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Liverpool Legend Calls for an End to the Loris Karius Experiment

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Ray Clemence says it’s time to stop rotating goalkeepers and play Simon Mignolet every game.

Liverpool FC v Sevilla FC - UEFA Champions League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

The goal, when it came, wasn’t really his fault. Still, Loris Karius could have done better. He should have done better. The free kick sailed over the wall and settled not in the corner but the middle of the net, not far from Karius’ outstretched hands. If he hadn’t been slow to move towards it, he probably would have saved it.

The real fault, though, was the Emre Can turnover that led to the free kick that led to the goal. It was a needless, unnecessary thing. The ball held too long and obvious passing options ignored and then the ball passed straight to the opposition while Can focused all his energy and effort on fending off a challenge.

Still, Karius could have done better. Still, it was another goal against for a goalkeeper who until the second half of the game, some time after the goal, had yet to make a save in competitive action for the club this season. It wasn’t his fault, but the questions he would face because of it were inevitable and not entirely unfair.

“I find the goalkeeper situation strange,” was ex-Liverpool ‘keeper Ray Clemence’s take on things following the match as he threw his support behind Simon Mignolet to be first choice in both the league and Europe moving forward, believing Karius has been given his second chance now and been found still wanting.

“I do think you have to have a number one goalkeeper and you need a strong a number two and you have to make that decision,” continued the man who started in goal 665 times for the Reds. “For the two centre-backs, you want to know what the person behind you is capable of, what he wants from you.

“Mignolet at the back end of last season played very, very well. He started OK again this season and how must he feel when these big Champions League games come up and he is not playing in them? I could understand if it was the Carabao Cup but this is the Champions League and everyone wants to play.”

It’s a change that might be harsh on Karius, who wasn’t at fault for the goal—and didn’t do anything especially wrong in conceding two to Sevilla in the last European game—and yet it’s difficult not to wonder how Mignolet doesn’t get the nod next time around in Europe if he truly is Jürgen Klopp’s first choice.

It might not have been Karius to blame, but he hasn’t done much to impress in three appearances so far—twice in Europe and against Arsenal in the league when he didn’t face a single shot. Then again, no matter what Klopp does next, if Liverpool’s scorers had taken their chances, nobody is talking about Loris Karius.

“The manager said four or five weeks ago that Mignolet is his number one,” Clemence added. “So surely in the big games you play your number one.”