Two decent goalkeepers: Mignolet and Karius

Loris Karius is reportedly content with waiting for his chance to play for Liverpool, content wt h playing second fiddle to first choice goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. After all it’s not like Simon Mignolet will make mistakes, almost every Liverpool fan is convinced these mistakes will happen sooner rather then later, after all everyone keeps talking about Mignolet’s mistakes on social media oulets of every kind.

Every time Mignolet concedes a goal, the majority of Liverpool fans demand that he is replaced by a better goalkeeper. Last season his competition was a young untested Welsh goalkeeper in the form of Danny Ward and an Adam Bogdan who wasn’t much better than Mignolet himself. Calls for Mignolet to be replaced in goal for the Reds have intensified since Loris Karius signed his contract for Liverpool on 24 May 2016. 

Some fans are of the opinion that the young 22-year-old German goalkeeper is a much better goalkeeper than the 28-year-old Belgian goalkeeper that is currently Liverpools first choice goalkeeper. These constant Mignolet critics are 100 per cent convinced Karius can do a better job in goal than Mignolet. And just don’t challenge their judgement. If you do, you’re an idiot who certainly hasn’t watched any of the games they’ve watched.

As things stand, Simon Mignolet cannot be held directly responsible for any of the seven goals Liverpool conceded thus far this season. Well, that is if you do not ask any of the most convinced critics of his in Liverpool’s fan base. The goals conceeded have come down to individual errors from  players such as Natianial Clyne, James Milber and Lucas Levia. Let’s not forget Simon Mignolet saved a Theo Walcott penalty at the Emirates, that effectively secured two Premier League points for Liverpool on the opening day of the 2016/2017 season. Who cares about that? How many? Two or three fans? Maybe thirty?

No matter how good you are to people, you will always have others criticizing you.

Loris Karius has thus far in his career played 96 first team games for Mainz 05. He has been capped at all age levels for Germany, apart from one: the senior national team. As of now he has played one game for Germany U-21 and has played a total of eight games for the German youth teams.

Loris Karius is certainly a great talent, but there can hardly be no doubt Simon Mignolet is a better goalkeeper than he is. At the age of 28, Mignolet has much more experience to his name with a total of 358 games as a club player (153 for Liverpool) and a total of 17 full caps for Belgium’s national team. He has also played for all Belgian youth national teams, ending up with 10 games for Belgium U-21.

Simon Mignolet’s personal honours reads:

Belgian goalkeeper of the year: 2009/10
Sunderland player of the year: 2013
Liverpool Player of the Season (given by former players): 2014/15

Is Mignolet a world class keeper? 

Certainly not. Could he be one of the best goalkeepers in England right now? Yes, probably. Thibault Courtois and David De Gea are better. Very few goalkeepers in the Premier League are as good as Simon Mignolet is. To name a few: Hugo Lloris, Heurelho Gomes, Kasper Schmeichel. As distrusted as Mignolet is by fans we actually have a better keeper than most other Premier League clubs have.

Simon Mignolet knows he made some mistakes last season, for some fans he made too many mistakes last season. Does he know this? Of course he does. But at the age of 28, he still has time to improve as a player. Many of the world’s best goalkeepers in football history were at their peak after they turned thirty or thirty-two. Some goalkeepers of high standing played in top divisions around Europe until they were forty.

In an interview with Liverpool Echo (8 September 2016), Mignolet says: When I signed that new contract the club said that there would be fresh competition. That is the normal thing – that you have three competitive goalkeepers. Besides Karius we also have Alex Manninger and all three of us get on well. I have already learned a lot from Alex. He is someone who has worked throughout Europe and gives me a lot of confidence. I’ve had competition in my entire career and that is normal when you are at a top club.”

Loris Karius is, first of all, happy with the support given to him by Liverpool fans as he has been out with a broken hand, but says: “Of course, there are a lot of fans that all want us to be the best we can be so they try and help us as best they can. It’s unbelievable how far they travel and how many of them to support us, but in the end it is down to the players to achieve good things. We’re still in the early stages of the season so I think we should just take it from game to game. Hopefully then we can get on a good run, see where it goes and I hope we can do very well this season. We have the potential in our squad for sure, now it’s down to us.”

Simon Mignolet also says: I always critically analyse my performances and will always look to improve but I don’t think I can knock myself up to much for any of the goals we have conceded. In between, I kept a clean sheet in the League Cup against Burton. Putting everything together, it has been a positive start, especially with the three league games being away from home.”

Alex Manninger could actually be the most important goalkeeper signing made by Jürgen Klopp this summer. Manninger’s age and experience must be a big asset both to Mignolet and Karius at Melwood. Both Mignolet and Karius can learn a lot from Manninger. When he was signed, Klopp certainly knew exactly what he was doing, having already decided to let both Bogdan and Ward go out to other clubs on loan this season. What might be seen as the most unprobable of all Klopp’s new summer signings might prove to be that stroke of genius we as fans would never see coming from anywhere. Not even from Jürgen Klopp. 

I’ll finish off by adding this, what if Karius is no better than Mignolet? Will fans still give Mignolet the grief they give him now?

Written by @magneleokarlsen


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