30 Oct 2016

'Shocking': Gary Lineker slates £20m Liverpool star; urges Klopp to 'tell Karius' he needs to 'use his hands'

England legend Gary Lineker has criticised Dejan Lovren for his defending in Saturday's 4-2 victory over Crystal Palace.

During the game, Lineker described Liverpool's attacking play as 'scrumptious', but wasn't too impressed with Lovren, or Loris Karius. He tweeted:

"[Dejan] Lovren was shocking for Palace's equaliser, but someone needs to tell [Loris] Karius he's allowed to use his arms".

Lovren - who cost Liverpool £20m - made a massive mistake, but in my view, Karius deserves the bulk of the criticism for the goal. Why didn't he attempt to punch the ball away and/or use his hands in some form to divert the flight of the ball?

I'd expect a half-decent 'keeper to piledrive into the ball and take out the opposing player in the process (fairly, of course, in the inevitable follow through), but Karius's arms were glued to sides, and he seemed reticent attack the ball.

Take Lovren out of the equation for a second - in a different game, it could've just been a deflected ball into the box, and it doesn't bode well for the future if that's how Karius is going to react in those situations.

Lovren redeemed himself with a goal a few minutes later, but he was at fault again for Palace's second goal, and this time, he got beaten in the air twice before the goal went in. That said, all's well that ends well. Yes, Lovren made a couple of mistakes, but that shouldn't detract from the fact that he's been solid for most of the season.

At this point, Lovren's season is defined by excellent defensive play, and mistakes are the exception, not the rule.


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