Thursday 19 October 2017

John Giles: Klopp thinks Mignolet is as good as Manuel Neuer - but he still carries the blunder gene

Read John Giles every week in The Herald

MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp shakes hands with Simon Mignolet at full-time following the Barclays Premier League match between Middlesbrough and Liverpool at the Riverside Stadium on December 14, 2016 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill - AMA/Getty Images)
MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp shakes hands with Simon Mignolet at full-time following the Barclays Premier League match between Middlesbrough and Liverpool at the Riverside Stadium on December 14, 2016 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill - AMA/Getty Images)
John Giles

John Giles

My father used to say that with football managers “all their geese are swans”.

Jurgen Klopp is the latest to prove the point. Simon Mignolet, Liverpool’s gaff-prone goalkeeper is capable of fantastic saves but was dropped for the start of the season and new signing Loris Karius given his slot.

Karius quickly showed that he was no great improvement, took some heavy and juvenile flak from Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville and was dropped. Back came Mignolet and he has done a reasonably good job. But from everything I’ve seen of him, he still carries the blunder gene.

Klopp disagrees. He thinks Mignolet is as good as Manuel Neuer, which begs the very obvious question – why did he drop him in the first place?

If I was in Mignolet’s shoes, I’d be a bit confused. Klopp claimed that Neuer makes mistakes and has bad games but nobody ever talks about that so the perception as the best in the world persists.

Mignolet thinks that the idea everyone has about Mignolet being capable of calamitous mistakes is wrong.

Sorry Jurgen but I believe the evidence of my own eyes. He makes mistakes. Bad ones.

Neuer won the World Cup and played a big part in Germany’s triumph. In big games he has always delivered. Klopp is in full swan mode here. It’s wishful thinking at its most extreme and while it might give the lad some confidence, it won’t make Mignolet a better goalkeeper.

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