9 Nov 2013

'What a player!' - Fowler, Coutinho, Johnson and more on LFC's 4-0 Fulham win

Liverpool hammered an embarrassingly poor Fulham side 4-0 at Anfield today, and here is a selection of post-match reaction from various LFC players, past and present.

Martin Skrtel

"We wanted to send a message - we are here and we are ready to fight. We are happy with the three points today".

Robbie Fowler

"Another couple for Luis Suarez. What a player this man is"

Mark Wright

"Great result for LFC. Suarez showing week in and week out that he is WORLD class".

Lucas Leiva

"Good to win again and keep the clean sheet!"

Steven Gerrard

"I thought we were outstanding. When it works and clicks we're emphatic, and it could have been a lot more"

Philippe Coutinho

"Good victory today, happy to be back playing at Anfield"

Simon Mignolet

"Nice to leave Anfield behind for international duty with a 4-0 victory and a clean sheet!"

Chris Morgan (LFC Physio)

"Great to have Phil Coutinho back in the starting 11. He worked so hard with the Physio/Fitness team to come back way ahead of schedule!!"

Glen Johnson

"Great day at Anfield. Clean sheet, 4 goals and 3 points"

A good victory, but as per usual, Liverpool players are already falling over themselves to lavish praise on each other, and it's only going to get worse over the next week. A few observations:

* Excellent performance overall, but I really hope the players don't get too carried away. Fulham were atrocious; definitely the worst team Liverpool have faced this season, and possibly worse than any league team last season, too. It's good to win, but it doesn't really mean anything in the grand scheme of things. Fulham are in dire straits, and the Reds *should* be hammering them 4 or 5-0.

* In his post-match interview, Skrtel insisted that LFC had 'sent a message' to Liverpool's Premier League rivals. Really? What message is that, exactly? That the team can beat a pi$$-poor team struggling to avoid relegation? I sincerely doubt Spurs, Chelsea and Man City are quaking in their boots right now. The time to send a message was last week against Arsenal, and that didn't happen.

* I argued all week that the 352 formation should be abandoned, so it was great to see it finally scrapped today. It's no coincidence that the minute the team switched to four at the back, defensive solidity returned, and the team kept a clean sheet. There's simply no point playing THREE central defenders against one striker, which these days is the chosen set-up for most teams. With four at the back, the defenders know their role inside out, and it's much harder to exploit the space.

* Suarez and Sturridge aside, Martin Skrtel is player of the season so far (IMO). Another superb performance from him, and he's really cemented his position in the team. Good on him for having the mental fortitude and self-belief to fight back after being unceremoniously dropped last year.

* Gerrard and Lucas were not challenged in the slightest today, so it was easy for them to dominate midfield. Changes are still required in January; midfield competition is desperately needed, and one easy win against Fulham doesn't change that.

* Glad to see Jose Enrique back in the team. Aly Cissokho brings nothing to the table, and although the team kept a clean sheet, his use of the ball is frustrating. Practically every time he received the ball on the left, he played it backwards, or inside to Coutinho/Gerrard. No adventure, or attacking ambition whatsoever.

* Daniel Sturridge didn't look happy to go off, and I can understand his frustration. It's questionable man-management from Rodgers if you ask me. Why take off Sturridge, who was clearly desperate to score? Why not take off Suarez instead, who'd already scored two goals, and give Sturridge the chance to get on the scoresheet? What possible difference would it have made? You can bet your bottom dollar that Sturridge is feeling frustrated right now.

* It's a shame Luis Alberto didn't get any pitch time. He could've been used instead of Jose Enrique, who has played lots of games this season. It's all about keeping the squad happy, and Rodgers missed a trick there (IMO). Joe Allen got a decent run-out though, which will be good for him.



  1. Good performance and great win today, so I'm happy!

    We've made worse teams look (much) better than Fulham today, with the illogical 532 that I've been arguing against ever since we started using it a few months back. We also can and have made better teams than Fulham look equally toothless though, when we've sought to aggressively assert our own style of play onto them.

