Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp came out in defence of much-maligned keeper Loris Karius this week, stating that the young German keeper was “100%” affected by a concussion during his Champions League Final horror show in May.
Klopp gave Karius his public support and stated that he remains as Liverpool’s first choice keeper as things stand.
Now, this may well be because Klopp has not had a chance to sound out and recruit someone who he thinks can usurp Karius, or it could be a genuine show of faith.
It is safe to say that the news caused a bit of a stir among Kopites, however.
The news coming from Klopp along with Karius posting a Rocky Balboa-esque training montage onto his social media channels proved a little bit too much for some, and the self-induced hysteria clearly went straight to their heads.
Now I’m going to go on record now and say I don’t think he’s done a single thing wrong in posting that video. So what, he’s had a holiday and wants to show off a bit. Who doesn’t have a friend like that anyway?
Besides, he was showing us that he’s still been working away to stay in shape ahead of the new season. I don’t have an issue with that, either.
Anyway, I digress.
This public backing from his manager should be of no surprise to us as we’ve seen it before with the likes of Dejan Lovren, everyone’s go-to scapegoat.
Klopp has always said that a player’s character, mentality and personality mean as much as their ability to him, and these things show.
He saw Lovren’s character and showed faith in him, and he sure as hell bounced back.
Klopp will be hoping something similar happens to Karius.
In all fairness to him, his performances had looked increasingly positive. Karius made some impressive saves against the likes of Newcastle and Everton, and his confidence was something that you could see was growing all the time.
One of the things that we could quite easily see take a bit when he returns between the posts at Anfield is that confidence disappearing which could be hard to get back – but that’s where Klopp has come in.
What good would it do for Karius and for those defenders around him for Klopp to come out and say: “He’s rubbish, I don’t trust him and we are looking to replace him as soon as possible.”
And what would that also do for those of us who follow Liverpool week in, week out? Would we want to see our manager give the number one keeper a hard time and tell us how terrible he is, it’d hardly male us feel better about watching him in the knowledge that not even Klopp rated him.
All of this combined with the fact that Klopp has a history of working with players to develop them and help them to reach their full potential, and therefore we shouldn’t be surprised by that.
This is not to say that behind the scenes Klopp might be looking at alternative goalkeeping targets, because this he may well be.
But to add that lighter fluid to the angry mobs’ already blazing rage would be social suicide for them.
I can see Klopp sticking with Karius and giving him his second chance, especially considering the circumstances of his Champions League demise.
I have been a great believer in Klopp and I continue to be so, but I can only hope that for his and Karius’ sake that he is proven right this time around.