We might as well talk about Loris Karius, because that is what the world wants apparently.
Have you ever seen a situation where it’s a brand new story, but you already feel like you know the ending?
Karius has not done himself any favors in recent weeks, but luckily I am here to offer some advice and save his Liverpool career.
As fans of the game, sometimes it is easier to see situation play out from the stands than it is for the actual players on the pitch. We can tell that something is just, “off about the situation.”
However, as fans we are helpless to stop it. We can’t throw on a substitute. We can’t whisper into Jurgen Klopp’s ear and get him to instruct the team to slow down the pace. We can’t help Karius to regain his focus.
Most of us, I believe, still trust Klopp. So when Karius was brought over from the German Bundesliga we thought, “what a relief, some competition for Simon Mignolet.”
Eventually Karius got on the pitch and we all thought, “let’s see what this kid is all about!”
Then we saw him play a bit and thought, “he just needs time to settle.”
Klopp would seem unfazed by early criticism of his goalie and correctly shift the focus back on to the manager as the grumbling got louder.
Then one of our hero’s, one of us, Jamie Carragher tells the world that basically Karius isn’t good enough. Things get further complicated when Gary Neville, a hated rival but quality pundit, piles on the criticism.
The Problem: Karius is listening to the commentators. Not only is he listening, he’s talking back through Twitter and the media. He’s never going to win this battle.
Simply put, the only way he’s going to shut up the Carragher’s and Neville’s is to play his way out of the mess he’s created for himself. He can’t do that if he’s staying up late at night like Donald Trump attempting to deliver a 140 character message to silence his critics.
Karius needs to understand his battle is on the pitch and that is where 100% of his focus needs to be. It is what he actually has control over. Right now it is blatantly obvious he is struggling with that because again, all the way up in the stands it is easy to see he is not making decisive decisions.
Liverpool supporters need to understand that it is not Karius keeping us from being a title winning side. Singling one player out is a typical scapegoating tactic that deflects attention from the other culprits. Let’s look at today’s game for example.
- It’s a team sport. We win and lose as a team. When one part of the team is firing on all cylinders it is their job to take pressure off of the part of the team that are underperforming or in the case of Karius being heavily criticized.
- Adam Lallana giving Dimitri Payet an opportunity to have a free kick from 25 yards out, does not help the situation.
- When a goalie is low on confidence, the focus isn’t going to be rock solid. Replays of Payet’s goal show Karius out of position, leaving the right of his goal wide open. Although able to get a touch on the shot, he wasn’t strong enough to keep it out.
- The second goal scored by Michail Antonio again highlighted for me the main issue with Karius, lack of confidence. There were times this season where Karius would stand almost on the half way line to sweep up any clearances and pile the pressure back on the opposition. On Antonio’s goal his starting position was almost in his own goal.
- Any decision from that starting point was going to end in failure. Either Karius stays on his line and Antonio picks his spot. Or, he comes out flying and gives away a penalty or Antonio skips around him and passes the ball into an empty net.
If you are a Liverpool supporter and think Karius is all that stands between us and the title I have some bad news for you.
- Chelsea are a better team and they are on form.
- Arsenal appear to be in a better position than us and not just in the table.
- Philippe Coutinho is still injured for several more weeks.
- Divock Origi is scoring goals but he’s far from a complete striker.
- The rise of Origi has meant the fall of Roberto Firmino.
- Sadio Mane still isn’t anywhere near his early season form.
- Gini Wijnaldum is solid, but not showing he can be a difference maker.
- Lallana is not immune from poor situation awareness (see today’s first goal).
- Jordan Henderson has been solid, but he too often fails to deliver. Cracking attempt today not withstanding.
- James Milner and Nathaniel Clyne may be extremely hard working, but they are still part of a unit that concedes regularly.
- Dejan Lovren, do I even?
- Joel Matip…he…he’s actually quite boss.
- Klopp seems to be unable to bring on an impact sub or deviate from his initial plan enough to turn the tide in our favor. He can rile us up, but something he needs to take it down a notch and make sure we see games like last week’s trip to Bournemouth out.
I think it’s likely Karius will sit soon. Have we even seen the real Karius up until this point?
I never want to see one of our players fail so if that happens, I hope someone is there to pick him up.