19 Mar 2015

Aldo raves: 'Exceptional' £10m star is Liverpool's 'most consistent' player. Agree?

I regularly criticise Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers for his damaging and irresponsible overpraise of young players, but there's no denying that, overall, LFC's boss has good man-management skills, and his wildly effective handling of Simon Mignolet this season is ample proof of that.

A solid defensive unit is impossible to achieve without a reliable, rock-steady presence between the sticks, and since being unceremoniously dropped in December, Mignolet has risen to the challenge and delivered a series of excellent performances.

Liverpool legend John Aldridge is a big fan of Mignolet, and in his column for the Liverpool Echo this week he hailed the 'exceptional' Belgian's 'superb' performances this year, and highlighted areas in which he's improved. Aldo enthused:

"He [Mignolet] has been superb lately with...coming for corners, punching, getting amongst players and catching the ball. His kicking and all-round game have got better...and he’s probably been our most consistent players since Christmas".

Mignolet's primary stats (pre-and-post being dropped), perfectly illustrated his massive improvement:


* P23 W8 (35%) D6 (26%) L9 (39%)
* Goals conceded: 29 (1.3 per game)
* Clean Sheets: 4 (1 every 5.7 games) Post-Drop

* P21 W14 (67%) D5 (24%) L2 (9%)
* Goals conceded: 12 (0.6 per game)
* Clean Sheets: 11 (1 every 1.9 games)

Stats: OPTA

The difference is dramatic, and the consequent impact on Liverpool's results - and ongoing defensive stability - is clear to see.

Like Martin Skrtel before him, Mignolet - who cost Liverpool £10m - has transformed his Liverpool career with hard work, determination, and a positive can-do attitude, but is he now the long-term solution?

I still don't think so.

Mignolet has a long record of conceding lots of goals (at both Liverpool and Sunderland), and his current purple-patch is the exception, not the rule. Can he be relied-upon to reproduce his current form for the majority of next season? Would you put your mortgage on the Belgian stopper consistently producing excellent performances for an entire season?

I wouldn't, and in my view, it's a major risk for Rodgers to put his faith in Mignolet next year. He claims that Liverpool can challenge for the title in 2015-16, but what happens if Mignolet has another dodgy spell in the first half of next season? With the increased (self-imposed) expectations, it could cost Rodgers his job.

Ruthless objectivity is required in the transfer market this summer. It's great the Mignolet has stepped up, but Liverpool can't rely on that - the Reds need to bring in a goalkeeper who is capable of ousting Mignolet and becoming the club's number one.

That may not happen if Mignolet maintains his current form, but serious competition is needed, and another Brad Jones-esque squad-filler is not going to cut it.



  1. He deserves the chance to keep it it, but he definitely needs proper competition.
    I still say Cech

  2. No quality in academy?

  3. How long before Danny Ward becomes a serious contender ?

  4. My gut feeling is that he will still be playing ,long after Strling has left !!

  5. I think we will definitely sign another keeper in the summer but I think it'll be as competition for Mignolet rather than as a replacement. It must be about a decade since Liverpool had competition for the no1 Jersey but competition is vital in all positions

  6. Mingolet is not the issue, even though slightly he is, but with hard-work from GK coaching team, Mingolet is not the issue. When Suarez was here, Mingolet was not the issue. the issue is we we didnt have the quality to put pressure on the opposition, all we had was Sterling, Suarez and Sturridge on world class form. now we have Coutinho, Sterling and Henderson all performing at a really high level, including Ibe and Can but we need to fill those other positions with some real quality. Felipe Anderson was brilliant when he played with Neymar and its dream having him in the dual number10 role with coutinho. Vietto is a elite level striker, playing in the best league in the world. i love the PL and will follow for rest of my life, but right now were not levels with La Liga, were not up to the standard. Vietto is 21 and is banging goals in the best league in the world, ive heard prices of £12M but were not talking about Aspas here. its going to cost at least £20M to prise this jewel away from La Liga. 20 goals/8 assists in 36 games in La Liga and Europa League is astonishing and Barcelona and Real Madrid will snap him up with ease if were not careful. hes not like Sturridge a player who hogs the ball and despite his brilliance is only focused on scoring for himself. Vietto is dynamic, comes deep, plays in teammates, plays tiki taka football and is there to finish of the chances, similar to Sanchez and Aguero. Vietto has incredible pace and is a proper striker. if we buy Vietto and give him the number 9 to become our 1st team striker. buy Felipe Anderson and give him the number 7, he is also another jewell and is on fire, banged another brace for lazio when i watched him last week and now we just have to buy him. £20M to lazio. Memphis depay is another one of the elite jewel we need to buy in the summer and then we will become the best team in the world next season. and sissokho for £10M to partner Hendo in midfield or play at wing back if needed. then we will play like this next season