    I'm not getting carried away by a single performance, and am well aware that we do not have one of the best 4 squads in the league player-by-player, but continue to attempt to play as we did today and I am confident that we can achieve the 76points/CL place at the end of the season.

  2. The players are feeling confident which is a good sign. The club have difficult away games against the team who finished above them and it is great they maintaining their position in the top 4 early and so far beating the teams who finished below them.

    The teams strongest 11 will be available to Rodgers when they face Everton and hopefully when they all match fit in a few weeks we will all see an even better Liverpool.

  3. We win and u still try and put a downer on it. Well done red men. Or am I being 2 kind 2 em also ;-)

  4. Liverpool Fans should avoid this Site like the plague. The Author consistently criticizes the Reds whatever the result, suggesting that he is a closet Manc, and worse still, he's making Money off you by running this Webpage.

  5. Heaven forbid we enjoy a win... perhaps when we win we should say we were lucky, that the other team was better, and that the wind changed direction so it was always at our back...

    We wouldn't want to heap "lavish" praise on ourselves...

    Shame on you Lucas for being happy that we won... and shame on you Skrtel for saying that "we sent a message to the rest of the league"... what kind of message are you guys sending!

  6. Well Sturridge doesn't look happy.That's good imo.We may need that against Everton and he always scores in big games. But he needs to be told he need not score in every single game,The team wins by 4 goals and he should be happy about that.

  7. Liverpool beat Manchester United, Arsenal lost against Villa, Chelsea failed to beat the Albion the side that lost 4-1 against Liverpool every team are losing games, Tottenham lost 3-0, this Jaimie is fool of crap sometimes, this is football and you may have some bad day, you are elohsra this site is useless

  8. Why not just be happy with the win and focus on getting the next one? Why must every win be the greatest ever, or received like it's the start of some great renaissance? And what message did LFC send to the rest of the league, exactly? It's that kind of comment that makes the team look stupid when the next dodgy result arises. No one is saying don't enjoy the win; I'm certainly not. Just don't go overboard, something that happens practically every time LFC have a good win. It's been going on for years, even back to Houllier's days, when he once said 'we are 10 games from greatness', only to see the season fizzle out.

    I also love the way people just ignore the positive stuff I wrote in the article. Heaven forbid I should have more than one opinion about the game (!)

    It's a good win, but it's not an amazing, season-defining win by any stretch of the imagination, and doesn't make LFC title contenders.

  9. And to think some people wanted Suarez to be sold, to keep him must be the best owners / managerial decision since we bought Sami Hypia.

  10. I was being half facetious.

    I have agreed with you in the past when the team has done this, particularly Rodgers. And in Rodgers case, they'd come after losses and draws. I can tolerate positive talk after we win.

    But the comments that you're referencing today really don't come close to overpraise like they have in the past.

    In terms of the rest of the points you made, I tend to agree with them except the Sturridge point, which I'm more indifferent to it than disagreeing with it.

    It is a good win, which is essentially all the players said. Skrtel's and Gerrard's comments are the only ones that go a little further than that, and they really don't go that far beyond it.

  11. Just be happy that we won and are 2nd. Don't have to be negative all the time. No need for it. They played well. If we played this formation against arsenal would of been a different story also we had two full backs missing who today showed we need them because they work well.

  12. Yeah, you're right - the commenrs aren't as bad as somenof the overpraise of the past. Just wait for the next few days though :-)

  13. I think what Martin was referring to is the fact we go again and got a good result after a set back, its not that uncommon for us to drop points in games like this but though the movement and combination play from the midfield was good today and hopefully we can keep this up going forward, they may have been poor but you can only beat whats in front of you, agree re cissokho and i suppose brendan chose to keep suarez on because sturridge has looked a little off pace last couple of games and perhaps a little rest at the end will do him no harm + Suarez was on for a hat trick, prob would have reacted worse perhaps good man management, wants to keep suarez happy as hes our best hope of finishing top 4

  14. im really happy for skirtel a tale of redemption if ever i have seen it......

