First Published in the Liverpool Echo December 21st December 2016 View from the Kop
The Everton players had clearly had three Shredded Wheat covered in Red Bull before the game’ says David Thomas from the LFC Daytrippers pod as we look back to the Merseyside derby and ahead to the Xmas fixture programe
1. David, what a week. Not a memorable Merseyside derby quality wise but what a result for the Reds.
I’ve seen a lot of criticism of the standard of the derby, and while it wasn’t free flowing football, I don’t remember it ever really being so. Koeman isn’t a fool and he knows how to set up a team. We needed to be patient and it paid in the end. As someone said after the game – is there a better/worse way to win/lose the derby?
2. How worried were you in the first 30 minutes. What do you think turned the match in Liverpool’s favour?
I was more worried one of our players would be injured than us losing to be honest. Its pretty clear that the Everton players had three Shredded Wheat covered in Red Bull before the game and came tearing into us.
But they actually created nothing of note and you suspected (correctly) that they couldn’t maintain it.
3. Ragnar Klavan’s performance impressed. Can he be Liverpool’s third centre back or would you target that area for a top class signing in January?
Without being funny what is a top class centre back? We’ve seen the money that City, United and Chelsea have spent on centre backs (Otamendi, Mangala, Stones, Jones, Luiz, Zouma etc) and how many of them have been successes?
I think that both Lovren and Matip are in the top five-10 CBs in the league already with both Klavan and to a lesser extent Lucas showing they are capable of coming in. I’d spend all our money elsewhere.
4. Daniel Sturridge returned to make a big impact from the bench. Does he come back into your starting line-up straight away?
Not for me. I think Origi has earned his place and always has the option to play wide, something Sturridge isn’t as keen on. The key is getting the best out of Mane and Firmino which Origi does better than Sturridge right now.
5. Derby hero Sadio Mane heads to the African Cup of Nations soon. How would you adjust the Reds line-up to cope with his absence?
Well firstly I’d look to buy someone but assuming we don’t then I would consider pushing Wijnaldum or Lallana into the front 3 until Coutinho was fit. I would not be surprised to see either Harry Wils on or Ojo getting some minutes too.
6. What’s your thoughts on the Christmas fixtures against Stoke, Manchester City and Sunderland?
Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool and Mark Hughes manager of Stoke City react during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Stoke
I think beating Stoke is the key. I never worry too much about us against the bigger teams and we have shown we are better than City. But Stoke after Christmas just sounds horrible. Get through that and I fancy us for 7 points.
7. Finally, Santa is delivering your Xmas present in January this year. Who or what would be inside the box arriving at Melwood assuming Messi and Ronaldo are busy?
Hello? Have you got a new Sadio Mane? Gini Wijnaldum, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane at Melwood
A replacement for Mane would be where I would spend all my money. In our game pace is so important and he has shown the impact that can have. Go big and go fast.