Joe Hart’s stock may have fallen in the Premier League since the goalkeeper won his last title in 2014 but the England No 1 would clearly be an upgrade on Liverpool’s current options.
Simon Mignolet returned to the Liverpool starting XI on Saturday evening. Third-choice goalkeeper Danny Ward was between the sticks for Tuesday night’s League Cup defeat at Leicester. Perhaps Jurgen Klopp should have stuck with the Wales international for the Premier League assignment.
Mignolet was awful. He showed a lack of strength to be bullied by Shinji Okazaki for Leicester’s opener. The Belgian parried a save into Jamie Vardy’s path for the home side’s second. Mignolet is lacking confidence which is clearly affecting his judgement. It showed when the 29-year-old rushed off his line and mistimed a challenge on Vardy to concede a penalty.
While Mignolet stopped the spot-kick, Vardy should have done a lot better. Klopp needs to take Mignolet out of the team for a spell. His No1 is spreading panic amongst the back four. The problem for the Liverpool boss is who does he turn to? Loris Karius is no better. Give Ward a shot.
Super signing Salah
One of the signings of the summer so far has been Mohamed Salah. The African winger returned to the Premier League with a point to prove following a disappointing spell at Chelsea. Salah has hit the ground running with four goals and one assist in six Premier League games.
The Egypt international scored his fourth top-flight goal with a header from an acute angle. It was a brilliant finish. Salah still has work to do in front of goal, though. The £39m signing tends to miss at least one big chance in every match.
Salah’s header made amends for a poor effort on goal with Schmeichel stranded off his line. With bigger games on the horizon, even Salah can’t afford to be wasteful.
Coutinho back with a bang
Philippe Coutinho made his Premier League start at the King Power Stadium in what was a big positive for the Reds. The Brazilian was named in Klopp’s starting line-up for the League Cup clash and lasted 45 minutes before his half-time substitution.
Coutinho was brilliant but wasteful on Tuesday night. The South American was in clinical mood on Saturday evening. The 25-year-old curled a superb free-kick past Kasper Schmeichel.
Coutinho looked to be proving a point with his eye-catching display which is good news for Liverpool with ground to make up on their rivals. The South American deserves credit for his response (on the pitch) to his disappointment of missing out on a move to Barcelona in the summer.
Bring back Rafa football
Klopp is proving more of a Brendan Rodgers style manager than Rafael Benitez so far. Of course that’s not a surprise if you admired and watched his great Borussia Dortmund teams. While the German’s brand of football is entertaining and thrilling, it can also be exhausting.
It’s been so long since Liverpool have possessed a team capable of defending like a title contender should. Indeed, not since Jamie Carragher have Liverpool really looked assured at the back. Benitez was far too conservative at times, and a lack of goals cost Liverpool the title in 2008-09.
But while the attacking football is great to watch, the club’s supporters know all too well that outscoring your opponent doesn’t work every game. Just ask Rodgers! Klopp needs to find a balance between attack and defence. He’s almost 24 months into his Anfield reign and it’s demoralising that his back four is still a huge issue.