Scott Groom urges fans to lend their support to Loris Karius as the German looks to put past mistakes behind him and earn back the fanbase’s trust.
It’s fair to say that Liverpool’s number one has come in for his fair share of criticism since taking his place as Jürgen Klopp’s first choice keeper.
This shouldn’t perhaps be the most surprising thing for Loris Karius to have learned – the level of intensity from Liverpool fans is rarely found elsewhere and fans demand excellence at all times and do not settle for anything less.
However, in recent weeks and ever since that fateful night in Kiev, the spotlight has been firmly focused on Loris Karius, and everything he’s done has been subject to the most intense scrutiny that I can remember seeing any Liverpool player ever receive.
Now, this is not me saying that Karius’ performances don’t deserve a bit of intense analysis because you simply cannot escape the fact that he has made some pretty high profile errors – namely those in the Champions League Final.
There are more instances when his talent has been called into question, like the shot he let slip against Roma at Anfield, allowing Sane to score City’s first in Liverpool’s emphatic 4-3 victory of The Citizens to name but a couple.
However, the level that the criticism has been ramped up to in recent days is, for me, borderline unacceptable.
To criticise him on the pitch is one thing, but to be taking digs at him for posting videos of his holiday is for me, a little too much.
Yes, he knows he’s made mistakes – big ones at that. But having those to deal with alone is going to be tough enough without thousands of unknowns hurling abuse in his direction on social media as well.
Many will be keen to point out that this is just the effects of social media, making players more accessible to their fans for better or for worse… but really giving him pelters over that video?
Couple that with his poor mistake against Tranmere Rovers in only the second pre-season friendly and you can begin to spot a trend. A dark, horrible trend whereby everything Karius does is now wrong.
It’s at times like these when I think we as football supporters forget to actually be supporters. Constructive criticism is what is needed here. Measured, logical and coherent analysis of performances and not blinkered, offensive and just plain rude abuse.
How can Karius ever be expected to recover if we don’t at least let him try?
If someone was being nasty to you on a personal and professional level at work every single day, I don’t think you’d be too confident in yourself or your role, and you’d probably want to quit or just never go to work again.
Let’s use that, apply it to Karius and at least be a bit compassionate about it all or we’re all partly to blame for his further demise.
Past performances can be forgiven if a player is given support and time to show they were just mistakes and nothing more than rare occurrences. This may not be easy for some to come to terms with but it’s true.
If Klopp opts to start Karius as his first choice keeper come the opening Premier League fixture against West Ham, let’s support him. What good is writing him off before kick off going to do?
Maybe a similar case could be made for many past Liverpool keepers and players in general – a lack of compassion and a sense of victimisation making them feel unwelcome and not able to perform at their best.
I spoke recently with John Arne Riise about his time at Liverpool and how crucial having the fans on his side was for him during his time on Merseyside. He told me it made life so much easier. But what if they’re against you? Surely that makes it harder?
We’re supporters. Let’s just go out there and do some supporting.