6 Feb 2016

Anfield Farce: Gary Lineker mocks 'brilliant' £18m Liverpool star; LFC legend slams 'silly mistakes'

Another day, another Simon Mignolet mistake, and with the club recently handing the Belgian goalkeeper a fat new contract reportedly worth £18.7m over 5-years] the situation is now entering the realms of parody. It seems everyone but Jurgen Klopp (and Brendan Rodgers) can see that Mignolet is the weakest link in Liverpool's defence, including England legend Gary Lineker, who gently mocked the the 28-year old for his latest costly mistake.

After the game, Lineker tweeted:

"Like thousands of Liverpool fans, [Simon] Mignolet left in the 77th minute".

More accurately, Mignolet suffered yet another serious lapse of concentration in the 77th minute (one of several, including a comical throw-out that fell directly to a Sunderland player), and it arguably cost the Reds the game.

Former Reds boss Roy Evans added:

"On the pitch, the same old problems silly mistakes continue to haunt us".

I've argued for almost 2 years that Liverpool need to get rid of Mignolet; he will have periods of good form (which create a false sense of security) but he will always let the team down, and relying on him is a mistake.

Blind faith and/or over-reliance on underperforming players cost Brendan Rodgers his job, and it if Klopp continues in the same manner (with Mignolet, Lallana, Can, Sakho et al), he will ultimately suffer the same fate.

The thing that gets my goat is Klopp's Rodgers-esque attempts to brainwash the fanbase into thinking that the allegedly 'brilliant' Mignolet is a world-beater:

* 1st Dec: After his mistake against Bordeaux, Klopp raved: "I'm absolutely satisfied with our goalkeeper situation. Mignolet is one of the smartest goalkeepers I've ever had. There is nothing to criticise, absolutely nothing."

* 14 Jan: After his mistakes in the 3-3 draw with Arsenal, Klopp blamed the defence: "There were a lot of mistakes before [the second goal]. We have to defend this better."

* 19 Jan: After Mignolet signed his new deal, Klopp enthused: "As a package for us Simon Mignolet is perfect. He gives the whole team a good feeling when he is in the starting line up and that’s really important".

At least Rodgers had the cojones to drop Mignolet at one point, and that's what needs to happen now. When a player makes lots of mistakes, he's usually replaced, so why doesn't this apply to Mignolet, who is seemingly immune to demotion under the current regime?

The manager's job is to utilise the playing assets in a way that benefits the club in the best way possible. Is Klopp doing that right now? Absolutely not, and 6 wins in 17 league games clearly suggests that something needs to chance.

Klopp should dump Mignolet and start Ward in the next game, and if he does well, he should keep his place. If Mignolet keeps his place, then it's arguably favouritism, pure and simple.

Liverpool need meritocracy at Anfield, not cronyism.

Author: Jaimie K


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