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Friday, 28 November 2014

Mignolet the problem

After another glaring error midweek against Ludogorets, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is coming under increased pressure for his performances and the jury is out on whether he is of the standard required to be a Liverpool player.

As if Mignolet’s confidence was not low enough, former Liverpool great and European cup winning goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar has had his say on the 26-year-old Belgian and it wasn’t positive, with Grobbelaar comparing Dracula coming out of his coffin to Mignolet coming off his line.

The criticism is not without reason as Mignolet has been at fault for a lot of goals in his career at Liverpool, barring his heroic last minute penalty save in his first game for Liverpool against this weeks opponents, Stoke, there hasn’t been many good moments.

Mignolet has kept a total of two clean sheets in twelve games in the Premier League this season, compare that to Southampton’s Fraser Forster who has seven, a certain amount of blame can be attributed to his defence but he must improve his own game if he wants to prolong his Liverpool career.

Mignolet’s presence from crosses and corners is abysmal, the lack of control and order he has amongst his defenders is worrying, under Pepe Reina there was a sense he commanded the box and his defenders were confident he could claim crosses and if a shot was taken he could hold onto it.

Its no shock Mignolet is coming under such scrutiny, he was criticised at times last season but as the team were winning not much was made of it but now that Liverpool are struggling fingers are beginning to be pointed and he is  the obvious target, his stats last season were equally as unimpressive as they are this.

Simon Mignolet racked up a total of eight clean sheets last season, half of what golden glove winners Petr Cech and Wojciech Scezesny recorded, even more disappointing considering Liverpool came 2nd in the league. The Belgian and his defence were undoubtedly the reason why Brendan Rodgers’ side didn’t win the Premier League title.

In Reina’s final season as Liverpool goalkeeper he managed fourteen clean sheets, a far more impressive figure than Mignolet, begging the question whether it was ever a good option to bring Mignolet in to replace the Spaniard who Steven Gerrard once touted as a future Liverpool captain.

This weekend sees the visit of Stoke City to Anfield and Brendan Rodgers will have a big dilemma; whether to start Mignolet or bring in Brad Jones for the game. Should Mignolet get the nod he will really need a clean sheet to rejuvenate his confidence.

photo credit: kevinzim via photopin cc
photo credit: RuaraidhG via photopin cc