With players at the highest level, there's always the bigger picture. Goals they want to achieve along with regular football at clubs that can provide the necessary platform to do so. For Simon Mignolet, Liverpool is a club that offers him everything that he requires to prove his worth. Defensive protection may not always be plentiful, but opportunities to show his qualities exist in abundance.
Thibaut Courtois is rightly recognised as one the Premier League's finest goalkeepers but is unfortunately injured for a few months. While Mignolet did not feature for Belgium during the last international break as Courtois was available, the 27-year-old is almost certain to start in his nation's Euro 2016 qualifiers against Andorra and Israel next month. There's also the enticing prospect of high-profile friendlies against Italy and Spain the following month. With the focus on Mignolet, it would be helpful for Marc Wilmots to see how reliable the former Sunderland goalkeeper can be for one of Europe's most storied clubs.
Mignolet's error for the goal that allowed Norwich City a share of the points on Sunday was part of a seemingly long-term problem at the club: defending set-pieces. His unconvincing punch offered Russell Martin an easy chance to score, leading to Liverpool's lead evaporating in a mist of defensive muddles. Mignolet, however, has little to do with the failure to create or score chances depending on the day. The temporary Belgian number one spoke to the Liverpool Echo about the game and his role in conceding a goal.
It's always disappointing to concede from a set-piece, especially as we had been working hard on defending them this week. We knew they are a threat from them. I came for the ball, it was a whipped in cross, and I tried to get a fist to it. It's one of those that comes out, they picked up the second ball and scored from it. The next time a ball comes in like that I'll still come for it and try to get something on it. We did everything after that to create chances in order to score a second goal. We didn't get the bit of luck we needed. Unfortunately, that goal has cost us. We'll have to learn lessons from that. 'll look into my own game on Monday - see what was positive and what I could have done better. That's what I always do.
Mignolet went on to discuss the return of Daniel Sturridge as well as the impact of Danny Ings but should do his best to seize what could be an excellent few months for him. In times of struggle, a goalkeeper's excellent performances often stand out more than they should. Adam Bogdan is unlikely to challenge for Mignolet's position, Courtois' absence offers more opportunities at international level, and Liverpool seem to be teetering on the brink of a crisis. While it's good to see a player assess his role and take responsibility, it would be better for such discussions to rarely come up in the first place.
Whether Liverpool improve or not, one player has a real opportunity to kick on in both his club and international career.