Monday, December 18, 2017

Saving the Private Karius

Milos Markovic in Editorial, English Premier League 14 Dec 2016

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Karius should be given a vote of confidence / Image via thisisanfield.com

Karius should be given a vote of confidence / Image via thisisanfield.com

The recent media spat between the Manchester United legends – the Neville brothers – and Liverpool goalkeeper Lorius Karius has all the elements to become a solid blockbuster.

Whether it turns into a comedy or a tragedy is not entirely up to the participants themselves, rather up to the public perception of the problem in question.

What Loris Karius is being barraged for are not his poor performances for Liverpool anymore, but the audacity to speak his mind and respond to criticism he was subjected to.

Shouldn’t we all have the right to be outspoken and honest in our opinions?

The same premise should go both for the Neville brothers, but for the Liverpool keeper as well. Laughable implications from former players and current pundits could indeed make the entire saga a great comedy of errors.

Lorius Karius’ Premier League career hit an incredibly rocky start.

Having spent his entire professional career playing for the Bundesliga side Mainz 05, the 23-year-old shot stopper moved to Liverpool in 2016 where he was expected to take over from Simon Mignolet and restore confidence to Liverpool’s goal line, which had been missing for more than three years now.

The Anfield club struggled to inspire stability and confidence from goal ever since the Spanish goalkeeper Pepe Reina left the Reds and fans were hopeful Karius will become a long-term solution for the problematic position in the team.

Numerous blunders and errors which were at direct cost to Liverpool’s results went on to diminish Karius’ influence on goal and cause plenty of criticism from the public and pundits alike.

Perhaps it was down to the pressure that comes with the Premier League, perhaps even Karius’ inability to cope with the same at early stage in his Liverpool career, but the 23-year-old goalkeeper started his spell on goal with a couple of misplaced passes and missed clearances.

Bournemouth blunder then allowed the Cherries to grab a 4-3 win over Liverpool and threw Karius under the spotligh, whereas his poor positioning against West Ham allowed Dimitri Payet to place his lovely free kick in the back of Liverpool’s net, much to the disappointment of the club’s faithful.

Karius was at blame on one too many occasions for the Reds.

But the blame should not fall on his shoulders alone.

Liverpool are struggling at back, weak and shaky defences have left the German shot stopper too exposed which in the end resulted in 20 conceded goals, most of all top 6 Premier League sides.

Klopp began his Liverpool overhaul from the goal line and is expected to be active during the next couple of transfer windows to tidy up the defence, which for now makes it much harder to state the objective case against Lorius Karius.

Pointing the finger to the German U-21 international for his blunders and errors are one thing, but telling him to ‘shout his mouth off’ a completely different one. One any professional footballer – current or former – should not have allowed oneself.

Jurgen Klopp has firm belief in Lorius Karius nevertheless.

Just as he should.

The German tactician refused to turn back on his shot stopper in time of need and has decided to step in front of the media to publicly defend the German international from the overly harsh criticism of the Neville brothers and Liverpool’s own Jamie Carragher, who led the condemnation in the first place.

Both Karius and Klopp appear to have accepted criticism from former Liverpool defender, but Neville’s comments were enough for Klopp to accuse former United man of trying to disrupt the atmosphere within the Liverpool camp.

Karius on his own part will be best off to give his response on the pitch.

Raising the level of self-assurance on goal line would be the best way to do it and Karius can make it happen as early as Wednesday evening. Namely, Liverpool are playing at the Riverside Stadium against Middlesbrough, bidding to close the gap behind Arsenal and – more importantly – Chelsea, who are currently six points in front of the Reds.

Jurgen Klopp’s men are given 3/5 betting odds to triumph and Liverpool will definitely need a strong, composed and confident Karius to succeed in their attempt.

Klopp, the fans and the club itself have done their fair part and it is now up to Karius to make a strong case for himself which I am sure he will.

Are you?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines – most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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