lads must be allowed to blossom. They are the future.

  19. Personally I still don’t rate Smith over Moreno. I do however rate Flanno over both of them defensively. Flanno and Clyne on the sides. Lucas is tenacious but he won’t win a header in the box too often. We need a proven CB pairing and just because he has fit the bill on a couple of occasions he is not the answer. Illori may be a star CB in the making. I for one want to see what kind of form Skrtel comes back with but I know I’m one of the few.

    Stewart needs some game time at CDM. He is strong and quick and composed on the ball. A huge boost defensively.

    Ibe needs time on the bench and agree that seeing Moreno or Smith as an outside mid could give us that spark in attack while also having players who can still get back defensively.

    Midfield is tough. We have soooooo many CM’s. Pedro and Tex have both done well but who do you bench. Feel they are very similar in play style.

    Up top Sturridge is key. Other than Bentekes horrible misses hebshowed signs of improvement next to Sturridge. I really want him to find form. Sturridge and Firmino with either Ben or Origi will get us the goals we so desperately need.

    All just a Yanks humble opinion.

      • At WHU Smith showed some of the same defensive faults that Moreno does, but he seems to have more football intelligence of the two (not so difficult) so hopefully he can work on this. But it’s Stewart that impressed me most of the young guns, he is growing in stature and even if we bring in a new established DM, could be a useful understudy at least.

      • Moreno had his chances, I don’t rate him at all. Smith is anytime better than him and he can improve further considering he’s not a regular. I just hope moreno can be sold off to Real at a good price.

  20. With Lucas in CD its worth it to try the younglings further in deep midfield. they are really really good, Payet will tell you that.

    Our options there haven’t really been that great and these lads bing something extra special, they are money in the pocket..

    The Academy deserves a praise for them.

  21. Sakho as a starter, I would think million times. One of the reason we have lost so many points, absolute disaster, unable to mark players and can’t chase with his goaty runs. Better Ilori or keep on playing Lucas in that position. Who on earth would think of Mascherano as a central defender(regular starter) in Barcelona before he left Liverpool. Yet he is excelling in that position.

    Stewart should get some play time along with Chirivella, these 2 kids will bring something. Now we are in a position of losing nothing, so prepare those kids for next season, give them a taste of PL in advance. Next year if we face similar situation, we know we have the replacements.

  22. Stop thinking Henderson will be a world class player he is inconsistent so is Can. Need to change the major player if we are to compete with spurs let alone the big ones.

  23. COMPLETELY OFF TOPIC!!!!! Just breaking, open letter of apology to all supporters from FSG and what I think is a price freeze on tickets for the next two seasons, details sketchy at this time…

  24. Confirmed on the LFC website, an apology from FSG and an admission they got it wrong plus the announcement of a ticket price freeze for the next two seasons. We should never have got into this situation in the first place but respect to the owners for doing the right thing and for the supporters groups for letting them know exactly what the right thing was…

  25. We need to start using our youngsters were playing aston villa on the weekend, if our younger squad performed better than our first squad against a strengthened west ham side surely they are capable of playing against aston villa

  26. Sturridge is the only player in the current squad that even when off form/carrying a slight knock, is head and shoulders above his counterparts.

    Anybody else should be dropped and replaced by the younger kid as soon as their performances dip, as they have seen this season. e.g. The versions of Sakho, Lallana and Henderson that we have been watching recently are no better than an Ilori, Texeira and Brannagan in similar roles.

    It does nobody any favours to have injured/out of form players on the pitch, as they are not really helping the team by playing below their full capacity and they will not be afforded any quarter from fans for their poor performances…

  27. Don’t know what Danny Ward has to do to get a game. What has the manager got to lose in the Prem now? We are playing for pride and nothing else in the league, get him in there with a few of the other kids and see if they can consistently play at that level.

  28. Valid grounds for optimism, but it must be tempered by the realisation that good performances for 1-2 or even 3 games running do not equate to the consistency required for a premiership campaign. Klopp will know the right pace at which to introduce these promising young charges. What he now has, however, is a blooded pool from which to draw should we run into injury trouble or sustained dips in form (I’m looking at you Mignolet, Moreno and Sakho…).

  29. Under FSG, it is one of the wonders of the footballing world to see how a world renowned club is a kindergarten for talent to be over-used and sold for profit if the players prove good enough.

    Kudos to FSG – no other massive club follows this model of filling a team with squad players and prospects to hopefully be sold for a profit.

    • Hahaha… don’t be a kid.. or u are one ?.. be a man when someone reply to u or never reply to anyone’s comment. Have a good day mate.. and wipe your tears.

      • Yeah, I’m obviously the one behaving like a kid …

        Sakho had a bad run of games. So did basically the whole team. He has also been pretty good. Performances vary. Every player makes mistakes. If you can’t live with that without starting thrashing our own players you need to get a real life.

        Neither of our defenders have done brilliant this season overall. But has anyone in the team really? There’s no need to single out Sakho, as he’s by far not been the worst of the lot.

        • Yeah…this is how u should reply…. not calling others plastic..
          This is how u defend if u think it’s not right.. don’t simply call people plastic.
          As much as u support the club..so does the other who visits TIA.. no plastic fan will waste time reading, commenting and replying.
          As much as u favor certain players, of coz u will have someone againts it. If not so.. I’m sure BR will still be our manager.
          As I said… different people have different opinion.. nothing wrong in going againts it.. but u can’t deny any fan’s passion.
          Again…if sakho becomes better and better.. I will take back my words and apologize.. but for now.. he is clumsy and bad for us… !… have a good day again.

          • Well, that’s still not how to behave like a real fan. If you think supporting is just about when players are brilliant, then again, bugger off!

            And also, grow up. One thing is to disagree, another completely is to simply thrash other humans because they’re not your cup of tea atm. If that kind of reaction makes you feel better, you are severely immature.

          • Hahahaha….. get some sleep mate… u sound so exhausted…
            I’m sure u have never thrashed or had bad comments about other including BR…
            Right…
            Have a good day again…

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