Liverpool have been handed a COLOSSAL boost, undoubtedly, with Jöel Matip reported to have not travelled with the Cameroon squad for the African Cup Of Nations in January.
The news was reported by a user called Mansour Loum on Twitter – where he explained why Cameroonian footballers have not travelled with the squad for the African Cup Of Nations.
— Mansour Loum (@Mansour_Loum) December 20, 2016
Another Premier League [and Cameroonian] footballer that will not be travelling to the tournament is West Brom’s Allan Nyom, due to Nyom wanting to preserve his place in the West Brom squad under Tony Pulis.
Roughly translated, the text mentioning Matip reads:
He does not want to play with the Indomitable Lions at the moment because of bad experience with previous technical staff.
This will prove a boost for Liverpool fans, and Jurgen Klopp himself – who was already summoned to prepare for January & February without starman Sadio Mane – who has been Liverpool’s top scorer this season in all competitions [8 goals].
Liverpool will be without the Senegalese for the trip to Old Trafford on January 15, and for the home fixture against Antonio Conte’s table-topping Chelsea on January 31.
Also, Klopp is facing a wait for Philippe Coutinho to return to full fitness – the Brazilian is reportedly improving, and could be in action by early January; with the German unlikely to risk Coutinho against Manchester City on New Year’s Eve.
But the key bonus here, for Liverpool is Matip’s return. Having endeared himself among the Liverpool contingent & made himself a fan favourite in the burrowed time he’s been at the club, Matip has also impressed with his calm, no-nonsense, physical & accomplished performances on the pitch.
It’s as if the Cameroonian has papered over our cracks & frailities defensively – bar a disappointing performance at home to West Ham earlier this month, Matip has been flawless.
His physical presence in the air has aided Liverpool in the games they needed it most – namely West Brom at home, when Solomon Rondon was deployed lone striker. His passing, opposed to when some sections of the fanbase were labelling Sakho’s passing as eratic, is generally good – his aptitude to read the game is second to none.
Matip has also won over the whole of the fanbase too, in his spell at the club, spanning 5 months. Club legends such as Sami Hyypia have been quick to praise him, as well as Phil Thompson.
And while not all Matip’s attributes to his game are fully nailed down yet, he still has a long-term future to commit to Anfield, with the club having struggled to find a settled & consistent CB for the club, who is willing to commit to Anfield since Jamie Carragher’s retirement.
Matip’s positional play could be better – generally this is an attribute to his game that is slowly improving, and if he can continue to show toughness & maturity at the back, there is no doubting he can go onto be an imperative servant to the club, like his predecessors such as Agger, Carragher etc.
Let’s not forget though that Matip needs time to bed in fully – he seems to be slotting in well. It would be difficult to name examples of Matip’s excellent performances, as he has been that much a model of consistency. I’d say the West Ham performance HAS merely been a blip. Many opposition supporters will think I’m trying to paper the cracks over his performance that Sunday evening, but if you analyse his Squwaka stats, you’ll have more of a clue as to what I’m even on about.
Corroborated by the statistics above, it’s evident that in his 12 appearances in the Premier League this season that he brings that degree of assurance to the defence with his passing – and his average duels won is in fact higher than the squad average of 48%. That is saying something. Matip is clearly doing something right with the physical aspect to his game – which we will need massively in what will be a tough schedule of games.
He is yet to make a defensive error too, according to Squawka, but I would admit that he was poor against West Ham, not offering that confidence to the defence he usually has.
So, that was a summary of how Matip is going to be key for our upcoming games to the backend of the festive period and going into the New Year. Oh, and right as I speak, FIFA are reportedly attempting to sanction against Matip’s decision to not commit to his country – may I just say, FIFA, if you’re reading this – that I’m pretty sure you’d lose a legal case if ya tried to enforce any non-existent regulations that your corrupt organisation possesses.
All for this post, ta.
Written by @SteLindellLFC.