11 Feb 2017

Message to Klopp: 57% of fans demand Spurs start for 'brilliant' €23m Liverpool star

Is Simon Mignolet about to be dropped for the second time this season?

That's the big question ahead of today's massive Anfield clash with Spurs, and after two howlers in a row (both of which led to goals) the media is having a field day predicting the Belgian's probable demise.

Pre-match views on the issue:

* Jurgen Klopp: "I have decided nothing in this case. Obviously, we had not 100 fantastic games in a row so that involves different players, myself and everything. It's not that we make a decision like this in this moment".

* Jason McAteer: "“Yes, he [Mignolet] made a mistake last weekend but while it was right to drop him the first time it would be really damaging to do it again. It would do more harm than good to bring Karius back".

* Jan Molby: "When Mignolet was left out earlier in the season I thought it was harsh. Now I think it's very much 50/50 on whether he starts against Spurs. The criticism Simon's had in the last week will affect him".

* Jamie Carragher: "Simon Mignolet showed again why Liverpool need to sign a goalkeeper. He is not decisive enough. Liverpool will do nothing in the coming years with the goalkeepers they have."

Liverpool fans appear to be a little more forgiving. I conducted a poll this week asking fans if Karius should return for the Spurs game:

* 57% of participating fans voted NO to dropping Mignolet.

That's a vote of confidence in the Belgian, but it's hardly a huge majority. I personally voted no; Changing goalkeepers every few games is not conducive to defensive stability, and Liverpool have discovered that first hand this season.

At some point, a manager has to plant his flag, and removing Mignolet - recently described by Klopp as 'brilliant' - will (probably) destroy his confidence. Plus, what happens if Karius comes back into the team and immediately makes mistakes - drop him and bring back Mignolet?

One thing seems certain: if Klopp drops Mignolet today, it's probably the beginning of the end of his Liverpool career.

* ^ Mignolet: €23m-rated (CIES Football Observatory).


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