Hearts v. Liverpool Player Ratings

Cute

Well, an uneven performance would be the best way to describe it, one would have to say. But that doesn't mean awful, though it doesn't mean great. But with the B team out there and at least a passionate opponent if not exactly gifted, the result kind of washes away the blues. So, how did they do individually?

Pepe Reina - 6: Really didn't have much to do. Failed to catch one volley in the first half that he wrapped around the post anyway, and then made a sharp save off Hearts's final chance when the onslaught was invited on. Reina also got a fair few chances to be a footballer too, as a lot of possession ended up back at his feet. While it's not what we want to see, he probably enjoyed it.

Martin Kelly - 7: Maybe that's a little high, but his cross did deliver the goal even if it wasn't that good of a cross. But steady as he usually is, and got forward when he could, though he's not nearly as effective at that as Glen Johnson. Most of Hearts attack came down the other way.

Jamie Carragher - 7: When an opponent doesn't have many chances, or really any at all, that's pretty much down to the defense. One of the surprising things about the preseason, and now Carragher's appearances in matches that have mattered, is how much he's trying to adapt to the Rodgers style. He doesn't want to employ the hoofs and punts we expect, and is really trying to play the ball. Sure, when there's a hint of pressure the Ol' Carra comes back, but he seems to trying to adapt. He's obviously bought in, which might have something to do with his own managerial career which is so obviously coming.

Daniel Agger - 7: Typical Agger. Composed, classy, some problems with an overly physical striker. Didn't make as much of an impact on attacking set pieces, which is kind of expected from him at this point. But whatever. Will be missed Sunday desperately.

Jack Robinson - 6.5: Good to see the kid come back from wherever he was last year. Wasn't a blinder, and Templeton on his side definitely made some forays and threats. But wasn't consistently beaten and had some decent interplay with Sterling at times. Something to build on at least.

Jay Spearing - 5.5: You can write Spearing's wrap with your eyes closed. Ran around a lot, showed a lot of passion, but was positionally helpless far too often as well as treating the ball like a hand grenade WAY too often. I used to worry about another midfield signing stunting his development. But with Sahin's arrival imminent, I'm not sure I care any more.

Jonjo Shelvey - 6: Expected a bit more, but when he has to do the covering for both Spearing and Adam, maybe that's harsh. Still showed some nice touches and good vision as he was the one consistently picking out Sterling. Also the only midfielder who didn't piss himself under pressure.

Charlie Adam - negative 16: Just because it's fun to write that.

Raheem Sterling - 8: The obvious highlight, and our Man of The Match. Against more mature opposition, they'll catch on to his Downing-like cut in and shoot routine. But his speed and fearlessness of taking anyone on will serve the club well this year, and he was the main threat all night. Looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.

Jordan Henderson - 6.5: Again, maybe a little high, but I'm an unabashed Hendo defender. Once again put in an unfamiliar wide right position, Hendo unbalanced the side at times by creeping to the more comfortable middle. But he also helped set up the goal, and when he was in the middle he caused the midfield to be more fluid. Also chased and harried Hearts into some giveaways. So play him in the fucking middle already.

Fabio Borini - 6: Probably should be lower after blowing the obvious chances Sterling served up to him. Ran around a lot, looked a bit light for the central striker role, was offsides a couple times, unfairly called once or twice. Active, need to see more.

Subs:

Joe Allen - 7.5: Two matches in, and it's obvious that things just calm down when he's around. Smart, energetic, and most of all disciplined. Or the Anti-Adam.

Stewart Downing - 6: Didn't kill anyone at left back, and I think that's all we were asking.

Adam Morgan - N/A

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