The first order of business begins with me stating that I am a Georginio Wijnaldum fan. I see what he’s doing. I get it. I like it. I think Gini is an exceptional midfielder. He’s not a superstar and is not likely to ever reach superstar status during his career. But, he’s proven to be a good player and a very useful player to Jürgen Klopp and the Liverpool brain trust. And over the course of this season the Dutch footballer has been winning over Liverpool fans with solid performances, finally culminating in the grandest of fan-powered awards, that bank logo on a stick, the Standard Chartered Player of the Month trophy.
Second order of business is to address the complete lack of any notable competitor to Wijnaldum during the January splattering. Giving Gini a decent run for his money was Simon Mignolet, and sure, why not? But the next man on the list, number three in line for the coveted marketing tools, getting thirteen percent of the fan votes, ahead of every other player who pulled on the red shirt, was Trent Alexander-Arnold. A stellar showing for any Liverpool player in 2017, it has not been. But, let’s get back to Gini and I’ll dispense with the cynicism.
I’m not looking through rose-colored glass. I know that Wijnaldum is just as responsible as his teammates are on some of the subpar showings in the last month. But. He’s also been a solid mainstay, recovering and distributing the ball well while also getting pitched further forward in the attack. Again, Gini isn’t a world beater and is not likely to possess the proper tools to unlock and move a parked bus on his own. But he does good things.
He scored that hugely, important goal against Chelsea to get Liverpool a point. When you’re in the slump, a goal like that, in that game, it stands out as an important moment. It wasn’t a moment that changed anything outright. The slump remains. But it gave us something. And, undoubtably, it gave the team a lift that, hopefully, has slowed the speed of descent.
“It always gives you a good feeling if you can score goals against big opponents,” said Gini. “Especially, when it’s an important goal. And this was one.”
It wasn’t a month to remember for Liverpool Football Club. It sucked really bad to watch most of it. Performances were dire. So dire. And I’ll tell you, when Hull City scored their first I felt nothing. Nothing. I could see it coming, of course. We all could sense it coming. But, you know, that’s just where we are right now. Temporarily.
The problems are clear and present but the solutions need time. I’m happy to see Gini get his well-earned kudos from fans for what he accomplished for the team in January. And I’d be even happier to see him reaffirmed after a steady resurgence by Liverpool in February.