Jürgen Klopp is in dilemma whether or not he should leave out Liverpool’s under fire goalkeeper, writes Sam May.
The German shot stopper who swapped Mainz for Merseyside in the summer in a £4.7 million move, has endured a tough start to Premier League life, making a number of high profile blunders which have cost Liverpool precious points in their pursuit of Chelsea.
Karius needs to adapt to the English game, however in a results business time and points made are of the essence. Liverpool now stand six points behind leaders Chelsea, whereas they were top only three weeks ago. Failure at Bournemouth and at West Ham, has seen five points dropped and six goals against.
There is no question, he is one of the best promising young goalkeepers. He was rated second best keeper in the Bundesliga behind Manuel Neuer. But unlike the Bayern Munich stopper, he doesn’t have a solid defence in front of him.
Being a continental goalkeeper he prefers to punch, rather than catch. The position of goalkeeper is unique and continually in the spotlight. The Neville brothers have been openly critical, yet BBC pundit Chris Sutton and former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, have jumped to his defence. None of this really matters as it’s the decision of the Liverpool manager that counts. He has publicly supported his under-fire keeper throughout.
Liverpool should be working on their defensive set-up on the training ground whilst leaving the keeper to continue to improve his game. Another angle is the current goalkeeping coaching set-up. Is this suitable for Karius?
The Reds have a tricky mid-week encounter away at Middlesborough and then less than a week later a true baptism of fire for Karius if selected, his first Merseyside derby, away at Everton. These two games will surely make him or break him.