    -----------Felipe Anderson------------------Coutinho

  7. It could been seen that it was the embrassment of being replaced by Brad Jones that provided the wake up call for Mingolet to step up a level. I think Mingolet would regress If he had a keeper of similar standard challenging him for the number one spot. Maybe this is the main reason why he is the number two keeper for Belgium.

  8. bring through youngsters Wilson, Sinclair and Canos and build a team for the capital one cup. theres no point playing our best players if were not winning. if we breed our youngsters it will be better and if they go on to win it even better, but we use Joe allen and other squad players in games like this and breed the youngsters and we can play like this


    unless Sturridge picks up his fitness by not being injured all year, stops hogging the ball then he will be a squad player and he will have to settle for that because Vietto will be our striker for the next 5-10 years depending on if RM or Barca pay us 120M when he gets 150 goals in 250 PL games. Wilson and Canos have big potential and with Lallana Allen ad Sturridge there that is potentially a cup winning team. Ibe would be here but has cemented his place at RWB for next year. Animal.

  9. Luciano Vietto, felipe anderson and coutinho will take LFC to champions league glory. its written. we have had scouts watching Anderson and Vietto but we need to not waste any time and snap them up. there both brilliant players and will take us to Champions League glory next year. Vietto 40 goals next year for Liverpool!!!

  10. Jonathan Capozzola3:40 pm, March 19, 2015

    I like Mignolet, but they need another keeper to challenge for sure. Cech please.

  11. That is of course with the assumption we will be playing Champions League next year. Still a long way to go yet so I wouldn't go counting those chickens just yet.

  12. If he carries on playing the way he has been until the end of the season I think it would be thoroughly unfair to replace him with a new number 1. i have always been Mignolet's biggest critic but his performances over the last 10/15 games have been nothing short of excellent. He has been everything we were wishing he was at the start of the season.

    We do still need much better competition for him though and for that reason I would look at Matt Ryan or someone of his ilk, younger potential with the ability to step in straight away if needed.

    Ask me before Xmas and I would have said Cech everyday but if Mignolet carries on like this until the end of the season I don't think we have room for Cech.

  13. I really enjoyed your 2 posts and the clarity with which you expressed yourself .

    Imagine if what you say would happen and not just be a dream.

  14. and William Carvalho and a top class young keeper .Transfer complete .

  15. Like i said before, be patient on him.........

  16. We badly need a top gk. Am not totally convinced with mignolet, agreed he's improved of late. Ander ter stegen would be a dream signing, brendan might as well play mingo as a RWB?

  17. Mignolet is slowly getting there but he is playing well because of a settled defence with players who know what they are doing. This defence needs to stay together. In the summer, a keeper is definitely a must because we need someone to compete with or overthrow Mignolet.

  18. Competition is definitely needed. I'm not reading much about the constant changing defensive backline in this article... That's had a massive impact on him last season and this season, as well as his own nervousness. Lovren, Moreno, Manquillo and Sakho finding their feet, etc... Time will tell if this form becomes his standard, I certainly hope so, because at the moment he is quality!!

  19. No team keeps the same defensive back-line for a whole season; every year there will be changes due to injuries, transfers, loss of form etc, so that shouldn't be an excuse. The very best goalkeepers consistently perform irrespective of what's in front of them. That may be different at smaller clubs, where the standard of defenders is comparatively inferior, but at LFC, Mignolet will always have international defenders in front of him.

  20. Lovren is an international defender and his pants, so it can be an excuse.

  21. Your defensive line up will generally be your most consistent choices. I agree this line up will change throughout a season, but with us, it had been with each and every game! An understanding needed to be formed across the back four last season, and the number of unnecessary conceded goals (and arguably our need to compete on GD) reflected this. Now there's more regularity of position this season and Mignolet's doing much better. A chat with his mum seems to have done the trick too...