Simon Mignolet has been under fire for his mistakes but could another coach be the answer?
Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has been under the spotlight at the club for much of his time at Anfield.
The Belgian has again been the subject of some criticism following his role in of West Bromwich Albion's goals during a 2-2 draw between the two sides on Sunday.
Many believe this is the latest in a long line of errors from Mignolet as he does not seem to inspire much confidence in the back-four directly in front of him.
Jurgen Klopp, however, has described him as one of the most intelligent goalkeepers he has worked with - although that may say more about the calibre of 'keepers he has worked with rather than his judgement.
The Liverpool Echo has reported that Mignolet is set to sign a new contract with the club in the coming weeks as Klopp wants to put his faith in the Belgian.
Mignolet has been capable of making some outstanding saves during his time with the Reds but has often let himself down with the command of his penalty area and communication with his defence, so one would ask what needs to be improved.
There was an interesting part of Pepe Reina's autobiography, simply titled 'Pepe' (p292), about a time when he had a change in goalkeeping coaches following the departure of Rafa Benitez at the club.
It is interesting what Reina has to say about the relationship he had with Jose Ochotorena, saying how important it is to have a good relationship with their coach. Reina also worked with John Achterberg and described him as a 'good guy' but his words on Ochotorena spoke volumes:
"It is maybe even more important for a goalkeeper to have a top coach to work with because it is a one-on-one relationship....
"I have been lucky in my career because I have worked with some great coaches but the one who stands out, the one who is the absolute master is Ochotorena. I worked with Ocho when I first came to Liverpool and then with the Spanish national team and he is different class. He knows me better than anyone else, understands everything about my strengths and weaknesses, and working with him has been one of the greatest experiences of my career."
Achterberg is still at the club. This is not a slight on Mignolet, and it is hard to tell what kind of relationship they have from a distance, but one does wonder if the Belgian himself would like someone else there he has known for a while, who he can trust to help on areas of his game that he is struggling with alongside the current goalkeeping coach.
What was telling with Reina's time at Anfield was the drop in from with Ochoterna at the club and he never really recovered it. Of course, different personalities work in different ways with different people, but it is certainly something to consider.
If you look at the table below, which covers the goalkeepers who have made the most errors leading to shots from 50+ appearances from August 2013, Mignolet needs to keep that number as low as possible:
|Position||Team||Error Lead To Shot||Appearances||Mins Played|
|Julian Speroni||GK||C. Palace||4||73||6,535|
|Ben Foster||GK||West Brom||3||52||4,634|