Jack Hallows believes that there is simply no coming back for Loris Karius at Liverpool after his latest blunder in a pre-season fixture at Tranmere.
I want to continue defending Loris Karius, I really do.
Jürgen Klopp evidently believes there’s enough talent out there for the player to overcome his devastating Champions League final experience and make it as Liverpool’s number one but after another blunder at Tranmere, I just can’t see it happening.
The German stopper didn’t have huge amounts to do in Liverpool’s first friendly – a 7-0 win against Chester – making one unusual looking save with his feet but as soon as he was called into action at Tranmere he fluffed his lines.
Karius spilled what looked a fairly routine stop from a Tranmere free kick, allowing one of their other players to turn home the rebound after he reacted quicker than the keeper and defenders.
While there are doubts over whether Karius is of the standard required to be the number one in a team challenging for major honours, ability is only part of the battle.
You can have the reflexes of David de Gea, the kicking and positioning ability of Manuel Neuer and the frame of Jan Oblak but if you’re fragile mentally, you just aren’t going to cut it at the very top.
It’s a harsh but real truth.
While 95% of Liverpool fans would have looked to get behind Karius and support the former Mainz keeper if Klopp chose to retain him as his number one in spite of those Champions League final blunders, opposition fans will never be so kind.
The German will constantly be reminded of those errors and if he continues making these mistakes – even in an arena as meaningless to the bigger picture as pre-season – he’s only going to be throwing fuel on the fire.
Imagine he drops one in at Old Trafford with a crowd of Manchester United supporters in his ear? Even if he doesn’t, he’ll be reminded for an entire 90 minutes of his Kiev nightmare.
It takes real steel to not only block that out but to perform regardless of it and unfortunately it looks as if Karius’ mental fragility means he just isn’t capable of doing so.
Liverpool have a real chance to go head to head with the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United this season for the Premier League title, while they’ve already shown what they can do on the European stage. If they’re going to take that next step from challengers to victors, they need a goalkeeper befitting of playing his part.
While I want to support Karius all the while that he dons Liverpool red – or green, in the case of goalkeepers lately – he just isn’t that keeper.
Liverpool have a month left of the summer window to get their transfers done and while the signing of Fabinho was an unprecedented piece of brilliant business, they’re yet to really make a mark.
Spending big on a goalkeeper – arguably the most important position on the pitch – would go a very long way towards doing so.
What do you think? Should Liverpool stick with Karius or should another keeper go right back to the top of Klopp’s shopping list?