Simon Mignolet has been praised for his return to form in recent weeks.
The Belgian stopper came under heavy criticism earlier this term for an inability to play in Liverpool’s system, but he has told HLN that things are better now that the situation has changed at Anfield.
Despite possessing few technical skills, Mignolet was attempting to play a system involving playing the ball out of the defence, and he made a number of high profile errors. Head coach Brendan Rodgers acknowledged these errors, and dropped the 26-year-old in favour of Brad Jones.
However, the Belgian stopper has since returned to the starting XI, and he has enjoyed something of a rejuvenation in recent weeks. He will undoubtedly take to the field as number one as the Reds head to Stamford Bridge looking to secure their place in the League Cup Final, and a strong performance will be needed against the attacking threats of Chelsea.
His return to form has not gone unnoticed, and there is less of a focus upon his goalkeeping skills now than there was previously. Rodgers has been praised for adapting Liverpool to their current strengths rather than relying on a system that was clearly not working, and Mignolet believes that it is the change in system which has helped him.
Speaking to HLN, and quoted by Sport Witness, Mignolet said: “The whole team just runs better since we play a new system. This also gives more stability in defence. Those clean sheets are not only my merit. Just as it is not only my fault when it happens less.”
For Mignolet, the system involves a deeper defensive line, which means fewer opportunities for him to need to rush out of his area - thus, he needs to touch the ball less with his feet. Thankfully for Liverpool, this means that he can show off the one skill he truly excels at - shot stopping.