Why Jurgen Klopp Will Regret His Decision To Use Karius In Champions League Games
Even before the arrival of Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool’s defence was in complete shambles with the Merseyside leaking goals in almost every game they played. But even the arrival of the German manager did not seem to have made any improvement to Liverpool’s backline.
Yes, miracles don’t happen overnight. But, Klopp has had enough time and multiple transfer windows to improve the lacklustre defence at his disposal. There was plenty of criticism regarding the club’s goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and on whether he was good enough to be Liverpool’s first choice keeper.
In the summer of 2016, Klopp brought in German goalkeeper, Loris Karius from Mainz to compete with Mignolet. But the goalkeeping situation become complicated with neither of the two being able to keep consistent clean sheets despite many chances.
But, it was quite clearly the back line to blame for it, having made several defensive errors in almost every game. Both goalkeepers cannot be completely blamed for Liverpool’s fragile defence.
In the new 2017/18 season, Klopp came up with a new way to deal with goalkeeping situation with German manager choosing to play Simon Mignolet in the Premier League and Loris Karius in the Champions League instead.
Although it does not seem like the best approach from Klopp, this could really help him find a contrast between both players. The arrival of Karius has already marked an improvement in Mignolet and will only force him to perform even better as the season progresses.
But, for reasons understandable, Klopp seems to have taken a bit of a risk by opting to play Karius in the Champions League instead of Mignolet. With the Reds returning to European football after a long time, it might not be the best thing to start a fairly young and inexperienced goalkeeper like Karius.
The 24-year-old German goalkeeper has made two starts this season, one in the Premier League and another one coming in the Champions League. While he had barely anything to do in the game against Arsenal, he still gave the Anfield crowd jitters while handling the ball inside the box. His sloppy ball control often made the crowd nervous. Whether that was due to the pressure or due to outright carelessness is yet to be seen.
The game against Sevilla also showed that he is not exactly ready for a big stage like Champions League and needs a little more time to challenge Mignolet who has been nothing but impressive for the Reds this year.
So, will Jurgen Klopp regret his decision to play Karius in the Champions League games? Very likely. But, it won’t make a difference to Liverpool’s goal leakage until they sort out their defensive fragility.