We’re pretty sure Simon Mignolet is trying to be a good guy here and not come across as slightly patronising – having won Liverpool’s starting goalkeeper position back from Loris Karius.
Jurgen Klopp decided to drop the 23-year-old German, who arrived in the summer from Mainz, for the victory over Middlesbrough on Wednesday, and Mignolet did excellently in his place.
The Belgian made a stunning save from Viktor Fischer and command his box, in stark contrast to Karius’s dodgy performances against Bournemouth and West Ham in the two games previous.
“The goalkeeper position is not an easy one,” Mignolet told the Telegraph. “No individual is more important than the club and the only important thing is the club. Obviously, for Loris, it won’t be nice, but he is capable and professional enough to learn from it.
“You have to be mentally strong to deal with it. In football things can change very quickly, with an injury or illness. You have to stay professional, keep your head down and work hard on and off the pitch. Stay focused, which is not always easy, especially as a keeper.
“As a striker you can come on to help the team as a sub at certain moments, but as a goalkeeper, you normally have to wait for your chance [to start] and just try to be ready.”
For now, the position between the sticks is Mignolet’s to lose. Klopp won’t drop him if he’s playing well, but if he starts to drop clangers (which have become all too familiar since his arrival in 2013) there’s a genuine replacement option, once Karius has got his head together and worked hard on the training ground.
Last term, with Adam Bogdan as backup, this wasn’t the case, so hopefully – it’ll propel Mignolet to a run of good form. Over the coming festive period and into January, we badly need it.