Now is not the Time for Danny Ward

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The latest Simon Mignolet horror show that gifted Sunderland a way back into a match they had been comfortably second best in, was for most Liverpool fans the final straw in the Belgian’s chequered Reds career.

Well, to be fair it was more like the final straw in a long line of final straws previous. In a season that has seen the generally hit and miss goalkeeping performances of Mignolet gradually descend to the point where he misses pretty much everything coming his way, and where his distribution appears to have regressed rather than developed, Liverpool fans are demanding change.

Now is the not time for Danny Ward

With Adam Bogdan having killed off everyone’s confidence in him, and probably his short lived time at Liverpool, with dreadful mistakes against Watford and Exeter City, the only obvious choice to don the gloves is Danny Ward.

Ward, 22, impressed the locals during a solid stint on loan at Aberdeen, pulling twelve clean sheets in his twenty-two appearances. Numbers our own number one would kill for right now. The manager showed faith by recalling him from the loan and then moving him to the number two role ahead of Bogdan.

Speaking on his return to the club, Ward said, “I think the manager is just expecting me to come back and obviously challenge with Simon and Adam and train as hard as I can, like I have done ever since I signed for Liverpool, and hopefully I will catch the eye.”

Based upon recent events it would seem that to currently challenge for the keeper’s role in the starting line-up is probably easier than it ever has been;

“Can you save a shot?”


“Okay, but can you kick a ball straight?”


“You’re in!”

But I do have concerns over throwing Ward in that are stronger than Simon Mignolet’s hands facing free kicks.

For all the mistakes made by our current number one, and there have been many in a mistake laden season, if I was to put a case forward for the defence of our keeper, it would be that he has had little defence. Playing behind players so prone to slips can’t be easy. In a perfect world the keeper trusts the defender and the trust is reciprocated, harmony at its finest. What we have currently is a back four who are riddled with mistakes and resemble four individuals as opposed to one solid, functioning unit. Yet we’re calling to throw a young keeper, yet to make a first team appearance, into the midst of this frequently shambolic defending. This worries me.

I did recently call for Klopp to throw the kids in to the mix for the remainder of the season. Built around my belief that we’ve a busy summer in the transfer market ahead, I see nothing but plusses from blooding the youngsters for a prolonged run. But these are the outfield players I’m talking about. Players that can be carried when the going gets tough by the more experienced pro’s around them, players who won’t be under the constant glare of the spotlight currently afforded to anyone stepping between the sticks for Liverpool, and players who can be taken out of the action if the signs point to a player needing a release from the pressure.

Should he be thrown in, Danny Ward will be in a completely different place. For a kick off, in the interests of not killing a keeper’s confidence, Klopp can’t really sub the lad off if he starts floundering as he could with a Brannagan or Ojo. Secondly, the keeper as we know is often considered a lonely job on the football pitch, mistakes almost always prove to come at the greatest cost and a poor performance never goes under the radar. To throw Danny Ward into the mix of this current Liverpool side is a move that, as we’ve witnessed with Adam Bogdan, could actually destroy him as a keeper.

As much as I’m sure Danny Ward would relish the opportunity of making that first appearance for the Reds and taking the reins, as many fans have asked for, as the new first choice keeper, I don’t think this is the season to do it. Playing behind the current ever changing back four is a poisoned chalice presently, and the time for Ward to step up has to be behind a defence, and a team, built by Klopp.

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  1. Now when is his time, when the team is relegated or when Klopp gets thicker glasses. Statistics show its because of butter fingers SM that the team is in that position, so when will klopp wake up. If klopp so want to build the team why dont he start by selling the players that hold the team back and always blaming the other players. So far the only reason why the young guys get a game is because there is a vital game next and they want to rest players and even after they had the rest their performance is still dismal. So JK wake up and smell the coffee you are moving closer to relegation

  2. The reason the defense can be let off is that we have conceded a million goals from set pieces in situations where Mignolet is expected to come in and make a 3 point saving save. Ward should be given a run equally. I blame Rodgers for all this. He should have kept Reina to give some competition between the keepers. Reina was a champs league playing goalie and Mignolet had not even played at Wembley before only to be made #1 choice by that fool Rodgers.

    • Agreed, but now JK has the power and chance to fix, now he persist with playing SM and also the amount of goals CB wasted as a striker. the problem is everybody is too comfortable in their positions and its like they play to get through the 90 min, No more passion. its all about the money

  3. That is the most ridiculous approach. There is never a good time to make mistakes, so for a young keeper there is in your opinion basically never a good time to give them an opportunity. The fact is Ward is a young keeper who did very well on loan at Aberdeen and if he came into the Liverpool side and made a mistake or two he would be doing nothing different from Mignolet, but if he plays like he did in Scotland he will be a huge upgrade. Either way, given he is a young player fans will have more patience with him – Mignolet has been making mistakes by the bucket load for years – it was his blunders far more than Gerrards slip which cost Liverpool the title a couple of years back and he has continued with general incompetence ever since, 6 goals conceded and only 1 save made in our last 3 home games could Ward be any worse than that? That is why there is no patience for Mignolet – Ward as a good prospect and 22 years old, if he makes a mistake or two, so be it. I don’t know anyone who would be on his case. Besides even if he is totally useless for 3-4 games (which is unlikely given how well he did for Aberdeen) being dropped last season helped Mignolet get an upturn in form… Any way you look at it Liverpool absolutely must give Ward a chance.

    • I understand what you’re saying, and believe me I’ll be made up to eventually see Mignolet replaced, but I honestly think right now a couple of mistakes won’t go by without a good number of fans jumping on Ward. Look at Bogdan, confidence shattered by a couple of errors and a fan backlash. In the current climate of looking for blame and a whipping boy, a couple of screw ups by Ward is all it would take for a fresh backlash to kick off regardless of his age.

  4. Have you ever played sports competitively? I have. Highest levels in my country. If one is going to be an elite athlete, one is made of the stuff that wants, nay desperately desires the chance to play; to prove. I guarantee you that Mr. Ward is dying for the chance to prove himself to Klopp. If not, he shouldn’t be in the team. He is young sure but not that young. The Scottish league is obviously not at the same level as the English league regarding talent but I assure you it has every bit as much attitude – meaning Andy would have been subject to poor defending and taunting players on opposing teams as well as his own. He’s ready. Throw him in. There is nothing g to lose. And your excuse for Mignolet having a poor defense in front of him? Two comments: first, the goal conceded from the free kick on the weekend is a mistake that goalies make when they’re in school leagues as kids. Second, defenders and goalies are hand in glove my friend. They complement and detract from each other. If the defense has no confidence in their keeper, they become indecisive in the box. I could easily argue that a good keeper shores up the defense and they make less mistakes. How do you think they feel when they settle the ball into mignolets hands and he throws it directly to the opposing striker who drives it right back down their throats? It’s a spiraling disaster. Stop gap needed. Send in Ward so he can prove his mettle.

    • I have played sport competitively, not at the elite, but just below, and in my experience every player is different. But that’s beside the point. I did state that I imagine Danny Ward is raring to go, and also that for a defence to work in harmony their needs to be a solid level of trust between the back four and the keeper. I also agree with you that Mignolet has had a mare of a season, the free kick blunder only the latest in a long line.
      Where my concerns come from with Ward is not the taunts of opposition or team mates but rather the fickle nature of a huge number of fans, often myself included.
      I hope Ward is desperate to play, I wouldn’t expect anything else from any of the second string, but my worry is that it won’t take much for the opinion of fans on a keeper yet to make a start to change. Would you throw Ward in as a cup keeper, or would you like to see him put forward as number one?


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