Yesterday, Liverpool lost 4-3 to Bournemouth and, in typical fashion, supporters were quick to find one or two scapegoats to blame the entire loss on.
Liverpool were 3-1 up after 65 minutes and, despite spirited play from Bournemouth, few fans would have expected the inspired fightback that would ensue.
When things go well for Liverpool, supporters are quick to praise the team as a collective and maybe select one or two players as deserving of extra credit. When the Reds lose, however, it’s inevitable that there will be a scapegoat. An easy target after Liverpool’s appalling bottle-job yesterday was new signing Loris Karius.
Since joining from Mainz, Karius has had a difficult time of settling into the league and finding his feet. The German keeper missed the start of the season as a result of a broken hand and when he did return to the starting lineup, he didn’t impress a whole lot.
Karius’ uninspiring performances for Liverpool meant that he had a lot to do before being labelled a success and yesterday’s display at the Vitality Stadium didn’t help. In all fairness, Karius was very poor and at fault for the last goal, but calls for the ‘keeper to get the sack are unwarranted and an indictment on the desire from modern football fans for instantaneous success.
Drop It Like It’s Hot ft. Loris Karius. pic.twitter.com/Nv0Ut28Fdl
— DEPRESSED KOLOHOLIC (@Koloholic) December 4, 2016
Loris Karius has had a shocker. Desperate times when you’re begging for Simon Mignolet to return.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) December 4, 2016
It’s a good job Loris Karius is a handsome beast with salon quality hair, because he ain’t much good in goal. #bouliv
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) December 4, 2016
And then you’ve got those who would rather see him leave the club…
Why do I even bother supporting a football club that chooses Loris Karius over Timo Horn??????
— Sam 🎄❄️ (@f1rmino) December 4, 2016
The club should ban you from spending time over here @LorisKarius. The bench is your portion
— FirmiCouti (@one_senator) December 4, 2016
How can a keeper be this bad ?
get out of my club. Not even in the bench.. OUT
— Jawad Lawati (@LawatiJawad) December 4, 2016
Is the criticism justified?
Of course, it is. Loris Karius was simply not good enough against Bournemouth and for most part of his Liverpool career so far and supporters are justified in feeling angry by lost points as a result of another dodgy ‘keeper.
BUT, and this is a huge but, there is no justification for claims that Karius should get dropped or sold. Yes, he’s had a difficult time adjusting to the rigours of the Premier League, but many have forgotten the saves he’s made like against Sunderland last week.
Klopp responded to Karius’ critics yesterday, Jamie Carragher included, and many fans could take a leaf out of the German coach’s book.
“In eight starts for Liverpool he has not shown me one thing to suggest he’s good enough at this level,” Carragher said, according to the Guardian. “He’s yet to convince me in any game. It is still early days but he would need a massive improvement. When your defence is under pressure, sometimes you need your goalkeeper to save it and he’s miles away [from Fraser’s second goal].
“Too often in last two or three years, Liverpool fall apart when put under pressure. The back four and the goalkeeper can’t deal with [pressure].”
Klopp said: “Look, I’m sure people criticised Jamie Carragher in his career. I have no concerns [with Karius]. If you make mistakes, you get criticised. That’s what happens in life, so I have no problem with that. So if people want to say we’re blind, silly, not good enough, then do it. We missed chances today but do we have good strikers? Yes, we do. And the last goal was not easy for a goalkeeper. It says nothing about him as a goalkeeper. It happens.
Klopp’s intent is to downplay the situation, and rightly so, but there is some merit in what Carragher had to say. At the end of the day, Karius is young and clearly needs time to adjust, but calls for his head are a long way off the mark.