Paul Joyce is one of our favourite Liverpool correspondents of all the national newspapers. He’s formerly of the Express but now writes for the Times, and has offered some wisdom on the current Loris Karius situation which is dividing fans.
The young German has been poor (how poor exactly, is up for debate) in Liverpool’s past two fixtures, in which we’ve dropped five points in total against Bournemouth and West Ham. Exactly how many goals he’s been directly at fault for is ambiguous, but he certainly hasn’t covered himself in glory.
However, he’s keeping his spot for the game against Middlesbrough tomorrow evening, despite Simon Mignolet’s presence on the bench.
This has angered many Reds, a few of which have already turned against Karius personally, but as Joyce notes – it’s not the player who brought himself to Anfield…
“If the world is right and Loris Karius is not the standard of goalkeeper Liverpool require, then the last person who should be blamed is Loris Karius,” Paul Joyce wrote in the Times.
“Blame Jürgen Klopp. Blame goalkeeping coach John Achterberg. Blame Liverpool’s German scouts. Blame all three if you are that way inclined.
“But after nine Premier League games for Liverpool, spare Karius the vitriol because it is unlikely he is doing much different now than he was at FSV Mainz 05 when he first came to the Premier League club’s attention.”
This, is spot on. Karius is not ‘failing to adjust to English football’. It’s not proved too physical for him. He’s not struggling to communicate with his back-four; he’s just playing poorly. At Mainz he let in just as many goals in Germany, he just had more saves to make which complemented his highlight reel.
Klopp is backing Karius hard, so any fans who truly feel the club has made an error in buying the German, should turn their attention to the boss.
Naturally, we wouldn’t advise that… Instead, Liverpool should support a player bereft of confidence and help him find form. We doubted Klopp when he signed Sadio Mane, turned Roberto Firmino into a centre-forward and used James Milner at left-back. He deserves our trust on this one too.