  15. every win is season defining jamie thats the way the universe works

  16. theses a chance we will sneek through the season in second or third ....there are no coincidences in life every thing is pre planned and ive a feeling the stars are lining up right for us

  17. I think he was unhappy with his own performance, but he really shouldn't be. He was terribly unlucky not to score. Only a great save from Steklenburg kept his tally at 8. He had other chances also and don't forget that he will always draw defenders, which clears space for others as he did numerous times today.

  18. Does anone else wonder why we seem to hit too many volleyed passes and shots whenthere is clearly enough time to get the ball under control, keep possession and sustain the attack? I see so many passes/shots volleyed to nowhere when they seem totally the worst possible option at the time.

  19. Johnson's crosses were particularly bad 1 for 7 were good. While he's welcome back - not sure if anyone else sees this, but he seems to ignore Suarez, and aim for a more difficult cross to Sturridge.

  20. I didn't notice that, but I also think you have to keep feeding both strikers or the other team catches on. More pressure from more players keeps defenders on their heels and may buy precious time/space to make something happen. I'm not a big fan of crosses for crossing sake. I would rather see the ball worked into the area by making good passes. Crosses always seem forlornly hopeful balls to me.

  21. Ah, but it KEEPS us title contenders. These are the games we tied or lost last year. This year we are winning them...and that is making a huge difference.

  22. Good game, no real poor performances. Highlights, Suarez obviously, should have gotten his hatrick, but next time is ok. SG providing 2 assists, 1 from open play. Henderson getting an assist (finally) and helping with the creativity. Skrtel's goal was good, and his defense was good too. Pretty much everyone was alright.

    Only have one little bone to pick, I'll attribute it to rust, and really not so bad - Coutinho seemed perhaps a little to keen to get on the score sheet (9 shots), and wasn't at his most creative ( 2 chances vs. 6 each for Henderson and Suarez). Johnson, light years better than Flanagan, and better than any other option for RB, was good a bringing the ball up, but wasted quite a few attacking opportunities with bad crosses or going for that extra dribble. Sturridge had his chances, maybe an off day, but it's expected from time to time, nothing to worry about.

    As for Cissokho, he wasn't terrible - I agree he's not going for anything really adventerous, but perhaps he's trying to keep Rodgers happy - there was a lot of that last season, this season too, side or back passes to keep possesion. On a regular day it might not have look as obvious, but today most were making more adventurous passes.

    All in all, 2 halves of entertainment, domination, 32 shots, 4 goals - could have been more, and a couple more chipping in - all good things. Bring on Everton.

  23. SG wouldn't be much of a team captain if he didn't praise. His comments were not too effusive and I'd rather have them than, "yawn...it was just Fulham."

  24. So I take it the next time we have a bad result you'll be saying the same thing... no need to go overboard, it's not the worst thing ever or the start of some great slump.

    Heaven forbid you would do that and then look stupid when the next good result arises.

  25. If there's some lavish overpraise in the next few days, I will be the first one on here to agree with you!

  26. Dude, Sturridge's substitution was the right thing to do. He got a knock after jumping over the advertising board, so it was better to be safe than sorry, especially in a game where we were thumping them.

  27. thexcuriousxwanderer12:30 am, November 10, 2013

    Why is that questionable man management from Rodgers with regards to Sturridge? Your way is probably way more questionable, you're asking Rodgers to take off someone who's doing well and firing on all cylinders, and keep someone who's not doing well. Where's the incentive in playing well then?

    Going by your logic, we might as well take off Skrtel and put someone from the youth who is hungry. Man management needs rewards and incentive, and this is the manager's way of saying, you might be trying hard, but something is not right. Or perhaps they didn't need two strikers anymore. You can bet he would be reflecting on what he did wrong on the pitch if he goes off.

  28. Suarez with 22 goals in 25 games for us. Imperative for our financial future to keep him until end of season at least.

