There has never been any real question about Joël Matip’s qualities as a centre half. When fit, the Bochum-born 30-year-old is amongst the best not just in the Premier League but in all of football.
Matip, though, might take issue with that, with the defender who signed for Liverpool on a free from Schalke in 2016 saying he continues to be highly critical when it comes to his performances.
“I’m very critical about my own performances,” Matip said of his thinking. “I’m never really satisfied with myself. If I had to make a list of things I’d improve about myself, we’d be here for a long time.
“So, I’m never really satisfied. But you have to view everything within the right context. I’m far from a perfectionist, but neither am I ever satisfied. I think that’s a good way to improve yourself.”
After a solid outing against Arsenal on the weekend that few on the outside could have found anything to be unsatisfied about, Matip will likely be given the night off against FC Porto on Wednesday.
He’ll then likely come back in when the Reds face Southampton at Anfield on Saturday and then Everton mid-week as the league fixture list begins to congest as it always does over the holiday period.
“You have to keep trying and have the bravery to try things that maybe didn’t work before,” Matip added of his approach. “You have to improve and ask yourself what you can do to improve even more.
“There is nothing about myself where I’d say, ‘You are perfect at this, you don’t have to work on that anymore.’ That’s not how I work.”