Is it time Liverpool sacked this coach?

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Goalkeeping coach John Achterberg has been using some rugby pads to help get Loris Karius used to the Premier League.
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Alex Rogers assesses John Achterberg, Liverpool’s goalkeeping coach and discusses whether it’s time for him to leave the club.

After Sunday’s frustratingly horrible draw against West Ham, there has been a meltdown in the Liverpool fan base. I’ve seen opinions ranging from rather tame views such as, “It was just one of those games,” to rather horrible opinions that Karius should die. Absolutely disgusting view.

But one opinion stuck out to me, and it’s a view that’s been gaining traction as of late. What if it’s not our goalkeepers that are under performing, but our goalkeeping coach, John Achterberg, who is under performing.

A possibility that hasn’t really occurred to me until recently. The first I heard of it was from a fellow Rousing the Kop writer, that maybe Achterberg is the problem. After the game against West Ham, where Loris Karius had a bit of a mare between the sticks for a second game in a row, letting in a rather soft free kick from Payet, causing outraged fans to call for Karius’ head.

But Achterberg was also called into question from many of the fans. Bruce Grobbelaar, Liverpool legend, has also called into question the credibility of Achterberg in the past and the evidence that Achterberg may not be the man for the job seems to pile up.

Let’s take Mignolet for example. Mignolet won Belgian goalkeeper of the year in 2009 when he was only 21, a very impressive accolade. Even when he played for Sunderland, he was considered a very exciting player and one of the best shot-stoppers in the league but since then, he’s not really improved in his years at the club. In fact, some could say he’s been very disappointing for Liverpool.

And now let’s take Reina. Ahh, Reina, a lovely man and an excellent goalkeeper. Even now at Napoli, he’s being consistently good. Funny how the man we got to replace the “declining” Reina, and the man we got to replace the man that replaced Reina, are both currently not playing as good as the man we got rid of years ago. Funny how things turn out. Strangely, Reina only had his dip in form when Achterberg was appointed.

Now let’s take Brad Jones. Brad Jones had been at Liverpool for a respectable amount of time, but never did he seem like a fantastic player. Now playing for Feyenoord in the Netherlands, he has just won the award for best goalkeeper in 2016. What. The. Fuck. Didn’t know Brad had it in him!

And now let’s take Liverpool’s newest scapegoat, Loris Karius. I’ve been a constant defender of the German, and I definitely still am, but it’s fair to say some of his mistakes have been shocking. But these mistakes seem to be hugely uncharacteristic of him from his performances last year in the Bundesliga.

I’ve mentioned time and time again that a player who featured in the team of the season and was voted second best goalkeeper by his fellow professionals at the age of 22, doesn’t suddenly lose the ability to save a shot. Yet here we are! Yes, it could be down to severe lack of confidence or even adjusting to a new league and team, but maybe, just maybe, it’s down to the goalkeeping coach?

I hate to play the blame game, I really do, but since Reina left, all of our goalkeepers have been poor. I didn’t include Bogdan in the list, but did I really have to? John Achterberg is the last remaining member of backroom staff from during the Brendan Rodgers era, the rest having been replaced by Klopp’s staff, and maybe it’s time for him to leave? A lot of other people think so too.

14 COMMENTS

  1. liverpool were first three fixtures ago and now liverpool is 6 points behind the leaders. Klopp ego of keeping his compatriot in goal is killing liverpool season

  2. I’ve mentioned time and time again that a player who featured in the team of the season and was voted second best goalkeeper by his fellow professionals at the age of 22, doesn’t suddenly lose the ability to save a shot. Yet here we are! Yes, it could be down to severe lack of confidence or even adjusting to a new league and team, but i am sure, it’s down to the goalkeeping coach?

  3. I have long suspected the goalkeeper coach is not up to standard and must be replaced soonest possible . Surely Kloop knows a top class one especially from Germany. The positioning of Karius for the free kick was obviously wrong as this would be the goalkeeper coaching fault.

  4. There could be something in this actually.
    If it were just one or two GK’s that had failed in recent years, then you’d certainly point to the players themselves, and possibly the player recruiting staff.
    But when it’s four or five GK’s in the recent past, then you have to start looking for common factors which affect all those players and the coach is certainly one of those factors.
    The weird thing is….all the GK’s are seeming to have problems with the same things….Coming for crosses, commanding their area, hesitating about coming off there line….
    When you think about it in those terms, then (for me) pointing a finger in the direction of the coach in not unreasonable.

  5. Archtitanbaerg should be sack, it seem is the cause of liverpool problem. Imagin, the best second goal keeper in Bundesliga last season, is now the 2nd worst keeper in EPL. Why? For heavenly sake, protect our team, we are also entitled to the Title… Kindly resign from your duty if you know u can not coach our keepers anymore.

  6. I first said that Achterberg was not even a 3rd division coach more than 2 years ago. He remains to this day fireproof it seems. I once more repeat that there are FIRST rate ex-keepers out there who can make a difference. On Sunday I saw both Clemence and Grobbelar sitting stone-faced in the crowd watching the debacle. It would be better to spend and get one of them in! I don’t expect anything any time soon though !

  7. You’ve nailed it, Achterberg is the problem, Clemence and Grobbelar where spectators on Saturday and in my personal opinion we should ask Clemence to be goalkeeping coach, he’s forgotten more than Achterberg ever knew!

  8. LFC porous defence continues to leak goals in the same way it happened during Brendan Rodgers time. The weakest link in defence is the GK right now no matter what Klopp would want to believe! We can see it all the way from Nairobi, Kenya.All the good work Klopp has done will go down the drain because of poor and distressing goal keeping.Klopp act now and save LFC from further embarrassment.
    Take note: Klopp; you need immediately a new GK; and in addition a LB and DM; and also a striker considering injuries and the fact that Mane will be away in January if you
    harbour any ambitions of winning the premier league.I know you harbour these ambitions and there’s nothing wrong with
    that.Good luck.

  9. LFC porous defence continues to leak goals in the same way it happened during Brendan Rodgers time. The weakest link in defence is the GK right now no matter what Klopp would want to believe! We can see it all the way from Nairobi, Kenya.All the good work Klopp has done will go down the drain because of poor and distressing goal keeping.Klopp act now and save LFC from further embarrassment.
    Take note: Klopp; you need immediately a new GK; and in addition a LB and DM; and also a striker considering injuries and the fact that Mane will be away in January if you
    harbour any ambitions of winning the premier league.I know you harbour these ambitions and there’s nothing wrong with
    that.Good luck.

  10. What a sad article -John Acterberg is the first in Melwood and the last out !!
    He works really hard -there are times when keepers just get things wrong!! He has improved both Mig and Karius!! It is just easy to have a go at karius -I can see good in him just needs time -he is relatively young in Prem League experience -give him some time out!!! Klopp is older and wiser and will not bow to Media pressure!!!
    We have more important priorities in January and he and the team know that!!!

  11. A few of us have been saying that Achterberg was the problem for years, now everyone is suddenly realising we where right all the time.

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