    BT Sport deal for CL means that it will be worth even more to teams that qualify for it

    Has there Been a better PL player? Perhaps Ronaldo

    Glen Johnson's end product was appalling today. Imagine Evra, Cole, Clyne, Shaw, Baines in the positions he got into today. They would have made a hatful of chances

  29. Very good performance, but we must not be too optimistic. Only realistic hard workers. So, keep calm and play good football! Everton game is massive! Come on Reds!!! YNWA

  30. Disagree with your GJ assessment. The right side of the field was noticeably more under control than recent matches without GJ. Furthermore this is his first 90 minute match for awhile so some rust was expected. As for the end product...he has two perfectly wonderful goalscorers to feed so his finishing isn't necessarily the measure of his contribution to the team.

  31. Yes, and thatcis exactly what I posted after the arsenal game last week.

  32. A few positive comments in the media. So what? It doesn't make any difference, it just makes you feel uncomfortable so you have to complain about it, again. You don't seriously think those comments have an impact on the players do you? These are micro-seconds of their lives, messages on twitter or an off-hand comment in an interview. They are completely irrelevant except when it comes to getting under you skin. On that note ... Suarez is absolutely world class, he's just an amazing player. I would say quite seriously that he's about the best football player on the planet right now. I for one am very very glad we kept him this summer because, given the kind of players other teams have bought during the window, there simply is no one like him. We could not have replaced him and even with a 20-30 million pound striker in his place we wouldn't have gotten those 8 goals.

  33. You forgot the 15/20 paragraphs where you slagged off the entire midfield then?!

    When your snidey intro mentioned "weeks of premature backslapping and cloying ego-massage"

    But no, nothing overboard about that after a defeat against the top of the table team!

    LFC win and according to you everyone has to shut up and keep quiet - or you brand them 'arrogant' or 'big-headed' or 'self-aggrandizing'

    LFC lose and you cannot wait to stick the boot into anyone and everyone.

    Oh, I know you call it critical realism, but never giving any praise (or when you do burying it at the bottom of an otherwise negative article) just makes you look churlish.

    Even if we won the league, you'd be saying "So what? Liverpool fans and players shouldn't be celebrating because we're still behind Man Utd in terms of numbers of titles. Until we overtake them again everyone should stop kissing a**e."

  34. Christopher Labrosse4:43 am, November 10, 2013

    the game had great meaning, the three points was essential, regardless of fulham or the scoreline.
    This message that skrtel was referring too was.
    (Our Character), being able to bounce back from defeat was crucial, A defeat could have seen us plummet down of top 4.

    and please no one talking about being contenders,
    We just want Champion league football back, that the minimum.

  35. Agree, glad we never sold Suarez no matter how he pissed me off. What he has shown is that he is one of the best players in the world and his determination to win is something else.

  36. Christopher Labrosse5:00 am, November 10, 2013

    I have got to give it to you Jaimie K you know your to get people to commen on your article.

    If you had wrote an all positive article it would have gotten this much attention,

    as there would have been about a million other like it.

    Regardless of the circumstances I take it you enjoy the win, so Cheers to that.


  37. Still banging the drum about the 3-5-2 formation I see, do you have something against Rodgers? What he has shown is that he is not a one trick pony and tactically astute. Rodgers has been able to get results out of his team no matter what systems he plays.

    I bet you are waiting for the next bad result but who and what will you be blaming then?

  38. Henderson man-of-the-match.
    I don't bother including Suarez in the running for MOTM these days; it just isn't fair.

  39. We should be 3 points ahead of Chelsea and about 6 above Spurs. Money supporting referees should be banned for 10 games. Shameful.

  40. I haven't read anything on the absence of Sakho from the team which I think is MASSIVE. He has been awful. I'm not saying he's an awful player but his form and clumsiness have disrupted us the same way Batty and Asprilla (despite reasonable performances) distrupted Newcastles title push.

