In terms of adjusting to a new league Loris Karius had a seemingly easy transition from the Bundesliga to Premier League. His first nine games were relatively untroubled. Some actually questioning was he any good – not questioning his ability, more checking to see if he’d done anything!!
Over the weeks we started to notice that he made some small mistakes. But let’s be honest we all still had the Mignolet errors etched into our memories. Despite a bright start for Mignolet this season, once Karius returned from injury Jürgen Klopp quickly announced he was his No. 1 goalkeeper. A very brave move, but none the less an essential move. A statement had to be made.
Was it the right move?
I’m not here to question that. I still waking up in the middle if the night, replaying in my mind last week’s dramatic last-minute spill that allowed Nathan Ake to score Bournemouth’s winner. Waking up in cold sweats. Has it happened again?
Against West Ham on Sunday you have to question his effectiveness. The pressure surrounding him will now intensify after his part in West Ham’s opener. Payet’s nicely struck free-kick, it was too central to be considered unstoppable. However it looked exactly that – if he can’t reach the far post why didn’t he put a man on it?
Then came West Ham’s second goal, which was also avoidable. Havard Nordtveit’s pass from his own half connected with Henderson’s head, deflecting the ball high into the air and wrong-footing Matip, allowing Antonio to score. Had Karius been further advanced in his area the West Ham man might not have had the chance to score. So another goal that did not reflect well on a Karius.
Whilst it wasn’t entirely his fault, I can’t think of a time when I thought ‘wow, if Karius hadn’t manage to…we’d be in trouble…”
You sense that to win a title you do need a keeper who can just tidy up the mistakes. It feels that almost every time our defense makes an error it will result in a goal. This needs to change.
Klopp’s reply when asked about Karius
When asked about whether Karius could have been positioned better for the set-piece, Klopp said: “I’ve really no idea. You are the seventh person who has asked me this. Maybe he was or you are all blind. I’ve only seen it once. I’ve no idea, actually.”
“But it was a brilliant situation for Payet, I saw him training before the game and he missed all of them. I was hoping (for the same) in the game too, but no!”
“Matip, who had a fantastic game, slipped a little bit (for the second goal) and couldn’t control the ball, Loris was then surprised and we were too late and they could score.”
Great goalkeepers are needed
A great goalkeeper will help you win the title. You can’t always rely upon the forward line to score one more than the opposition. In the past there has been Schmeichel from Man United and Cech from Chelsea, both great keepers who have saved their championship winning teams.
Recently there is a direct comparison in Manchester United’s De Gea. De Gea was afforded time, now he’s considered ‘world class’. Klopp certainly feels that Karius is that good, but in a results driven industry you have to question if Karius is going be given that about of time. The signs coming from Klopp are really positive, being very public in his praise towards him – he knows he has potential.
During the West Ham game we had three shots on target. Just three attempts on target to score. Yet we scored two. Had that third attempt gone in we would have won. If we had won we’d have picked up three points. Had that have happened would Karius be under scrutiny after ‘errors costing us 5 points’?
Had that had happened we’d be mocking Pep Guardiola’s blind faith in his system after falling apart to Leicester.
Please, regardless, I hope we will never say that about our team and manager.
The easiest option would be to drop Karius allowing Mignolet to cover for a few games. It would also be the wrong thing. The team need to accept responsibility as a whole and move on from it. Karius needs a cuddle, some support and reassurances he’s here to stay – thankfully we have a manager who will do just that.
What do you think, do you think that Karius should be under scrutiny ?
Is it too harsh to suggest he has lost us 5 points already? Feel free to leave a comment.
I really hope that you enjoyed this article.
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