Liverpool’s December downturn led into a full on crisis of a slump in January, and while they end the month just a point out of second, that relatively strong position in the top four race only serves to show just how strong a start to the season they had. There is simply no getting around the fact that the past two months have been amongst the club’s worst in recent memory.
And most of that is on the month of January, which we now must look back on as we attempt to pick out Liverpool’s best performers from a very bad four weeks of football. In December, Adam Lallana took top honours in player of the month voting—his second award of the season. This season’s other past winners are Sadio Mané, Philippe Coutinho, and Joël Matip.
With Liverpool somehow managing to fit nine matches into January, there were a lot of games to go around. Unfortunately, not a lot of those games ended with positive results. Still, one thing seems clear from post-match voting: Liverpool fans were happy to see Philippe Coutinho return from injury, as he cobbled together 16 points by finishing in the top five in voting six times.
His closest competitor is Simon Mignolet, who only had league play to impress in and managed 12 points—it’s less than Coutinho’s, but given Mignolet earned man of the match honours twice while Coutinho never did and that Mignolet only played in the league, the goalkeeper could have a strong case that he’s the most deserving candidate this month.
Rounding things out, Liverpool’s cup goalkeeper Loris Karius managed 10 points, the same as youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold. Gini Wijnaldum, Daniel Sturridge, and Ben Woodburn managed nine apiece and round out voting, though the fact that they are in the running for January honours likely says more about Liverpool’s struggles last month than anything.
It all would seem to come back to Coutinho and Mignolet, though. Coutinho never won man of the match, but he was an influence every time he played. Mignolet, on the other hand, won man of the match twice for his performances in the league. Now it’s up to you to decide which of them deserves January honours—or even if in fact it is one of them who deserves it.