Simon Mignolet has been in fantastic form for Liverpool throughout the past couple of weeks, and has had a massive helping hand in their current seven-match unbeaten run.  He’d been given quite a bit of stick earlier on in the season for some of his blatant blunders, but the Belgian international has been magnificent as of late and is proving why Jurgen Klopp has consistently backed him as Liverpool’s number one keeper.  It’s just another example of the positive effect Klopp can have on players with his unique ability to man-manage; Mignolet has shown drastic improvements overall from last season to this point in this season.

Loris Karius had been given a few matches during the winter period as a result of a run of poor matches from Mignolet, but the young German failed to make a positive impression, albeit he was in for some cup ties where the lineup wasn’t quite what you’d consider to be Liverpool’s strongest eleven.  Mignolet’s frustration at being benched was clearly evident, but it only made him work that much harder to get back in Klopp’s favor as the number one keeper – and that’s exactly what he’s done.

Mignolet has always been known as a shot-stopper, and he’s made some fantastic saves in recent weeks, but he’s also looked far more commanding in his area.  He’s looked far more willing to come off of his lunch to punch away aerial balls regardless of bodies in the vicinity that may be infringing him – he used to be far more timid and frantic in that department.  He’s also been far better with adding some precision to his goal kicks and clearances – for a good stretch last season he had difficulties keeping the ball inbound on his goal kicks.

He’s been working incredibly hard on the training ground, and it’s shown:

Simon Mignolet

(Source: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe) via Zimbio

 

Point-saving saves

In Liverpool’s last two fixtures against the likes of Stoke City and West Brom, Mignolet has quite arguably been the man of the match for his pair of last-stitch saves in either match.  Against Stoke, he denied Saido Berahino from inside the six-yard box in the dying minutes of the match to save the three points for Liverpool and he did the same against West Brom when he got his foot in front of Matt Phillipsclose range effort and deny the Baggies a point.  Both saves in the dying minutes of either match were absolutely vital for Liverpool’s top four push, as dropped points in either fixture could have put them in a rather uncomfortable position for their remaining five matches.

Mignolet’s match-saving save against Stoke:

Mignolet has virtually saved Liverpool six points from the past two weekends, and he’ll likely be required to duplicate such performances in the remaining five matches against the likes of Crystal Palace, Watford, Southampton, West Ham, and Middlesbrough – all teams who will likely take a more defensive shape against Liverpool and rely primarily on counter-attacks.  Klopp has urged the significance of ‘winning ugly’ in these types of matches and picking up full points in such a nature often requires quite a bit of work from the goalkeeper.  Mignolet will certainly have every bit of confidence closing out the season with the way he’s been playing, and that should come as a warmly-welcomed sight for Liverpool fans.     

 

 

Tom is a content writer for The Sports Blaze, primarily contributing to the soccer section.  View all of his previous posts HERE.

Contact him @ tomadamsbusiness@gmail.com

About The Author

Thomas Adams
Soccer Writer

Tom Adams is a soccer writer for The Sports Blaze, focusing primarily on Liverpool F.C and the Barclay's Premier League. Hailing from the Southeastern shoreline of Connecticut, United States of America, he spends most of his free time playing and watching soccer- plain and simple. An avid supporter of both Liverpool FC and U.S Men's National Team, successes are few and far between, but miracles are, in fact, possible (refer to Istanbul 2005). If you feel as if you think you have some sort of chance at beating him head-to-head in Fifa online, add his gamer tag; LiverpoolFan38 - but you will most likely lose, miserably.

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