  41. The right side of field was devoid if any Fulham defenders, GJ was in a ridiculous amount of space.

    I was referring to him creating chances

    I just wish he would do everything a bit quicker. He slows the play down, stands up the defender, a few stopovers, the invariably cuts in on his left and winds up for a shot.

    I would prefer him to do what all the other fullbacks I mentioned do. Drive to the byeline, whip a ball in while defenders are still getting into position.

    Standing fullback up just allows centre halfs to get settled

    But he did some good things, and intake your point that he was a little rusty

  42. Sturridge has played a lot this season and you have said in the past he needs his rest as does gerrard. I think rogers uses his squad very well. Really think we have a gfeat shot at top four we look like we will beat most sides which is something we have always struggled with.

  43. We just need to keep beating those teams that give other teams hard times (such as West Brom, Swansea, Southampton)

  44. I agree, beating Fulham, no matter how emphaticly means very little when it comes to evaluating the team. We should not get carried away. Celebrate the win, but dont see it as more than it was, aprofessional demolition of a very unprofessional team.
    I look at how Utd fans now only remember the last two games, coming from behind against Stoke and beating Fulham, and suddenly the are the force of old. The benchmark is so much higher. We did have a chance last week to throw down a marker, but to be honest i'm not too upset with the result. Nearly all the top teams in the world would struggle to get a result at the emirates the way Arsenal are playing at the moment. It will be our home form against the top 4 contenders that will be othe true test. Continue to win the games we should, in good style like saturday, take 3points at home tobthe bigger teams, and if we can nick a point or two away against them, then top four is up for grabs. Confident and happy enough where the team is.
    But like the win against Fulham mot putting us in the title contenders bracket, I hope fans will realise the next loss we suffer( and there will be one, no matter what anyone twishes otherwise) does not mean the team has lost its way, or are midtable fodder. This season is going to be a very close run affair, and i hope the fans will stick by the manager and team, during the low points even more than the high, then all i can see is top 4 YKWA.

  45. After Gerrard was subbed and Allen brought in, our performance kinda dropped. Expected us to score one more goal with Enrique, Allen, and Moses came in. Should we be concerned? Or was it just tired legs?

  46. Keep? We lost to Southampton, 2-2 with Swansea, 2-2 with Newcastle.

    My big expectations is that we win all the 'easy games', that we win against Everton and against Spurs; In other words win against two of the 4 big matches we have till Jan, and win all the easier ones. That means 7 wins and two draws or loses.

  47. Somewhat contradictory there Jaimie don't you think? Fulham are pi$$ poor yet it was the return to four at the back that gave the solidity returned? You mean because its what you said should happen rather than Fulham being terrible? Your right that people shouldn't pat themselves on the back too soon though. I definitely agree with that.

    I am glad Sissokho is only on loan like Jaimie says he brings nothing.

  48. Funny how you refer to Spurs, Chelsea and Man City quaking in their boots when 2 of them got beaten today and one narrowly (and unjustly) avoid defeat. Well we have developed a good winning mentality and I think it is more frustrating to look for negatives in that.

  49. JK very astute of you to notice Sturridge being upset, he was desperate to score! Deep down I think neither Sturridge or Saurez wants to play 2nd fiddle to each other! My only concern is that a highly influential player like Stevie G or even BR do not show Saurez preferential treatment thereby ostracising Sturridge.
    IMO this is important as Sturridge has never truly felt welcome wherever he's played apart from LFC, so I hope BR man-manages this potential situation with wisdom!

  50. We've conceded plenty of shots and possession against pi$$-poor teams in recent weeks, yet yesterday we gave Fulham barely anything.

    The change in formation (and return of Coutinho) are the only changes that resulted in such an upturn in performance.

    And if you guys think that Cissokho contributed nothing, you've obviously forgotten what it looked like to have an out of position Sakho at left-back...

  51. The change in formation was MUCH more of a cause for the disruption in our defensive performances than any change in personnel...

  52. Totally agree. How do you think Rodgers is going to deal with the Sakho situation now? He can't really drop Agger or Skrtel after keeping a clean sheet, and if Sakho stays on the bench, he's basically in the same situation he was in at PSG (i.e. third choice centre-back).

