Liverpool v Newcastle Game Preview by @tscgranite

The Kop Table Interview

Peter talks to our debutant Q&A guest Tim Clark about all things LFC.

What were your thoughts on the performance against West Ham Tim?

We won. It was a solid performance & a game that in previous seasons has tripped us up. We are starting to take the big scores for granted & it feels good.

I found myself not stressing about our back-4 & the save from Karius an indication of the growing confidence of him as our number 1 keeper. Overall, a mature performance with greatly improved game management – I was proud of the team & I’m enjoying fortress Anfield again.

Were you surprised to see Joel Matip reinstated to the back 4 on Saturday?

Yes and no. I’m a Klopp believer & I know it’s in-line with his rotation policy. With some massive games coming up, he needs to be sure of his team and have the right guys ready for the right games. In the current squad, Lovren has done enough to prove he is the right man to partner VVD in the biggest of games – After some horrendous mistakes, he knows his limitations but he’s buckled down & worked hard. VVD is a Rolls Royce of a defender & his calm, strong presence seems to have stabilised the back-4 & Lovren, more than most, looks calmer & more accomplished alongside our new CB.

Matip has shown promise this season but he’s not my number 1 partner of VVD. However, with the greatest respect to West Ham, this was an ideal game to give Matip match-time, to rest Lovren & to prepare the back-4 for the challenges of Newcastle, Porto and the big one against Man Utd on the 10th March.

A lot of players played very well but who was the standout player in this fixture for you?

I am torn,  there were moments in the game for many players, the save by Karius a great example, Ox and Robertson were immense and are getting better game by game. Can was strong again – he’s a Panzer of a player when on form (why won’t he sign a new contract?), Bobby, Mane and Mo were sublime but Milner was the glue that held it all together & for me his character & work-rate is second to none.

What are your thoughts on Firmino’s no look finishes ?

Love it !! well until he slices one and misses !!

Would you give James Milner a new contract when this one is up?

100% !! As an ‘old timer’, I miss our ‘BootRoom – the new style of fan may not agree but Milner is an old school, hardworking Liverpool player in the ‘traditional’ mode – he is a BootRoom type of player – he’s an honest, hardworking, grafter. He plays in any position that’s required. He performs to the best of his ability every single time. He gives 100% for the shirt. He may not be the most skilful, but he is solid, a machine, a workhorse & he can take a mean penalty when asked too.

Can you see Klopp making many changes for the Newcastle game?

As Stevie would say : “yeah, of course”

Score prediction v Newcastle and why please?

I love welcoming Rafa back to Anfield – a great manager, one of our best in my opinion. I have a huge amount of respect for him for his time as our Manager (a genuinely nice guy who along with his family, have given so much (& continue to give so much) to the people of Liverpool )

Rafa will set-up strong & Jonjo will be up for the challenge I’m sure.  Newcastle are another great football city & I do not want to see them go down but we are far too strong. It’s 3-1 for me.