Liverpool 5 – 1 West Ham – EFL Cup QF Man of the Match

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Curtis Jones: A Rising Star

I recall writing last year how it was time to give more minutes to the former academy prodigy, Curtis Jones, as I witnessed the painful regression of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, and James Milner. The likes of Naby Keïta and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain were always injured, whereas both the squads Spaniards, Thiago Alcântara and Stefan Bajčetić, were also struggling to stay away from the medical room. An opportunity arose at the backend of the 2022/23 campaign, one which enabled the reds number 17 to finally stake a claim for a starting role. With a homegrown spirit, tenacious intent, and skillset once lauded by Liverpool legend, Steven Gerrard, it seemed to be only persistent injuries which were stopping the 6ft midfielder from getting into the first team picture. An unfortunate and unwarranted suspension scuppered the early season promise this year, however, it appears that the 2023/24 campaign of the all-around midfielder is now fully back on track.

Dominant Display Against West Ham

Tonight’s game against West Ham was a mauling, as the Anfield men made their east London visitors pay for the shambolic performance from the weekend. This type of display and result is the ideal response to that 0-0 draw with Manchester United, whilst acting as the perfect build-up to Arsenal’s visit to Anfield this coming Saturday.

There has long been a dilemma surrounding the attributes and form of the 22-year-old, especially in this regeneration known as Liverpool 2.0. With a relentless pressing game, energy to burn, and tremendous in-game intelligence, his role in this next Jürgen Klopp team now looks assured. It can be no coincidence that both Wataru Endō and Dominik Szoboszlai excelled this evening, with the all-around game of Jones complementing the midfield group.

Jones’ Stellar Performance

The two goals by tonight’s man of the match were a sign of a player desperate to cement a permanent starting role in his team, which was surely created by a scintillating display. The first goal was sheer desire and a willingness to back his own ability in front of goal. The second goal was of a player performing to a height we have never seen, as his overall output in this EFL Cup quarterfinal was the best display he has ever delivered for the club he supports.

The weekend game against Arsenal must now see this same starting midfield maintained, as the chance to sit top on Christmas Day awaits either winning side. This evening under the Anfield lights, the future England international, Curtis Jones, was the very best amongst an entire team that was superb. Wataru Endō and Dominik Szoboszlai were very good, Harvey Elliott superb, Darwin Núñez and Cody Gakpo showed their best game for some time, whereas the entire defence was on point.

Time to take on the Gunners, which could lead to the Christmas Day present the fanbase craves most.

Liverpool 3 – 2 West Ham

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