  53. Chelsea have been gifted a number of points now, not just yesterday - I think it was the Villa game that jumps out instantly (or it might have been Cardiff that got blatantly ripped off...)

    Chelsea have been the least impressive out of any of the Big 6 for me, while City have been the most bewilderingly inconsistent

  54. Rodgers screwed up by throwing Sakho straight into the team imo - there was no need for rushing him into the team, and now simple-minded fans are already turning against him it's just going to look unfair to put Sakho back in (and unfair on everybody involved if he sticks Sakho back out of position at left back, or God forbid reverts to the 532 to shoe-horn him back in again!)

    Rodgers has backed himself into a tough(ish) spot where he has to keep yet another of his big purchases on the bench, or make changes for personal reasons rather than football ones, and risk being castigated if it backfires again...

  55. Don't think you can look at Soton's place on the table and in hindsight say that Soton was an easy game. They are surprising a lot of folk now.

  56. You are never happy JK....

  57. Jamie, I like most of your articles but this one is nit picking. You seem to find fault for its own sake. We beat Fulham after coming off a defeat from Arsenal. The message was - let's not lose two in a row; let's press high up the pitch again; and lets remind teams that they are at Anfield!
    The players are happy and are just verbalising some passion to the shirt and to our club. Relax and let the players do their thing.

  58. Whilst I agree that there's no need to go overboard, I don't think there has been too much overpraise just yet- still more than there should be, but don't forget a lot of the quotes are in response to journalists looking for quotes by asking leading questions.
    All Skrtyl seemed to be saying was that we howed we would not be derailed by one bad performance, as we have been in the past - and if it remains the case, then it bodes well for a decent campaign.
    Nobody I've seen has described it as anything like season defining.
    And one more thing, you rightly point out that Fulham were truly woeful going forward, and totally dominated by our midfield. Yet you attribute the performance of our defence to a change of formation. ]
    Again, as with the win, it's too early to tell if that's the case- Arsenal still outplayed us after the switch last week.

  59. Not forgotten at all but he is a CB rather than a full back. Full backs are supposed to augment the attack much more than a CB naturally would. Having said all that I have given the whole thing a little thought and wonder whether that was under instruction. Coutinho would not be tracking as much as Henderson or a winger naturally would plus he was clearly drifting inside quite a bit more so than Henderson who was on the wing of his preferred foot. Plus I am sure I have heard/read somewhere that Rodgers does like the lopsided formation where one fullback attacks more than the other. So I may have changed my mind on Sissokho's aptitude for the role. Perhaps, not sure though.

  60. I think it could be good for Sturridge's fire. I don't think either played too well against Arsenal and Sturridge was not having his bets game (though still good) against Fulham. Suarez was playing well but working so so hard. They are different kinds of players with slightly different roles but if you add this substitution to the BR quote about Sturridge one day being as good as Suarez one day and it could be a bit of man management. Your coming off because you are not as good as he is, but you could be one day, if you want type thing.

  61. Awfull?????What games have you been watching? Ive seen a very promising player play well winning almost everything in the air and look much more assured on the ball than Skirtle does. I cannot think of this clumsiness after the first game he played.

  62. Agger is not known for being fit. Add to that very noticeable drops in form from he and Skirtle in the past and we can assume that Sakho will have more of a chance. Personally I don't think we ever played five at the back. The starting positions for the wing backs was very very high up the pitch so it was more like five in midfield. There may be times when it is necesary to use it again anyway. I think there is no problem in having options. Also Agger and Skirtle are older than Sakho and Toure Older still. Sakho had already lost his place for PSG to sign a 19 year old for massive money. His long term position at Liverpool should certainly look brighter than it did at PSG.

  63. So now we know, Sturridge had a foot injury.
    Seems the assumptions made weren't the whole story........

  64. That's a good point, all in all, they're still looking to create for each other which bodes well!