Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has defended goalkeeper Loris Karius after his mistakes against West Ham, insisting his side’s problems are not all about one player.
The Reds’ error-strewn 2-2 draw at Anfield on Sunday saw Karius scrutinised for both of the visitors’ goals – he failed to get across to Dimitri Payet’s free-kick and was hesitant for Michail Antonio’s strike.
The German goalkeeper, 23, also made a crucial mistake in Liverpool’s late collapse at Bournemouth last week, but Klopp feels it would be wrong to focus only on him.
“I’m not interested in creating headlines,” Klopp told reporters ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League match at Middlesbrough on Wednesday.
“A few things are obvious, a few things are not. Working with the goalkeepers and other players – that is all I care about.
“It’s never about one player. Whatever I say about this would create headlines – good and bad.
“Maybe you are all blind because everybody is asking me about this situation [Payet’s goal] and I have only seen it one time – during the game.
“Things like this happen. With all goals we can do a surgery to pick apart what we can do and what happened and I accept this.
“But goals like this happen. We have to find the guy who doesn’t jump or whatever. But it was brilliant from Payet.
“I saw him training before the game and he missed all of his free-kick. I was hoping he would do that in the game too.
“Criticism is part of life. My job is to protect the players as much as we can, but I can’t do that when they are on the pitch.”
Karius has been involved in a storm that has seen him slammed by club icon Jamie Carragher, as well as Gary and Phil Neville for his performances and his response to negative views from the pundits.
Klopp thinks former players forget how it feels to be criticised, but suggested that should not be the case for Gary Neville after his miserable spell in charge of Valencia last season.
The manager said: “I’m not surprised about it. In my first press conference I spoke about the English media, and the pundits, the former players. They obviously forgot completely how it felt when they got criticised.
“Especially the Neville brothers. The one who was a manager, he should know. He is not interested in helping a Liverpool player I can imagine.
“He showed that he struggled with the job to judge players. Why do we let them talk about players on television? I wouldn’t but the only thing I can do is not listen to them.
“I’m pretty sure Carra doesn’t speak too positively about United players, so obviously the Neville brothers don’t like Liverpool but I have no problem.
“If they could cause bigger problems than they already have, I think they try it. Now you have your headlines.
“Tell him [Gary Neville] I’m not on Twitter. If he wants to tell me something, don’t do it on Twitter.”