By Carl Clemente
Hardly a day goes by since the European Cup Final in Kyiv on the 26th May that we don’t hear or read about Liverpool’s current goalkeeping situation. Something which has become a hotly-debated topic amongst all Liverpool fans. Therefore, we took to social media to find out exactly who the Anfield faithful prefer to be Klopp’s number one.
Thousands of Liverpool fans took part in yesterday’s online pole and the results were quite striking that only 8% voted in favour of Loris Karius keeping his place in goal for the forthcoming campaign. Undoubtedly, this proves that Loris Karius is no longer supported by 92% of Liverpool fans.
Up until now Karius’ closest threat to losing his place is to Simon Mignolet. However, according to our pole, he doesn’t have to lose much sleep over the Belgium keeper, as only 4% of fans would want to see him back as Klopp’s first choice. In fact, only a combined 11% of fans would want either Mignolet or Karius to be Liverpool’s number one goalkeeper next season!
It’s needless to say that change is needed and one in four Liverpool fans told us they wanted to see Danny Ward been given a chance. Some fans are even left puzzled by the fact that Ward has only made three first team appearances since joining the Reds in 2012 from Wrexham. Surely six years and a half is enough time to be given a run in the first team – especially whilst competing against fragile peers. Ward, now 25 – really needs to push on for a run in the first team and if not – shouldn’t settle for being Liveroool’s third choice goalkeeper at this stage in his career.
As expected the winner of the pole was: ‘a new signing” – something that Liverpool fans have longed for the last few years. Goals and going forward weren’t a problem last season. Virgil Van Dijk, Kieta & Fabinho will help the team improve defensively, the full-back positions are now well established by Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson – which just leaves the goalkeeping position the only area in Klopp’s team to be upgraded.
In my opinion, an upgrade in this position would change a team: capable of reaching finals and top four finishes, into a team capable of winning silverware and league titles. One only needs to cast their mind back to Kyiv in May for this to be proven!
In addition, Liverpool supporters are also left wondering if the problem lies with current goalkeeping coach John Achterberg, as it seems no goalkeeper he has took under his wing has gone on to show a considerable amount of improvement from his training methods. Some supporters have even voiced the opinion of – his goalkeepers have actually got worse during their time at Liverpool and were actually better at their previous clubs.
On the flip side, our recent improvement on the pitch is down to Jürgen Klopp’s sheer determination and it goes without saying that Klopp has the fans best interests at heart. Therefore, should fans trust Klopp’s decision and start to back Karius again? – even though he single-handedly shattered our dreams in Kyiv. If not the mistakes will continue to occur, as he is bound to crack under fan pressure.
However, forgiveness won’t be an easy task for many Liverpool fans, especially after being blessed with world class goalkeepers over the years.
Besides, Karius himself isn’t giving us much hope in being able to forget his performance against Real Madrid. In the first two games of preseason Karius committed two horrendous errors against Chester (albeit it was during the warm up) and he also gifted Tranmere Rovers their first goal on Tuesday evening.
Action needs to be taken and fast if we are to achieve the goal of bringing back silverware to Anfield. As previously mentioned FSG & Klopp have invested and enhanced the squad in all other areas of the pitch and failing to improve the goalkeeping position will be a grave error and would consequently hold us back from achieving our goals as a football club.