Confidence Booster: It’s Time To Keep Danny Ward In Liverpool’s Goal

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Contributor

After another weekend of calamitous errors for Liverpool’s goalkeeper and defence, it’s time for the Reds to address an issue which persists to be a problem for Jurgen Klopp.

How many more errors are going to be made before the Merseyside club make a change? In the match at Wembley against Spurs, all four goals were from multiple individual mistakes.

“We have to prove we are better defenders, the first goal would not happen if I am on the pitch in my trainers”

Jurgen Klopp

In terms of goalkeeping, it seems that there is a clear lack of confidence in the execution of even the most basic elements of a goalkeeper. While Simon Mignolet has gotten better, there are still some moments where he must improve dramatically, especially in regards to aggressiveness in the box.

When crosses are coming in, you can’t be afraid of getting hurt or hurting someone else – once you show you’re a huge favourite to win crosses, strikers will eventually stop challenging you.

Are Jurgen Klopp’s goalkeepers too nice? While they are sometimes victims of a shocking defence, it’s rare that you will see them shouting orders to their defenders – a lack of organisation – especially in regards to Liverpool’s defending from any set piece.

Danny Ward has had one game this season – and he looked a lot more convincing than the two goalkeepers above him in the pecking order.

In the game against Leicester, the Welsh goalkeeper was only beaten by a deflection and Islam Slimani’s strike which wouldn’t have been saved by Manuel Neuer.

Not just that, Ward displayed on a couple of occasions his ability to claim set pieces – something which opposing teams can usually exploit. In many ways, Ward displayed the exact attributes that Liverpool should be looking for in a goalkeeper right now.

While Jurgen Klopp has organised the games to give all three goalkeepers a chance to play, it should not be Ward who only plays the domestic cup games. It’s simple really – the Reds concede the most goals from set pieces, so Liverpool should play the goalkeeper who is best at challenging for the ball in the air – right now that’s the man who is third choice.

Liverpool failed to address their defensive issues in the summer, instead opting to sell Mamadou Sakho without bringing anyone in. Effectively, the Reds are weaker at centreback than they were in the 2016/17 season.

To be fair to Mignolet, the Belgian performed very well towards the end of the last season – making numerous key saves to ensure Liverpool got into the top four, but while it was understandable why Liverpool didn’t sign a new goalkeeper in the summer, the failure to recruit a centre-half isn’t.

With the transfer window closed until January, there’s not much Jurgen Klopp can do to solve Liverpool’s shambolic defence, but the German manager can look to his Welsh goalkeeper to instil confidence between the sticks at Anfield.

Get the basics right first; over the loan spell last season, as well as solid cameos against Atletico Madrid and Leicester, Ward has shown that he is the best fit for the club who continue to concede from countless set pieces.

While Mignolet is arguably a better shot stopper, it just isn’t what Liverpool need right now. In comparison to his German and Belgian teammates, the Welsh goalkeeper has much less exploitable weaknesses.