Loris Karius faces further criticism following another below-par performance that saw Liverpool lose more ground on leaders Chelsea. The 23-year-old German was already under heavy scrutiny after a questionable performance in the remarkable loss away from home to Bournemouth earlier in the month. His failure to deal with a speculative Steve Cook shot allowed Nathan Ake to pounce and claim a late winner for the south-coast club. It was later revealed by Cook that Bournemouth and their manager Eddie Howe had targeted Karius as the weak link in The Reds side, much to the irritation of Jurgen Klopp.
With each goalkeeping error, the odds of Liverpool winning the title get ever longer at Oddschecker, the keeper’s player rating at whoscored.com plummets and the sentiment that Karius is Liverpool’s weak link intensifies.
After another calamitous appearance between the sticks in Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with West Ham, calls for Klopp to bench his number one have escalated.
Liverpool reserve goalkeeper Simon Mignolet will surely be hopeful of regaining his place in the starting 11 if Karius makes another costly error over what promises to be a decisive and busy Christmas period for Klopp’s team. Mignolet started the season as Liverpool’s goalkeeper, but was replaced once Karius had recovered from a broken bone. Mignolet himself is no stranger to harmful mistakes in a Liverpool shirt and there was some surprise among fans last year when the Belgian was given a new long-term deal to remain at Anfield until 2021.
With Liverpool the top scorers in the Premier League so far this season, they have the attacking threat to challenge for the title but are being let down by consistently poor goalkeeping performances. Like all teams, Liverpool are no strangers to having trouble finding the right personnel to wear the gloves and fans will recall the likes of David ‘Calamity’ James and Chris Kirkland having trouble, spreading anxiety through the defence. Title rivals Manchester City are also threatening to have a disappointing season if Claudio Bravo does not improve or make way for a less mistake-prone shot-stopper.
As Chelsea hope to beat the all-time record for Premier League wins in a row with Thibaut Courtois between their sticks and Arsenal looking impressive with the reliable Petr Cech in goal, a failure to play a dependable goalkeeper could prove costly for teams with title ambitions.